Camp North Carolina had the pleasure of speaking with the Operations Manager of Blue Bear Mountain Camp. He shared with us about the build out and future of this 2 year old camp. From what we’ve seen, they’re well on their way. Listen to our full interview here:
Blue Bear Mountain Camp NC
Camp North Carolina: I’m talking with Steve today. He’s the Operations Manager at Blue Bear Mountain Camp in North Carolina. Steve, I’m excited to talk to you today because looking through the website here it looks like a pretty large piece of property, and my favorite thing is that you guys seem to offer a really wide variety of tent camping there. Let’s start with you maybe telling our listeners about that and how many different types of scenarios people can camp in with the tent there.Steve: Yes, Clint, thank you for having us. Blue Bear Mountain – this is our second year of operation. And there’s 150 acres of land here. It is a large piece of property. And at the present time we have only 40 sites, so the sites are very well spread. We offer car & tent camping, where you can pull your car right to your site. We also offer remote tent camping, which those sites are located about a half a mile off the top of the mountain, down by the stock trout pond and a stream. We also have ten electrical sites primarily used to tractor-trailers or RVs, but those sites are also laid out so people that can’t camp and need electric can be prepared and you’re not stuck outside an RV. Those sites are also spread out. We do have some remote sites on a mountain by themselves, where you pretty much have the whole top of the mountain to yourself. There’s only two sites on one of the mountains and on the other mountain there’s just three sites. Those sites have just a fire ring because they’re so remote that I can’t get a picnic table up there to them.
CNC: That sounds like such a great getaway from the rat race. I just love that. So you’re saying that some of those sites you hike in a half-mile and there’s a stream where you can fish trout.
Steve: Yes sir.
CNC: That sounds pretty awesome. What are some of the other popular activities that guests like to enjoy there?
Steve: Well, we also have miles of hiking trails. On a property this big, we’ve got probably, oh, anywhere between three to five miles of hiking trails and always looking to add more as we have time to do. So, a lot of people just enjoy coming here and being able to hike around the property. It’s really a lot different from a campground, and that’s why the name is Blue Bear Mountain Camp. Campgrounds – they just tend to really use every space they can, whereas we don’t and that’s why we get so many repeat guests. This being our second year, every weekend we have repeat guests here from our first year.
CNC: Yeah, you can tell that it’s different right from visiting the website. A lot of times you’ll visit a campground website and you immediately see pictures of RV after RV after RV, and everyone’s packed in one spot. And some people are looking for that kind of experience. They want to get away, but they also like the community and all the activities that some Parks have. And you guys are offering something very different from that. You’re offering a bit more of the chance of some more seclusion and, in some cases, almost isolation from what you’re saying. You have a couple sites that are really standing alone up on top of the mountain there.
Steve: That’s correct. Even our RV sites. We’ve had families come here with no different equipment. And they’ll take up like three to four sites, and they’re still not crammed in, but they want to be together and we offer that for them.
CNC: Okay. Now, what are some of your other favorite attractions in that area, Steve? If I was staying there for a couple days and I wanted to venture out for an afternoon, what would you recommend?
Steve: Oh, in this area up here, around the boon, North Carolina. The hiking country. There’s hiking trails. The new river is right down the road from us, where you can go kayaking and canoeing and tubing. Elk Mountain State Park is about five miles away, where you can go up to 5500 feet and see the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. There are waterfalls. There’s the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are caverns. There’s so many outdoor activities in this area. It’s just amazing.CNC: So, Steve, you guys are only about two years old. I would image that you are still doing some planning and building out the camp there. In what ways are you planning to do that?
Steve: Yes, Clint, like I said, this is just our second year we’re finishing up. The next stage is wanting to put the teepee village up along with cabins and tree houses. The cabin click is a contractor that’s built all over the United States and specializes in wood frame buildings and just does a fantastic job drawing and designing really neat stuff. And that’s our end goal; is to offer some high end, luxury tree houses and cabins. A little bit of teepees. Things that are different that people are not going to find on the East Coast of the United States.
CNC: Right, and that’s the whole glamping trend; is getting more and more popular. And the campgrounds that we do talk to that have teepees or especially the tree houses, because I haven’t talked to a lot, but I’ve talked to some, I’d tell you they’re booked solid. They’re doing very well with that. It’s unique enough to where people seek it out, but it still feels like you’re camping.
Steve: That’s what we get from a lot of people that either they’re novelist tent campers and they don’t really want to do the tent camping, or they’re just older and they haven’t bought a travel trailer or an RV and they still want to get out in the woods, and they want that amenity to go to. And that’s what we’re hearing and that’s what we’re focusing on for our next year.
CNC: Sounds gorgeous. Two more questions for you, Steve. If you were going to spend just one hour at Blue Bear Mountain Camp in North Carolina, how would you spend your time there?
Steve: I would spend my time just enjoying the beauty of this property. I mean you have beautiful mountain views. You’re secluded. Even the car sites. The park cesspool sites. You drive right up to them. Your closest site is probably 30 to 40 yards away. And then I would hike the trails and take my fishing pole and go down and do a little trout fishing.
CNC: Cool. One more question for you. This last question I ask every campground, but with Blue Beat Mountain Camp I’m particularly interested in how you’re going to answer, which is: if you were going to spend just one night at Blue Bear Mountain Camp, which particular campsite would you pick and why?
Steve: Well, if you’re just going to be here one night, I would stay at one of the car cesspool sites. And depending on the size of the group. If it’s a large group, I would look at T4. We have since made some other sites this past spring that we haven’t updated our map on our website yet, but they’ll be done this winter. For just a couple, T6 is a very nice site. All of them are nice. Another thing that we’ve gotten a lot of that’s helped us is group camping. We’re able to put up to 40 to 45 people on one site, which is not heard of at most campgrounds. Usually, if you have a big group, you’re spread out amongst the campground, where up here you’re just on top of this mountain. There’s a 14-acre field. And majority of the campgrounds are all on the wood line. So, back to your original question, it just depends on what size group you have.
CNC: Sure. Sure. Well, that’s all I have for you today, Steve. Thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us and to explain the property there. It looks absolutely gorgeous here, looking at some photos on the website. And thanks again for chatting with us about Blue Bear Mountain Camp in North Carolina.
Steve: Well, thank you, Clint.