Our First Thousand Trails Campground

We are not Thousand Trails members, but this particular campground has a small number of sites where non-members can stay and pay per night. We’ve decided that membership doesn’t make sense for us and our style of travel, but here are our thoughts on the campground by itself (not Thousand Trails as a whole) and some nearby trails.

Where We Stayed

Goose Creek Campground
Newport, NC
July 21 – 23, 2023
Row W, Site 1

The campground was huge! According to their website, the campground has 686 sites in total. The majority are annual sites, but 47 are available for nightly booking.

We didn’t have a terrific first impression because, upon arrival, we discovered the 50-amp electric didn’t work. We hooked up to the 30 amp temporarily and called the front office. They called their maintenance guy, but it was more than 2 hours between our first phone call and when maintenance arrived. Fortunately, it turned out to be a quick fix, and we didn’t have any issues with it after that.

Campground Pros
  • Site W01 was a decent size and had a good view for sunset.
  • The sewer connection was at ground level (though it wasn’t threaded).
  • All the sites in the row we were in overlook the water. (However, there is a row of tent camping sites between that row and the water.)
  • The pool was a great temperature (not too hot, not too cold) and had an impressive water slide.
  • The campground had a dock and boat ramp, so if you have a boat or jet ski, it seemed like a good setup.
Campground Cons
  • You can’t choose your site when making your reservation. For the dogs’ sake, we try to choose sites that have a little breathing room in terms of size and aren’t in the middle of all the activity. We lucked out with the site we got, but site assignment definitely makes a difference in the overall experience here.
  • The site left something to be desired. It was grass, and there was nothing to designate the boundaries of the site which made backing in difficult. It was also very unlevel, with some serious dips. The sewer connection wasn’t threaded and the cover was a 2-liter bottle filled with water. (That was a new one for us!)


Patsy Pond Nature Trail

Saturday morning we left early and drove to the Patsy Pond Nature Trail. There are three easy trails that range from 0.75 mi to 1.9 mi each. A lot of the trail was sand, so I wouldn’t plan on using a stroller. I didn’t see any trash cans, so be prepared to bring out what you bring in. If it’s hot, you’ll want to go early and bring water, because there isn’t much shade.

Cedar Point Tideland Trail

Sunday morning we took another short drive, this time to the Cedar Point Tideland Trail, within Croatan National Forest. There are restrooms and trash cans in the parking lot, plus a boat ramp and plenty of picnic tables. It looked like a very scenic place for a picnic.

Beautiful grassy area with picnic tables near the parking lot and the start of the trail.

The trail is an approximately 1.5-mile loop. It takes you through wooded and tidal areas and switches from dirt path to raised boardwalk, respectivey. Corona didn’t like the boardwalk sections. Much of the boardwalk was made with metal grates and she did not like walking on that. (Max didn’t seem to notice anything was different, so it might just be an issue for smaller dogs.)

Corona did not enjoy walking on the portions of the boardwalk made of metal grates.

This sign near the start of the trail includes a warning about bugs and poison ivy. We followed their advice to wear bug spray and were glad we did!

“Insect repellent is a good idea, especially in the warm months when chiggers, ticks, and mosquitoes are active. Yellow flies may be encountered in May and June. Stay on the trail to avoid ticks and chiggers, and the abundant poison ivy. Rattlesnakes are not common residents; however, don’t reach or walk where you can’t see.”


That evening, we ate at a restaurant called Gaffer’s. The place has a lot of outdoor seating. There was a band playing music, and it was packed, inside and out! It would have been a 40-minute wait, but the waitress told us the inside bar had high-top tables and was first come, first served. We were lucky and managed to find an open table right away. We both got burgers. I thought it was one of the best I’d had in a while!

After dinner, we walked to a place called Village Ice Cream & Candies. Very impressive ice cream selection! In addition to the expected flavors, there were several unusual ones, like Cookie Two Step, Rainbow Cookie Dough, and even Trash Can. They offered ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, and even waffles! (And candy, of course.)

The flavor called “trash can” is described as pecan, cookie dough, and sprinkles.


This 2-liter bottle filled with water was the cover for the sewer connection at our site.
A baby longleaf pine we saw on the Patsy Pond trail

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