September 7, 2023
Planning a camping trip to North Carolina? Known for it’s stunning mountains, gorgeous beaches, enchanting forests, and awesome outdoor recreation, this state should be a must-see on your bucket list. From striking mountain views to magical waterfalls, here are 6 beautiful places you don’t want to miss while camping in North Carolina.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This iconic road boasts breathtaking scenery and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The headquarters for the Blue Ridge Parkway is in Asheville, but this well-known route travels all the way from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Must-see stops include Cumberland Knob, Craggy Gardens, and Mount Pisgah, as well as a number of beautiful, historic North Carolina towns.
Where to Camp: Bittersweet Cottage & Suite, Asheville, NC
Pisgah National Forest
This 500,000-acre forest boasts towering mountain peaks, beautiful hardwood trees, spectacular waterfalls, rushing rivers, and miles upon miles of trails. Because this recreation area is massive, it’s broken down into three Ranger Districts; Grandfather, Appalachian, and Pisgah. If you’re craving outdoor recreation, you will find opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, horseback riding, OHV adventures, and a myriad of other activities within the Pisgah National Forest.
Where to Camp: Black Beary Cabin, Hendersonville, NC
The Road to Nowhere
The Road to Nowhere is a scenic road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that literally leads to nowhere. Lakeview Drive was created to provide access to places of special importance for the displaced residents of communities within what is now national park land. Unfortunately, construction was stopped due to environmental issues, and the road was never completed. The road travels about 6 miles into the park and ends at a tunnel. It has been deemed “The Road to Nowhere.”
Where to Camp: Ft. Wilderness Campground, Whittier, NC
Chimney Rock State Park
If you’re looking for dramatic mountain views and epic hiking trails, Chimney Rock State Park should be on your list. The jewel of the park is the hike to the top of the iconic Chimney Rock. This 315-foot granite lookout offers incredible panoramic views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are six hikes total in the park and several excellent climbs, including Rumbling Bald Climbing Access which is known for its world-class technical and bouldering rock climbing.
Where to Camp: Rooster Ridge Cabin, Hendersonville, NC
Located inside of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome sits at a staggering 6,634 feet above sea level. Visitors who tackle the half-mile walk to the observation tower will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Smokies, and on clear days, you can see for more than 100 miles. The weather at the dome is often chilly and cloudy so be sure to dress warmly, even during the summer months. If you’re not up for the climb, the road to Clingmans Dome offers some great scenic pullouts where you can capture the awesome views.
Where to Camp: Timber Hollow, Clyde, NC
If you’re a waterfall lover, you don’t want to miss out on the enchanting Linville Falls. The waterfall drops a total of 90 feet into the beautiful 12-mile Linville Gorge, and the surrounding forest is beautiful, especially during the fall. Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, this amazing multi-tiered waterfall is fairly easy to access. Two main trails will lead you to stunning views, and if you want to get up close and personal with the waterfall, you can take a short but challenging trek down to the base.
Where to Camp: Buck Hill Campground, Newland, NC