We stayed in the "Live Oak" area of the campground, not in the oceanside sites. I expected to be eaten alive by mosquitos, but as long as we kept the "Deep Woods Off" applied, we experienced only a slight problem with bug bites. Don't bother with anything less than maximum strength, though; we ran out of "Deep Woods Off" on the second day and tried some of the "Skintastic" repellent, but that did absolutely nothing to stop the little vampire wannabes; we ended up buying some more of the napalm-strength stuff. Aside from the slight bug problem, the camp- ground is wonderful. The sites in the "Live Oak" area are big, nicely spaced, and have enough undergrowth between them to provide a good deal of privacy. The beachside area is a little more crowded. The cavernous bathhouses were bright and spacious on the "Live Oak" side, a little less so on the beach. Either area, though, is beautiful. Visit the website and you get a little idea of the natural aesthetics of the state park. Several trails are available. Don't go on foot. The mosquitos rise from the pine needles in a low, black cloud and make any walk uncomfortable. A bike is the best way to experience the trails without the bugs (just keep moving, avoid eye contact). We saw many marsh birds, crabs, dolphins, a sting-ray, a stray cat, and one lost mole. Palm trees, live oaks, and spanish moss everywhere; beautiful, beautiful place.
Although the name of the campground would seem to indicate it sits on the banks of a stream, I couldn't find one anywhere. That said, the sites were clean, spacious, well-spaced, and level. Most were shaded. The bath houses, while clean, only offered four showers per location (two for men, two for women), and I would imagine there might be a wait for one to come open during busier times. On the weekend we visited, the campground was practically deserted, though, and according to the staff, there are few times in a given year when the campground is actually full. Area attractions are few; if you are not interested in hunting, equestrian activites, hiking, or just enjoying the peace and quiet, you might find yourself hard-pressed to stay entertained. A fair (but not overwhelming) amount of gnats and flies were present; bring the bug spray. We saw plenty of deer and turkey. We felt very secure here. All in all, our experience at Bandy Creek was a pleasant one. Kudos to the staff for keeping things clean and quiet.
We live in the area and were looking for a close place to getaway for a short weekend. We scouted this one out and man what a dump! Thank God we checked it out first. I cannot say whether the staff is friendly or the bathrooms are clean; we didn't get that far. Just one trip around the muddy, cramped loop full of skanky looking full time trailers told us plenty. We wouldn't stay here if they paid us!
We went camping this time to get away from the kids and ironically chose a CG that was tailored toward children. They had a smallish putt-putt course, average pool, nightly movies for kids, and a smallish gameroom. It is nicely shaded and the owners were very nice. Two small streams run through the CG. The sites were too close together for us and afforded very little privacy. We didn't hate it, but we wouldn't go back because we only live 45 minutes away and wouldn't be interested in anything other than just hanging around camp and doing nothing. If you are looking for a small, kid friendly CG near enough to Gatlinburg, this would be a good choice. A plus for us was the cable T.V. hook-up.
Quiet, clean, but as said before, NOT a destination campground. We stayed here to attend a conference and didn't spend much time at the campsite. Very little shade, crowded sites, and no privacy. I'd only go back for another conference.
The sites here are a mixed bag of shady, sunny, level, unlevel, private, out in the open, spacious, and tiny. There was a need for litter control and no where was this more evident than around the shorelines. The playground was fairly nice for toddlers (and really only for a child between the ages of 2 and 4). Wish there was sewer available. The tent sites were wooded, spacious and have their own private section. The non-tent campers (as we were) have their own three sections to choose from. Section A was the only section we would want to stay in, as the other two section's sites were rather close to one another. One negative was the inability to make reservations. All sections are on a first-come basis which makes it very difficult to plan a trip not knowing if you'll have a place to stay. There was a restaurant on-site with average food, a marina, only two hiking trails, a nice swimming pool with life guards and a very nice and large kiddie pool, and well kept asphault tennis courts.
There are no water, electric, or sewer hook-ups and the nearest dump station is 6 miles away. The sites are spacious, heavily wooded, and mostly level. The campground is relatively convenient to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge but still retains a secluded feel as it is within the confines of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and additionally is 2 miles off the main park road. It is a beautiful campground with the Little Pigeon River running through it, lots of trails to explore, old growth forest, and outcroppings of massive rocks. It's good for a weekend get-away (being there are no hook-ups or even showers available) or for those who like to "rough it". If your kids are outdoorsy, they will certainly love the hiking, fishing, biking (bring your own), exploring, swimming, and innertubing. As these are all weather-dependent, be sure to bring some indoor diversions in case it rains.
The sites were crammed close together and offered no privacy. It was also very busy. That being said, there was an abundance of things to do for people of all ages. There are far too many to list in this post. It would be better to visit their website. The bottom line is this: we have a three and thirteen year old. If we were camping with them, we would stay here again. If my husband and I were alone, we would not pick this campground.
We encountered abundant wildlife, including deer, turkeys, ground hogs, and rabbits. The playground was very nice; it was shaded, had a beautiful view, and a variety of equipment for children of all ages. The sites were spacious and nicely shaded. The 24 hour security was a plus. The facility was immaculate. The only drawbacks were an abundance of yellow jackets (it may have just been the time of the year we visited) and the traffic on the nearby highway got started early in the morning (we were in a tent though, and any noise would have been more noticeable than to RV'ers).