Asheville West KOA Review

Asheville West KOA Office - it was late October during our stay and they had decorated accordingly

Asheville West KOA Office - it was late October during our stay and they had decorated accordingly

Overall Rating: ♥♥•••

Address: 309 Wiggins Rd, Candler, NC 28715
Phone: 828.665.7015
Website: http://www.ashevillekoa.com/

Verizon: ♦♦♦•
WiFi: ♦♦♦••


Pros:

  • Close to BearWaters Brewing in Canton, NC (about 6 miles away)
  • Close (but not the closest) to downtown Asheville
  • Friendly staff
  • An OK one nighter while traveling
  • They have a pool, playground, K9 park, small community room with books, puzzles, games tv and table, pavilion, recycling bins, WiFi, and lots of hiking trails.  They also have propane on site.
  • The sites are on the big side giving you plenty of room to open your slides and awnings

Cons:

  • All dirt roads and sites that make for a very bad dog walking experience when it rains.
  • Very loud road noise from I40.
  • The cable in this campground only carries FoxNews ... no CNN here even on their WiFi.  I don't care what a campground owners politics are, but I don't like them trying to control my options when I'm a paying customer.
  • Smelly.  Literally it can stink from the nearby paper mill.
  • They filter their WiFi blocking things like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, CNN streaming, and others. You can foil their primitive blocking by using a VPN.
  • With a threat of freezing temps, and without notifying us, they disconnected our fresh water and threw our clean hose and pressure regulator on the muddy ground and we didn't realize it until we tried to brush our teeth at 10:00pm.  This alone was a deal breaker for us.

Review:

Asheville West KOA is not your destination type of campground.  This is your basic medium sized campground right off a major interstate (I40) and close to downtown Asheville, NC.  They have all basic amenities like WiFi, cable TV, full hookups, a pool (in season), a playground, a K9 park, and a small camp store.  The staff were very friendly and helpful, but they don't escort you to your site.  The campground has a paved road leading you in, but once inside it's all dirt or mud if it's been raining.

Lora and I had to be in Asheville, NC to see a specialist for Roxie's surgery on her knee.  Her surgery coincided with the fall leaf season and all the campgrounds in and around Asheville were packed. In order to be here at this time, we not only had to bounce around a bunch of campgrounds, but we were forced to change sites within the campgrounds.  On the positive side, it gave us the opportunity to review a bunch of Asheville area campgrounds.  Check in was seamless, like most KOA's, however, they didn't escort us to our site.  The campground roads were easy to navigate and the sites were on the big side.  The road into the campground was paved, but the interior roads were dirt.  It looked like they had once been gravel, but the gravel has long worn away.  When it rained, the roads and sites became one big mud bath and that made it no fun to walk Roxie.

They had the standard KOA amenities; a pool that was closed (out of season), a nice playground for the kids, a big K9 park for the little poopers, a cozy room for reading, puzzles and board games, and a pavilion with a nice big fireplace.  Unfortunately, during our stay the pavilion was being used for storage and so not usable.  One unique thing about this KOA that we haven't seen at other KOAs were lots of hiking trails.  Many of them interconnected making it one big trail, but you could enter and exit it at many points giving it the feel of a bunch of different trails.  Nice!

Nice cozy space for reading, playing board games and working on puzzles

Nice cozy space for reading, playing board games and working on puzzles

Nice playground at Asheville West KOA

Nice playground at Asheville West KOA

Large grassy space and Camp K-9 at Asheville West KOA

Large grassy space and Camp K-9 at Asheville West KOA

Footbridge on one of the nature trails at Asheville West KOA

Footbridge on one of the nature trails at Asheville West KOA

The Asheville West KOA is right off I40 just west of Asheville and a convenient jumping off point for Asheville and all the things Asheville has to offer.  But, little did we know that the little town of Canton just about four miles west of the Asheville West KOA had a great local brewery called Bearwaters Brewing.  We discovered Bearwaters Brewing our first night at the KOA 🙂 and frequented the place since they had good beer and good food served by the Pigeon River Grill.  BearWaters Brewing was a large brewery with indoor and outdoor seating and a deck overlooking the Pigeon River.  The local paper mill was a stones through away which added quite an aroma to the place, but it was very interesting watching the trains going back and forth, back and forth dropping off tons of wood pulp.

This KOA had cable TV and free WiFi.  The cable signal was fine except they only carried Fox News and not CNN or MSNBC ... not very fair and balanced.  Their WiFi had a good signal, but it would kick you out randomly and make you re-login.  This had the negative effect of rendering our pet and security cameras useless when it would kick us out of the WiFi while we where away from the coach.  They also filtered their WiFi blocking things like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and interestingly the CNN news stream while allowing things like YouTube and Netflix.  However, we have a VPN (google it if you don't know what that is) that foiled their filter and allowed us to use all those services that they were trying to block.

We stayed at Asheville West KOA for one week during the fall leaf season and for us that was six days too long.  The campground had all the essentials, friendly staff and a few luxuries, but the muddy conditions, lack of choice of news networks on their cable (typically we don't care that much about cable and rarely even hook up to it, but the lack of choice rubbed us the wrong way) and a WiFi that kicked us off randomly were more than we could handle.  For us, Asheville West KOA is a fine one nighter, but we would not recommend it for longer stays unless you specifically need to be in the Candler or Canton, NC area.

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