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Camping at Backbone Rock Recreation Area Pavilions Campground

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Overview:

Backbone Rock Recreation Area Pavilions Campground is situated in Cherokee National Forest on the Tennessee side, close to the border with Virginia. This recreation area is well known for its distinctive rock tunnel that was carved through a massive rock outcrop in 1901, allowing a railroad to pass through. Today, this area provides ample opportunities for recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Camping and Pavilion Information:

  • Camping Sites: The campground features a number of camping sites suitable for tents and RVs. The sites typically include amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and grills.
  • Pavilions: Backbone Rock Recreation Area offers pavilions that can be reserved for group activities. These pavilions are great for family reunions, group gatherings, or picnics and often come equipped with picnic tables and grills.
  • Reservation System: Campsite and pavilion reservations can usually be made online or by phone through a centralized reservation system for national forest campgrounds.
  • Facilities: The campground is equipped with basic amenities such as restrooms and potable water but check for the availability of showers and electricity as these amenities vary from one national forest campground to another.

Activities:

  • Hiking: Backpackers and hikers can enjoy the trails around the area, including the short hike to the Backbone Rock Waterfall or the longer Appalachian Trail that is accessible nearby.
  • Fishing: The Beaverdam Creek and Laurel Fork Creek are popular spots for fishing, where you might catch trout and other species.
  • Rock Climbing: Backbone Rock offers some opportunities for rock climbing due to its steep, rugged nature.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The Cherokee National Forest is home to a variety of wildlife, providing opportunities for wildlife observation.

Regulations and Tips:

  • Firewood: To prevent the spread of invasive insects, obtain your firewood locally or purchase it from recognized vendors.
  • Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the natural surroundings.
  • Pets: Pets are generally allowed but must be kept on a leash in developed recreation areas and trails.
  • Bear Precautions: As with many areas in national forests, visitors should take precautions with food storage to avoid attracting bears.
  • Weather Awareness: Weather can change rapidly, so come prepared for a range of conditions.

Accessibility:

  • Road Access: The recreation area is typically accessible by road, but check for seasonal road closures or restrictions, especially during winter months.
  • Accessibility Features: Inspect if the campsites and pavilions offer any features for those with limited mobility.

Reservations and Contact Information:

  • Reservations are often required for both camping and pavilion use, especially during peak seasons.
  • Contact the local ranger district office for the most current information, to make reservations, and for any site-specific rules and regulations.

Always check for the latest updates and information before heading out, as conditions and policies can change. The USDA Forest Service website or Recreation.gov are good starting points for current information and making reservations.

Location of Backbone Rock Recreation Area Pavilions Campground
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