Blue Bear Mountain Campground
This past weekend, we ventured to Todd, NC to stay at Blue Bear Mountain Campground. We usually stay at state parks, but when I went online to look for a last minute site, everything was booked. Some friends of ours had recently been to BBMC, so I figured why not call up the number and see if there was anything left.
To give you some background on our camping experiences, Joe and I both grew up camping. Joe did more backpacking with Scouts, and I did more car camping with church families. I also love backpacking, but as a family with young kids, we haven't done any hike-in camping... except for an accidental hike-in at Cape Lookout, which we weren't prepared for, but we both prefer going to the mountains and being surrounded by a tall canopy of trees.
BBMC is just north of Boone and has short hiking trails, well kept grounds and facilities and super hospitable staff. Our site was down a grassy hill from the music stage (they have an annual music fest), and it was fairly private with woods on the back side. I should have done more research and selected a "remote" site, because when we went hiking the next day, there were some really sweet spots back in the woods that would have felt more like the rugged camping we were both used to and offered more privacy. The staff actually offers to drive your gear to the site if you want the remote experience but not the labor. It's a great way to ease the family into camping if you don't have all the proper gear for a hike-in experience.
The boys had a fun time. There was plenty of fire-poking and tree-climbing. I managed to squeeze in a couple minutes of bug observing as well. On the way home, we took the long route and drove through Elk Knob state park and Meat Camp, NC, where we stopped for lunch and creek-hopping.