Ammons Branch Campground - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-13-2008, 08:38 PM   #1
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Well, I can't argue with the price. The Ammons Branch Campground is free. No charge at all. It's quite a beautiful and isolated campground in the Nantahala National Forest not far from Cashiers. The literature I read on it stated that it had a vault toilet and seven campsites suitable for tents or RVs. No hookups, no water. However, upon arriving, we discovered that there are, in fact, only five campsites, and of those five, only one is suitable for any kind of RV. As no one was there, we nabbed it. It's the first campsite on the left as you drive in and is below the stairs leading up to the vault toilet.

This is a great campsite to use as a basecamp for all kinds of hikes and for fishing if you're into fly fishing for native brook trout. Many trout streams are within a mile or two of the campground, including the infamous Chatooga River.

We stayed two nights and during that time not one other person so much as set foot in the campground. At night, the stars were very intense and we had a good time star gazing. There are lots of places to see in close proximity if you're into hiking or looking at waterfalls. There are more waterfalls in this three-county area than just about anywhere I've ever been. Quite literally hundreds of waterfalls to be found.

The directions we had to the campground were good, with one unfortunate exception. We took SC11 to SC130 to SC107. The directions then instructed us to take Bullpen Road to the campground. Unfortunately, the sign for Bullpen Road is gone, so we couldn't locate the turn and it took quite some time for us to locate the campground. Be aware that Bullpen Road is directly across the road from a lot where truck trailers are parked. You'll see about a score of empty semi-trailers parked directly across from Bullpen Road.

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<div align="center">Whiteside Mountain, as seen from near the campground on Whiteside Cove Road.
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<div align="center">The sign at the entrance to the campground on Bullpen Road.</div>
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:41 PM   #2
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Our campsite at Ammons Branch. You get a level spot, a picnic table, a fire ring, a lantern post, access to a vault toilet, and lots of quiet.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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</div>My son, Andy, at the trailhead to the seven mile (one way) Chatooga River Trail. This trailhead is only about two miles from the campground. A great hike that I highly recommend.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:47 PM   #4
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This is me at a little known waterfall perhaps two miles from the campground. Close as the crow flies, but extremely difficult to find. It's located off of Bullpen Road, but there is no trail and you have to bushwhack down an extremely steep slope into the Ellicott's Rock Wilderness Area while weaving through dense rhododendron. I recommend this bushwhack only for those who are experienced and in decent physical condition. This waterfall, however, is strikingly beautiful.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:13 AM   #5
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This is me at a little known waterfall perhaps two miles from the campground. Close as the crow flies, but extremely difficult to find. It's located off of Bullpen Road, but there is no trail and you have to bushwhack down an extremely steep slope into the Ellicott's Rock Wilderness Area while weaving through dense rhododendron. I recommend this bushwhack only for those who are experienced and in decent physical condition. This waterfall, however, is strikingly beautiful.
What a beautiful waterfall! I'll have to put that area/campground on my "to go to" list. I have camped at Standing Indian outside Franklin, NC but never got over to Ammons Branch. Standing Indian is a wonderful place, lots of trails, streams for fishing, waterfalls very nearby, and town is not too far away if you desire civilization. It does get full during the summer months. No hookups, water or electric, but several water spigots throughout the campground. As soon as it opens back up this spring, I'm heading there for a few days. I will definitely checkout Ammons Branch too!

SS & CD

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Old 02-14-2008, 07:26 AM   #6
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Great looking spot Bob - Thanks for the tip. We camp in Nantahala several times each year and will have to add Ammons Branch to our list. FS81 which branches off the Cherohala Skyway at its beginning on the NC end is another good source for dispersed sites in that National Forest.


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Old 02-14-2008, 08:45 AM   #7
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I guess FREE is beautiful!!! what gorgious pictures..
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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Great looking spot Bob - Thanks for the tip. We camp in Nantahala several times each year and will have to add Ammons Branch to our list. FS81 which branches off the Cherohala Skyway at its beginning on the NC end is another good source for dispersed sites in that National Forest.


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Thanks! That waterfall is EXTREMELY difficult to get to. It's called the Lower Falls of Scotsman's Creek. No trail. You must bushwhack down a very, very, very steep slope to the bottom of the gorge through thick vegetation.

Standing Indian is one of our favorite campgrounds. Lots of great hikes and waterfalls in that area, too.

Keep in mind that Ammons Branch has only one trailer-friendly campsite. Lots of other free campsites up and down Bull Pen Road, though.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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I guess FREE is beautiful!!! what gorgious pictures..
Thanks. The area around Ammons Branch is quite beautiful.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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Your pictures were a treat for my winter-weary eyes. Beautiful country.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:03 PM   #11
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Just so you'll know how tough the hike is, here's a photo one of my hiking companions took of me climbing back up. It's like this for about 1/4 mile.

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