I will admit – Murphy, NC was not on our bucket list. It wasn’t even on our radar until we were looking for campgrounds in parts of the Great Smoky Mountains that offered even the slightest possibility of seeing a black bear. Why? Because black bears are on Angie’s bucket list. (And sadly, they will remain there, at least for now.)
Murphy, NC is a town of about 1,700 people, situated in Cherokee County, at the confluence of the Hiwassee and Valley rivers. With two casinos, I would bet most folks come to Murphy to gamble. We came to relax, to hike, and to fish. (After arriving though, we opted not to pay $66 for the privilege of pretending we know how to trout fish.)
With no bears and no trout, you might think it was a complete bust, but you’d be completely wrong. Even my mom, who was a reluctant participant to begin with, had a good time.
We spent four very relaxing days at the Peace Valley KOA, sometimes doing nothing more than sitting on the porch of our cabin reading or watching other people fish.
The nights though…now, that’s a different story. Our cabin was awesome except for the futon. We gave my mom the bedroom, thinking “oh, there’s a futon, no big deal”. Yeah, futons were great when we were in college but futons over forty, not so much. We ended up double stacking the futon mattress from the loft on the futon downstairs just to manage a bit of comfort. Which is really sad…since we sometimes sleep on a 3-inch inflatable pad when we tent camp!
Not to be outdone by a mattress, Angie and I ventured out a few times to see what adventures we could find in the area. That’s how we found the Murphy Riverwalk. This 3-mile scenic walk follows the Hiwassee River. It poured rain on us halfway through our first attempt so we came back again the next day to complete the whole walk. Completely worth it…and a great way to work out the kinks from the futon!
We also played a few rounds of corn hole and horseshoes.
And took a slog in the river. (Well, I did, anyway…)
The highlight of the trip though was foraging. As we wandered around the campground we found scores of wild blackberries and even a few apples.
Murphy might not have been a first-choice destination but it’s a place we would definitely return to.