Camping North Carolina  by Melissa Watson

Camping North Carolina Guide Book

by Melissa Watson (Falcon Guides)
Camping North Carolina  by Melissa Watson
Camping North Carolina provides useful information about public campgrounds in the state of North Carolina. Within each of the campground listings is vital information on location, road conditions, fees, reservations, dates of operation, available facilities, and recreational activities. You will also find many fun and exciting things to do in the surrounding areas of each campground, from hang gliding on the Outer Banks to zip lining in the mountains, watching the wild mustangs run on the beach, or simply sitting by a waterfall. Also included is helpful information about camping basics and etiquette, camping with children, and the state's diverse and abundant wildlife. Pack up the tent, load the RV, and hit the road. With this guide in hand, North Carolina is yours to explore.

© 2013 Melissa Watson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Camping North Carolina" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 144.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 144.

Alleghany Fairgrounds is not a traditional campground. Although camping is open to the public, the facility was designed for larger events, such as the Alleghany County Fiddler’s Convention. There are twenty-one campsites lined up in a row, each with its own dedicated electric and water hookups. There’s a wooded hilltop that can accommodate up to seven tent campsites, but the sites are not marked out. There are no picnic tables or fire rings. The other one hundred “campsites” are located in a large open field and are also not marked out. As you approach the field, you will see that the county has provided six power/water stations. Each of these stations has multiple hookups and can supply water and electric to several RVs.
Sparta, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
This tiny, remote campground has just four campsites, each surrounded by the forest, giving you lots and lots of privacy. Although you are only a few miles from the town of Highlands, it feels as though you are deep within the forest and isolated from civilization. The fact that there are no RVs allowed may contribute to the rustic ambience as you pitch your tent and enjoy the sounds of the wilderness around you.
Highlands, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Although Appletree is a bit off the beaten path, the surrounding Nantahala National Forest has trails galore. Whether your group likes to hike, mountain bike, or ride on horseback, you are sure to find a place to do it here. The icing on the cake: The Nantahala River passes nearby, so there is ample opportunity for whitewater rafting as well. Advance reservations are required.
Andrews, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Its location, less than 1 mile from the Cove Boat Ramp, makes Arrowhead a great place to appreciate Badin Lake from the water, whether you want to swim, fish, water-ski, or just tool around in your boat. Unfortunately, although it appears to be right on the water, Arrowhead has no waterfront campsites. What Arrowhead does have is electricity. So if you’re in an RV, this may be a great option for you. With paved campsites rather than gravel and many pull-through sites, it affords easy RV access. That’s not to say Arrowhead isn’t suitable for tent campers. Actually the campground is nicely wooded, and many of the sites offer quite a bit of privacy.
Troy, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Depending on which map you use, it may look as though FR 516 ends well before the campground. Actually a very well-maintained, smooth gravel road leads all the way to the Art Lilley Campground. While there are a few ruts here and there, the road is suitable for cars with or without four-wheel drive. There’s no fee to camp at Art Lilley, but you must obtain an OHV pass prior to heading off-road on any motorized vehicle. Passes can be obtained at the ranger station or at self-pay stations at some but not all of the trailheads. There is a nominal fee to obtain a pass (good for one day); seasonal passes are also available.
Troy, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
This little hidden gem sits at the northeastern corner of the Uwharrie National Forest and along the banks of Badin Lake. This is a great location for those wanting to enjoy the lake by boat. Many of the campsites are right along the edge of the lake, so you can literally pull your boat right up to your campsite, wake up in the morning, hop in the boat, and head out to play, fish, swim, and explore. It’s a mixed bag at Badin Lake Campground. Some of the sites are right on top of one another; others area tucked away, offering lots of privacy. The King’s Mountain Point day-use area is less than 1 mile away and has a picnic area, a swim beach, fishing piers, and an open field atop Kings “Mountain” where you can toss a Frisbee or football or get a game of kickball together. Miles of hiking, mountain bike, bridle, and OHV trails run throughout the Uwharrie National Forest. You can easily access them all from the Badin Lake Family Campground and the Badin Lake Group Camp.
Troy, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Badin Lake Horse Camp is the polar opposite of Canebrake Horse Camp. In essence, this horse “camp” is simply an open field, and the field is not on level ground. There are posts galore, lined up on one end of the field, for you to tie your horse up to. The upside of Badin Horse Camp is that there is a small trail leading from the campground to a horse watering hole along West Branch Creek. Another plus is that it is free. So if you are looking for a horse camp within easy access of the miles and miles of bridle trails within Uwharrie National Forest and are on a strict budget, this may be the place for you.
Troy, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Only a handful of primitive campsites are found off FR 74. This is an extremely remote portion of the Pisgah National Forest, so be sure to have all your provisions, including drinking water, before you head out. Aside from the nearby Corner Rock Picnic Area, I highly recommend a visit to Douglas Falls. As you stand beneath the mammoth rock overhang, the cool mist of the falls refreshes both your body and spirit. But remember not to bathe in any of the creeks unless you are using biodegradable soap. In addition to a few short hiking trails, you will find several bridle trails running through this small section of the Great Craggy Mountains.
Barnardsville, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Black Mountain Campground is simply wonderful. The sites are well spaced out, and some of them are right alongside the South Toe River. One of the campground loops has a large open field where you could easily play a game of kickball, toss a Frisbee, or play some volleyball, whatever your fancy. There are hiking trails galore, whether you take a short stroll from your campsite to visit Setrock Creek Falls or, if you’re looking for a challenge, hike the Mount Mitchell Trail. This strenuous 5.5-mile trail leads from the campground all the way to Mount Mitchell’s summit.
Busick, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
