RVing in the Smokies: A Late Winter Revel Trip in Western North Carolina
Beautiful hikes, fun breweries, and camping suggestions.

By: Heather Summers

This February, my partner and I headed down south to get a reprieve from the Midwest’s (very cold) version of winter and to explore the Smoky Mountains RV-style. 

The Smokies have quickly become one of our favorite parts of the country, abundant with waterfalls, breweries, spectacular views, year-round camping spots, the list goes on. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Even when the leaves and temperatures had fallen, the Revel allowed us to be fully immersed in the beauty of Appalachia’s outdoors.

Our Top Suggestions When in the Smoky Mountains

Here are some of the recommendations we gathered while Revel-ing around this beautiful area: 

Lake Glenville/High Falls

Oh, Lake Glenville. I am pretty convinced this is one of the most beautiful locations in the eastern half of the United States. The lake is tucked into the mountains between Sylva, NC, and Cashiers, NC. 

As boat traffic is non-existent during the cooler months, the lake was placidly calm. You could have spotted a single ripple. There are a few nearby trails, with the hike to High Falls being the most coveted. The hike isn’t the easiest but is so worth the venture leading to a towering waterfall that barrels off the cliff above. 

We spent a Sunday afternoon on the shore of the lake with the Revel’s backdoors wide open taking in the stunning view, hiking to High Falls, and enjoying the unseasonably warm day. After our hike, we worked up an appetite and drove a few miles up the road to Whiteside Brewery in Cashiers.

Whiteside Brewing Company

We knew we’d found a good spot when we drove up to Whiteside and the place was buzzing with people. We found a large enough parking spot to fit our larger-than-average vehicle and made our way inside. 

We were greeted by a warm, spacious environment complete with a heated outdoor porch and a large park area – all reminiscent of a cozy mountain cabin. We ordered the smashburger, wings, and some fries. Everything was wonderful: the fries were crispy, the burger was juicy and flavorful, and the dry rub wings were standout. 

For a couple of hours, we enjoyed the atmosphere on the heated porch – indulging in eating outside in the heart of winter. The service was also memorable, in the best way. We couldn’t recommend this stop more and can’t wait to return again for one of their live music nights.

Silver Run Falls

Our next stop in the Revel was to Silver Run Falls. This was a waterfall that hadn’t initially landed on our radar, but alas, it has become our favorite tranquil waterfall in the Smokies.

A super short, 0.2-mile flat hike led us to a quaint waterfall that looked like it was picked up out of Hawaii and plopped in the middle of North Carolina. With the sun beating down on the gentle falls, the water was glittering.

At the bottom of the falls was a lovely, shallow swimming hole. We are already planning to come back in summer so we can take full advantage and go for a swim. I’d imagine in summer it would evoke something similar to a lush botanical garden. 

We spent a good bit of time here feeling the sunshine and listening to the soft falls. It was a truly lovely experience.

RJ Andrews Campground

Although boondocking sites abound, campgrounds are harder to find from November to March. There is one about an hour from these attractions called Hot Springs Resort which has RV sites, cabins, and mineral bath hot tubs.

However, if not visiting during the winter months, RJ Andrews Campground is a must. It is ideal if you are making your way through western North Carolina between April and October as we have done in the past. 

The campground is nestled directly on the beautiful Lake Glenville with campsites overlooking the lake. The staff is incredibly accommodating, plus there are full-hook-up sites, the heated bathrooms are a godsend on cool mountain evenings and mornings, and the views of the mountains and water are outstanding. 

There is a great playground for families, rentable picnic pavilion, and an overall super peaceful environment. There is no Wi-Fi or cell service (I think this depends on provider), which is something to be aware of, but only adds to the true escape that they offer. RJ Andrews is a beautiful campground to unplug and reset.  

Exploring the Smokies in the Revel during late winter exceeded our expectations – allowing us to delve deeper into the natural beauty that makes the Smoky Mountains so special. Even when winter is upon us and we are prone to hibernation, the RV life begs us to come back outside a little while longer. You just never know what you might miss!

Have you RVed in this area? What are your favorite places?


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User commented on March 24, 2023 2:00 PM
What steps did you take to keep water and drain lines from freezing? Did you use extra insulation, heating pads or tape? How cold did it get?
User commented on April 7, 2023 6:56 PM
During this trip, it wasn’t ever below 30 degrees with many days high 50s, which makes this area the perfect place to escape the colder northern states. However, if you will be in freezing temperatures, it is important to prepare. You can read more about winter RVing here: https://www.winnebago.com/lifestyle/winnebagolife/travel/best-tips-for-winter-rving Thank you for your comment, GoLife Blog Editor