Standing Indian Campground Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Franklin, North Carolina that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is best used from April until November.
Directions from Franklin, NC: Travel US 64 southwest for 10 - 15 miles taking a left on State Highway 1448.
I failed to note nice little mom and pa store in the campground, real nice people (owners). Also, bugs bugs bugs throughout the entire trail due to the flow of water, creeks, marsh, etc... load up on DEET.
Tough, rigorous and physically challenging but worth it. The hike from the campground takes you through roaring creeks, deep woods and ascents to a fork in the middle. Hanging a left and proceeding another few miles to the peak can be difficult if you are not dressed for the elements. Bring water, a change of socks and some extra clothing. The views are magnificent.
Great campground with lots of water access even if you aren't camping directly on the creek. We stayed in the upper loop which was quieter and less crowded but still not too far from things. Bathrooms small but sufficient and clean. Small camp store had most items needed. We drove up to wayah bald fire tower which has great views. We didn't do standing Indian mtn because we had small children in our group. I would definitely go again!
My daughter and I stayed here last June. We stayed in the tent oriented upper Loop #5. 9/10 sites are shrouded with Rhododendron. We happened on the time they were in early bloom. Because of the elevation the hot summer temperatures are avoided. This not a private and secluded CG. It's fun though. Con: Because of the rains on the high forest canopy, it seems that it rains a lot of the time. This makes for wet firewood. It's close some nice waterfalls, Old-growth trees, hiking trails that could include the AT, kids swimming in the river, Standing Indian Mountain, and I had fun with my family, and saw the wilderness.
The Appalachian Trail loops around Standing Indian Campground. It is a really nice hike and I have done it twice now! Both times I have lead a group of summer campers backpacking and they have had a lot of fun! There are a few places that are a little difficult. Albert Mountain and Big Butt are two of the steepest climbs on this loop, but the views from the tops are worth it. If you don't want to put a strain on your legs, you can drive part way up Albert Mountain and walk a short distance to the former fire tower at the top. Definitely want to do it again and would recommend it!!