Thousand Trails Forest Lake Preserve – Advance NC – Full-Time RV Life

We recently spent 28 days at the Forest Lake Preserve in Advance, North Carolina, which is one of the Thousand Trails properties within our membership.

The campground was spacious and included several amenities for relaxation and entertainment.  The pool wasn’t open during the colder month of March, but walks around the lake and wooded area throughout the campground were pleasant and peaceful.  We did enjoy an evening of socializing with fellow RVillage friends in the spacious adult lounge area, scattered with soft couches and chairs and a cozy ‘living room’ feeling.  The family lounge was complete with an arcade, library with a take-one-leave-one book nook, and many tables for card games and crafts.  There was a playground and putt-putt golf course.  The lake was scenic with a nice wooden bridge crossing.  The laundry room and restrooms were clean and up to date.  The Preserve is nestled in a wooded and hilly area and well maintained.  Below is Mike’s video tour of the campground and amenities.

Since we use a golf cart to navigate longer distances because of mobility issues, we were pleasantly surprised to find quiet trails along the river and forest areas with peaceful views.  It was a treat for the trails to allow carts so non-hikers like us were able to enjoy the scenic areas of the park.

We found a peaceful view of the river from one of the golf cart trails.
Pausing to appreciate a quiet moment.

While Advance is in a remote area of North Carolina, we did enjoy the small town of Lexington and ventured into the larger Winston Salem area for provisioning.  We got to meet up with friends, Budhi and Cindy at one of the restaurants in Lexington for some Carolina-style BBQ.

Our dear friend Judy came to visit us over a weekend and family joined us the next.  During our family visit, we all contributed to meals and Mike got to use his beloved Blackstone.   The temperatures were a bit chilly, but we still enjoyed some time in the evening under The Clam and the fire bowl kept us nice and toasty while we enjoyed our company.   My brother whipped us up some homemade mac-n-cheese and sloppy joe using my Granny’s recipe–a cherished family memory.

We took a drive to Mount Airy,  the home of Andy Griffith.  There was much more to see, but we were concentrated on the visit with family and didn’t spend too much sightseeing.









Mike and I took a drive to Mocksville, North Carolina, and found the Joppa Cemetery.  We discover something (or someone) interesting and unique in each burial place we visit, and this one included the parents of Daniel Boone.  We visited on a drizzly day and the cemetery had a bit of spookiness to it, but we enjoyed our stroll.


The tree to the right and behind the stone was completely toppled over, leaving a huge hole in the ground where the roots once held.  No human remains were visible, but it’s no telling what more rain could uncover. 
Toward the back corner of the cemetery, there was a hidden geocache, so our stroll had an added bonus.  
Here among old memorial stones, someone still remembers.

We enjoyed our stay at Forest Lake Preserve and the Advance, North Carolina, area and look forward to returning in warmer temperatures.

Have you visited this area of North Carolina?  What can we put on our list to explore the next time we are there?


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  1. What a lovely campground, awesome video! Looks like the sites are nice and big and I love the fact there is an adult lounge. Glad you got to spend time with friends and family. The b/w pictures of the cemetery are fabulous, they really evoke a feeling. But my favorite pic is the two of you enjoying a quiet moment. Happy manatee hugs and stay warm!

    1. The adult lounge was nice. It had a full kitchen and pool table, too. It was just like a large living room. We had the get together there because it was pouring rain. We would definitely stay again when/if we are in the area. Right now, we are in Ohio watching snow melt and hoping the spring temperatures arrive later this week. I cannot wait to hear what you think of Cumberland. I’m so excited about you guys going. Happy manatee hugs!

    1. I think you guys found more interesting things to do than we did. We never got to Old Town in Winston Salem and only went to one winery during our stay (not the Nascar guy’s). It was great meeting you two, and I’m looking forward to following your adventures. Dawn

    1. I will definitely check out her blog. Thank you for the recommendation. We had a great time with family and my brother’s mac and cheese was amazing! The Carolina BBQ I’m not so sure about–we’re used to Texas style. I had issues getting over the fact they put ketchup in their coleslaw. It’s definitely a good time trying something new, though. What I extra-loved about the area was the friendliness of the people.

      1. And here I am finally checking out YOUR blog! Thanks so much for stopping by It’s Just Life and sharing our common bond. I am beyond amazed when things like this happen and know that it is a very special part of the blogger world . Been clicking around on your blog a bit and love all that you have to share so officially put it in my Bloglovin’ feed to keep up with. If you are ever in NC again you definitely need to let me know so I can be a tour guide. 🙂 Enjoy your time in Lima.

    2. I headed over to Beth Ann’s blog post and the first post I read was her Comment for a Cause. This month is for Camp Robin Rogers. I am currently staying very close to the camp (my mom lives in the vicinity) and my cousin, Gary, has attended the camp for many years. It’s a small world (or blogosphere). I love how she has honored Carlton. Thank you for the recommendation.

  2. Love the pictures with the reflection on the water and the one of you and Mike is precious. Thanks for sharing this fun place.

  3. We’ve been to mt. Airy in September when they have “Mayberry Days”. It’s a celebration of the Andy Griffith show. There is all kinds of things going on during this time. They have people dressed in costume as the characters from the show, there’s a parade, all kinds of food, activities, and they even give car rides in the sheriffs car from Mayberry. I can’t remember how many days exactly it runs but it’s quite a few. We enjoyed the parade, and we got to see Charlene darling sing 😁. Oh yes, Barneys girlfriend Thelma Lou still comes to the museum and signs autographs. It’s a pretty neat event if you like the old show, brings back a lot of memories 😁 Kathy

  4. I love NC. It is such a beautiful place. Great video. What kind of camera and editing program did he use to create the video? And the drone shots were great too. Supposedly my iPhone is able to do that, but I can never get it transferred so I’m obviously missing something.

    1. Thanks for watching the video. Mike uses his iPhone and a GoPro 7 (and other earlier GoPro cameras collected over the years) with a gimbal and the GoPro drone. He video edits in iMovie. When he uses the iPhone, it takes great video and automatically downloads (through the cloud) to his laptop. The GoPro is all on a memory card which gets downloaded. I hope that answered your questions. He’s learned a lot by trial and error over the years and there’s a lot more to learn, of course.

      1. Yes, thank you. I have an HP desk and laptop, so I guess I need to get hooked up with I everything to integrate the two. It was a great video and I enjoyed it. I hope one day I can put something together that looks that great.

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