Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cross Creek RV Park, Maggie Valley, NC


Date of Stay:  Friday June 30 – Tuesday August 1, 2017 (1 month)

Rate:  $525/month

Website:  Cross Creek RV Park
   69 Georgia Lane (gps 1354 Moody Farm Road)
   Maggie Valley, NC 28751
   828-926-1183

Description:  Located in the southwest point of NC, this park is great for big rigs with level sites and no curvy mountain roads to navigate.  We stayed on site 55.  The roads and sites are gravel with nice grassy areas.  The sites are about 45 feet wide with room for Tawanda and our truck parked sideways in front.  They have a nice pavilion with a laundry room but no bathroom facilities.  There are 3 different areas in the park; section by Jonathan Creek across the road, section of mostly seasonals with 90 degree back-in sites with trees; and the newer open section where we were.  All are FHU(50A) with cable.  Our section has the pull-thru back to back sites so that your patio is facing your neighbors somewhat.  Bring extra sewer hose and support.  Moody Farm Road is flat and has a nice sidewalk for great morning walks.  Maggie Valley is basically a small, laid back tourist town located about 5 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSM) near Cherokee.  It’s also only a few miles to a bigger small town (Waynesville) that has all the basics covered plus a vibrant downtown and only about 40 miles from Asheville to cover any major city desires one may have.

Trash and Recycle:  Dumpster in the back corner of the park but no recycle bins.

Activities:  We enjoyed our time here because it was easy to relax but still have some activities.  We travelled the BRP sections several times and I hiked a few trails.  The sidewalk near the rv park is near Jonathan Creek and there’s not much traffic on Moody Farm Road so it’s a good place to get in shape.  We drove the curvy dirt road to Cataloochee Valley to find some elk (mother and her calf).  A herd of 50 elk were reintroduced to the GSM in 2001 and has grown to about 200 now.  We also saw a herd of about 18 at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, but the biggest one (14 point bull) was only a quarter mile from the rv park!  He appears on a regular basis so the locals have named him Jeffrey.  We also drove over to Cades Cove and  Gatlinburg TN and saw some of the fire damage near there from the wildfire of November 2016.  One of our favorite spots is the bamboo forest in Oconaluftee Island Park in Cherokee so we spent a few quiet minutes of contemplation there.   I remember camping at Deep Creek GSM cg near Bryson City as a kid 50 years ago so I had to check it out.  It’s a great place to go tubing down the creek with hundreds of your closest friends and it has a nice trail to some small waterfalls.  I also remember going to Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee as a kid so we did that early in our visit.  They show how life was in the 1750’s and keep their crafts and heritage alive.  Lake Junaluska is between Maggie Valley and Waynesville.  It is about 200 acres so it would be a nice place for our boats.  It is a conference and retreat center established by the Methodist Church and has a wonderful paved walking path around it (3.8 miles around or 2.3 miles if using the footbridge).  One hike I took on the BRP (Milepost 451.2) was Waterrock Knob Trail.  It’s only 1.2 miles round trip but quite steep.  Another hike I did was Mingus Creek Trail (about 6 miles) in the GSM which goes up beside the creek most of the way.  I was startled by a wild pig about five feet from me.  No pictures as he was snorting and walking towards me!  I just slowly backed away and kept hiking.  We also enjoyed just hanging around our patio and watching the clouds drift up into the mountains. Oh yeah, we finally had our slide topper mechanism fixed that broke on June 1 by a good mobile rv tech (RV Trailer and Motorhome Repair 828-380-0887). 

Cross Creek RV Park, Maggie Valley NC
Entrance to Cross Creek RV Park  Cornfield next to the rv park
Entrance to the rv park                                   Corn field beside the park
On site 55  Patio of site 55
On site 55 before neighbors Stan and Carol arrived
Smoky Mountains around us  Smoky Mountains
Surrounded by the Smoky Mountains... we love it here!

Scenes along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP)
Big Witch Overlook  Thinking of Bill at Woolyback Overlook
Big Witch Overlook                                     Woolyback Overlook… Bill?
No thanks!!  Pounding Mill Overlook BRP
Rough Butt Bald…Pounding Mill Overlook… Where do they get these names?
Cowee Mountain Overlook BRP  BRP highest elevation 6053 ft
Cowee Mountain Overlook                           BRP highest elevation (6053 ft)
Tunnel on BRP  In the tunnel
We had to drive through a few tunnels!
Roy Taylor Forest Pedestrian Overlook BRP  Trail at an overlook
Some of the overlooks even have special features such as a pedestrian overlook or a short trail

Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee NC
Oconaluftee Indian Village 1750  Welcome to Our World!
Cherokee Indian life as it was in 1750
Native crafts  Pottery crafts at Oconaluftee Indian Village
Native crafts such as beading and pottery…
Basket weaving  Burning out a canoe
…basket weaving and burning out a canoe…
Weapon making... blow gun, arrows etc  Blow gun demo... good shot!
…weapons making and demonstrating the blow gun
They did not live in tipis  Council Chambers
They didn’t live in tipis                                 Inside the Council Chambers
Nature Walk at OIV  Nature Walk at OIV
Short Nature Walk at OIV … Cherokee have great respect for nature

Catalochee Valley (GSM) and the Elk
Overlook at Chatalochee  Enjoying the stream by the road to the Group Camp
                                  Catalochee Overlook                        Nice stream by the road to the group camp
Love mountain streams!  Love mountain streams!
There’s just something about a mountain stream!!
Momma Elk at Cataloochee  Calf is curious
Doe and fawn (Elk!) were in the woods right beside the road!!
Momma grazed the whole time  Momma was hungry
Momma never stopped grazing!
Interesting foot bridge  I could see the trout in the water
Catalochee Valley has a couple of old homesteads there too
Elk at Oconaluftee Visitor Center to GSM National Park  Elk at Oconaluftee Visitor Center of GSM National Park
Elk grazing at Oconaluftee Visitor Center GSM
14 point elk  Bedding down for the night
Our neighborhood elk (Jeffrey) bedding down for the night!