The campground has a few loops, each with an open grassy field in the middle. The campsites line the inner and outer edges of the loops, and the sites on the outer edge tend to offer more privacy than those inside the loop. If you prefer tent camping, you get a nice perk here. One of the loops is dedicated to tent camping only. There’s a picnic area just across the Parkway, and a great hiking trail leads from the campground to the base of picturesque Crabtree Falls. The crabapple tree (Malus sylvestris), or “wild crab tree,” once flourished in this area. This loop trail is home to more than forty species of wildflowers, making it an ideal place to hike during spring and summer.
Little Switzerland, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Doughton Park has several loops, depending on what you’re camping in. The RV loop is small and quite peaceful. If you’re in a tent and want more privacy, there is a tent-only area that requires a short 100-foot walk to you campsite. The campground is great for families, with a large community campfire, an amphitheater, and large open grassy fields that are great for tossing a Frisbee or kicking a ball around. As always, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a perfect place to take a scenic drive, and this area of the Parkway is well known for its wildlife viewing.
Sparta, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
As the Blue Ridge Parkway’s largest campground, this place is huge! They have a lovely lake, boat rentals, lots of hiking trails, an amphitheatre, and a large picnic area. There are loops for each camping category, whether you are in an RV, a travel trailer, or a tent. The RV loop sits right on Price Lake, giving you some lovely waterfront camping. The travel trailer loops are wooded and surprisingly well spaced. If you have the chance to stay here during the week, you are in for a real treat. On the weekends you will be sharing it with the masses.
Blowing Rock, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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The campground comprises two loops, keeping it small in comparison to some of the other campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A wide-open grassy field sits in the middle of each loop, and as you would expect, the sites on the inside of the loop tend to have less privacy. The campsites are very well groomed, and scattered about is the occasional private campsite. A short jaunt down the road, you will find the Linville Falls Visitor Center. From here you can take the small easy loop trail to Duggers Creek Falls, hike one of the trails to view the powerful and very popular Linville Falls, or spend an entire day exploring deeper into the Linville Gorge Wilderness. Be prepared: The self-pay station at the entrance to the campground requires exact change.
Linville Falls, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
A room with a view. As you travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway, that’s exactly what you get—jaw dropping view after view. And when you arrive at the Mount Pisgah Campground, at nearly 5,000 feet of elevation, the awesome views continue. The campsites are well spaced, well groomed, and private. Two loops are designated for tents only, one for pop-ups and vans, and yet another for RVs and trailers. The National Park Service has left just the right amount of brush to keep the sites separated and private. Across the Parkway are a camp store, a gift shop, and a restaurant with amazing views of the valley below.
Canton, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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The Blue Valley Experimental Forest contains approximately 1,400 acres of primarily white pine trees with hardwoods mixed in. Miles of hiking trails with breathtaking long-range views await as you explore the depths of this “road less traveled.” Several waterfalls can be found within this area, and the Glen Falls Trail leads you to three of them—talk about a bang for your buck. Be sure to carry a map and compass or a great guidebook, such as Hiking Waterfalls in North Carolina (FalconGuides, 2011), before going too far off the beaten path.
Highlands, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Isolated—in a word, Bob Allison Campground is just that. This is as rustic as it gets. There is no restroom, not even a vault toilet, so come prepared; and remember that cat holes must be dug at least 200 feet from any water source. There are a few primitive fire rings and picnic tables scattered about the “campground,” but no designated sites. CAUTION: The small loop “road” that heads through the campground is very rocky. It is imperative that you have a high-clearance vehicle to enter the campground, or you will probably end up doing some serious damage to your car. Not recommended for RVs.
Hayesville, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Well off the beaten path, this quaint, primitive campground doesn’t see much traffic. With its picnic area and a fishing pond, this is a nice place to unwind, read a book, and simply lay low. There are a handful of mountain biking and hiking trails not too far away. Or if you prefer off-road vehicles, the Brown Mountain OHV trail system is near enough. Be sure to bring single dollar bills with you, because the self-pay station at the entrance to the campground requires exact change.
Lenoir, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
For a small county park, Boone’s Cave has quite a bit to offer any nature enthusiast. The park, and the cave for which it was named, rest alongside the banks of the Yadkin River. Fishing is permitted, but you must obtain a North Carolina state fishing license before you break out the bait. Five miles of hiking trails run through the park, and the Cottonwood Trail leads to the largest cottonwood tree on record within the state of North Carolina. With a 16-foot diameter, it’s quite a sight to see. You may also want to bring your binoculars along—the park is home to tons of migratory birds and more than eighty species of butterflies.
Lexington, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Briar Bottom Group Camp is located within the Black Mountain Campground. You have to cross a small creek to enter the campground, so you may want to warn those in your group to bring high-clearance vehicles. Each site has a fire ring and a large picnic shelter. A large open field in the middle of the campground is great for group activities and games. If you want to take the kids off into the forest, there are miles of hiking trails within easy reach of the campground. As a matter of fact, you can take a short 0.25-mile stroll to Setrock Creek Falls without ever leaving the property. This campground offers 6 group campsites, with a maximum of 50 people per site (reservations required).
Busick, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Although there are only six sites, they are well groomed, well maintained, and big enough for large RVs or a horse trailer. The campground has a community fire pit with benches around it. The sites sit all in a row, so don’t expect much privacy during your stay. The Fires Creek Recreation Area that surrounds Bristol Fields contains miles of hiking trails, bridle trails, and fantastic fishing. There’s a large open field at the end of the campground, so bring a Frisbee or a football to toss around on your downtime.
Hayesville, NC - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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