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Read about a North Carolina campground that brings Cincinnati families together for an affordable and fun week of camping, hiking, and spending time together.

Raven's Cry is a family property in North Carolina that allows people to camp on its grounds at no cost.
Raven’s Cry is a family property in North Carolina that allows people to camp on its grounds at no cost.

Cincy Chic: What is Raven’s Cry?
Tim Wooton, Owner of Raven’s Cry: Raven’s Cry is my family’s property in Jackson County, North Carolina. We open up the grounds for camping to our friends and family who need a low-cost vacation. We are also willing to open it up to people in the Cincinnati area who love the camp but cannot afford expensive and touristy areas like Gatlinburg or Asheville.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Wooton: I worked at the Winton Woods campgrounds for a couple of years and have met plenty of lower income people who camp on the weekends because it is fun and inexpensive. They could be doing the same thing here, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail. We also have two whitewater rivers within an hour of us.

Although this is not a religious endeavor, the name “Raven’s Cry” was inspired by a sermon preached by my cousin, citing Job 38:41, Psalms 147:9, and Luke 12:24. A general paraphrase can be expressed as “God will hear the cry of the raven.”

Cincy Chic: What makes Raven’s Cry unique?
Wooton: The campsite is nice and we have plans to eventually build a guest cabin, but the real service that I can provide is that of a knowledgeable guide for a day of hiking, a river guide, and being kind of a hillbilly concierge for touring the area. I also know where the best waterfalls and swimming holes are.

We would also welcome more affluent people to camp on our beautiful land if they would be willing to sponsor lower income people either directly or by leaving some useful outdoor gear behind for others to use. We are not incorporated and there is no board of directors. Any gifts between parties are not tax deductible. Raven’s Cry is formerly pastureland. We have a modest home. There are beautiful mountain views and a babbling brook. I have put a lot of effort into cleaning up the creek and grounds, making Raven’s Cry comfortable for family camping. I know of no other initiative quite like this.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Raven’s Cry?
Wooton: We are in the process of buying boats and gear. All of these activities will be low-cost or even no cost. People from Cincinnati who want to visit Raven’s Cry would have to buy about 35 gallons (700 miles) of gas for the trip and pay for their own food. Eventually, we will be growing food to share with visitors as well.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Wooton: the best way to get information is on our Facebook page, but serious inquiries can be made by contacting my cell phone at 513-478-8753.