Soco Falls and Oconaluftee Island Park in Cherokee NC
Soco Falls  From the bottom of Soco Falls
Soco Falls
I made it to the base of Soco Falls!  Base of Soco Falls
Not easy to get to the base of Soco Falls but I made it!
One of the many painted bears in Cherokee  Painted bear in Cherokee
Couple of the many painted bears in Cherokee
Bamboo at Oconaluftee Island Park in Cherokee  Bamboo is tall  Bamboo forest
Bamboo Forest at Oconaluftee Island Park (one of our favorite places)
Oconaluftee Island Park in Cherokee  Pedestrian bridge over Oconaluftee River
Nice pedestrian bridge at the park
Oconaluftee Island Park  Tubing is popular
Tubing is popular … we saw people walk up stream to float down several times

Waterrock Knob Trail BRP Milepost 451.2
Inside Waterrock Knob Info Center  Inside Info Center at Waterrock Knob
Inside the Info Center at Waterrock Knob
View from the parking lot of Waterrock Knob on BRP  Parking Lot at Waterrock Knob
Beautiful view from the parking lot
Trail  Upward  Trail going up
Not a long trail but heart pounding steep
Beautiful views!  Beautiful views along the trail
Beautiful views along the hike!
View from the top  That's far enough folks!
View from the top is beautiful too!
Trail going down  Trail going down
Going down made my toes hurt

Cades Cove and GSM Fire Damage near Gatlinburg TN
Cades Cove  Cades Cove
Cades Cove
Tom turkey  Turkey at Cades Cove
Wild turkey in Cades Cove.  We saw a white tail deer buck in the woods but traffic was backing up.
Fire damage  Fire damage
Fire damage in GSM
Fire damage  Fire damage
Fire damage… all four pics are from the Carlos Campbell Overlook on Newfound Gap Road
Rainbow at Newfound Gap
Beautiful rainbow at Newfound Gap GSM

Cloudy morning at Lake Junaluska
Flowers at the Information center of Lake J  Lake Junaluska Cross
Bethea Welcome Center                            Lake Junaluska Cross
Gazebo along the trail  Many people enjoy the trail
Gazebo along the trail                             Many people enjoy the pathway
Flowers along the trail  Flowers along Lake J trail
Sunflower on a cloudy morning  Flowers along the trail
Lots of flowers along the pathway
Paved trail  Trail to the bridge  Paved trail
The paved pathway only has a couple of gentle hills
Sharing the trail with mallards and Canada geese  Sharing the trail
Sharing the path with geese and ducks means watching your step
Swans at Lake J  Mallards on Lake Junaluska
Swan at Lake J  Duck, duck, goose!
More than just Canada geese here
Lake Junaluska on cloudy morning  Lake J
Lake Junaluska is beautiful with the Smoky Mountains as a backdrop
Public boat ramp  Near the boat ramp
Public boat ramp and the park beside it
Rose Walk  Rose Walka t Lake Junaluska
The Rose Walk with more than 200 rose bushes

Oconaluftee Visitor Center and nearby Mingus Mill (GSM)
Oconaluftee Visitor Center GSM  Oconaluftee Visitor Center GSM
Inside Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Trail to Mingus Mill  Mingus Mill built in 1886
Path to Mingus Mill which was built in 1886
Creek diverted to Mingus Mill  200 ft flume of Mingus Mill
Water is diverted from Mingus Creek into a 200 ft flume to power the water turbine
 instead of using a water wheel
Water powered turbine  Grinding corn inside Mingus Mill
The turbine under the mill and the stone grinding corn inside

Deep Creek GSM Area
Juney Whank Falls at Deep Creek GSM      Tom Branch Falls at Deep Creek GSM      Indian Creek Falls
Juney Whank Falls near the beginning of trail, Tom Branch Falls in the middle and 
Indian Creek Falls at top
Long walk up hill with tubes  Put in spot
Tubers get hot walking up hill about a mile to the put in spot and cold mountain water
Tubers  Tubers at Deep Creek GSM
About a 3 ft drop                                        Easy rapids
Lots of tubers on Deep Creek GSM  Rapids!
Lots of people enjoy this beautiful place making memories

Mingus Creek Trail
Mingus Creek Trail      Mingus Creek Trail      Mingus Creek Trail
Trail starts as an old road bed beside Mingus Creek then narrows with
 several stream crossings without bridges
Mingus Creek Trail      Mingus Creek Trail      Mingus Creek Trail
About a half mile into the hike, I startled a wild boar which in turn startled me!
Switchback      Switchback      Turn around at Deeplow Gap Trail
The last half mile was steep with many switchbacks.  Turn around point at Deeplow Gap Trail
 was peaceful.  A nice hike in the woods!