About Mile High Campground
Jody Bradley Lipscomb
Joe Bradley, my father, had a vision of a campground on three mountaintop ridges. He shared that vision with my brother Glen and he shared it with me. The ridges are on the Cherokee land adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Only one road crossed the gap at that time. I remember thinking my brother’s venture was crazy because there was only a small spring and no electricity access. This was going to be a lot of work.
Glen leased the land from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and began improving the road to sites 1-12. He later built the road to sites 17-26. During construction our Uncle Ham Bradley recommended cutting out “picture windows” at sites to improve views. We named these great views Ham’s Windows. In May of 1998 Dad saw his vision become reality when Mile High Campground opened.
Driscoll and Louise Oglesby from Gulf Shores, Alabama were the first hosts and they stayed for many summers. Driscoll, a retired U.S. Marshall, helped Glen establish a nice, family-friendly campground. We have had many great hosts since but Driscoll and Louise hold a special place in our hearts along with many other campers who have stayed at Mile High from the beginning.
Mile High Campground is a family affair. Our entire family has worked there. Russ’s Circle is named after our Uncle Russ, a host for many years. Site 18A, Joe’s Place, was our dad’s favorite site. We enjoy family potluck dinners with our campers. We fill in when needed. Events include the Dutch Oven Gathering, VW Bus Junkies, Short Wave Radio competitions and others.
We have come a long way in 21 years. We are still a primitive campground (hot showers, limited internet, no site electricity nor water). We still use the paper reservation ledger but we now accept credit cards. We’ve added more restrooms, an event group site, and a new office with a store. We have a lot more wildlife since the elk were introduced to the area. Our dad would have loved that! Connecting to the electric grid will probably never happen. Our hot showers are the best in the Blue Ridge and the Smoky Mountains!
Our dad has been gone since 2004. He was proud of Glen and the Mile High Campground and would be pleased with the improvements. We welcome you to our place and we hope you enjoy your stay.