Camping near Marion

Navigate North Carolina’s forests, lakes, and mountains in one day when camping near Marion.

96% (9997 reviews)
96% (9997 reviews)

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12 top campgrounds near Marion

95%
(319)

The Baying Hound Campground

7 sites · Tents3 acres · Asheville, NC
THE CAMPGROUND The Baying Hound Campground is where rural Appalachia meets “keep Asheville weird.” You’ll see sleeping pods decorated by professional artists, structures made from upcycled building materials and permaculture experiments in the making. We’ve been described as “if a European hostel and an Appalachian campground had a baby.” Not quite glamping and definitely not KOA, we're happy to offer you a more social alternative to cookie-cutter lodging without breaking the bank. *Van-lifers, truck-top-tenters and other vehicle dwellers* Y'all are welcome to book this spot! Note that the parking area is SEPARATE from the site pictured and you can NOT drive down to the site. You'll be sleeping in the parking area and still have access to all our facilities. SHARED CAMPGROUND AMENITIES: - Indoor bathroom and sinks with hot and cold running water - Indoor hangout area with couch, books and outlets - Charging station for your phones and tablets behind our graffiti’d garage - A re-imagined, yet decidedly old-school pit latrine - Outdoor sink with cold running water (seasonal = April-October) - Outdoor shower with solar-heated water* Mother Nature can be a little stingy with the sun, so unfortunately we can not guarantee that this will provide warm water. If nothing else, it'll be refreshingly brisk. :) (seasonal = April-October, CLOSED Nov-March) - Community fire pit with wood for sale for $5 a packet - Community charcoal grill (be sure to bring your own charcoal) + picnic table - Omoplata Overlook hangout area with deck furniture, table, hammock and solar lights - Multiple picnic tables where you can hang out & eat - Wi-Fi zone with varying quality of internet (but you’re camping, so you should enjoy the outdoors and company of your friends :)) - Nearby Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym! Ask us more if you’re interested. - Curiosity Trail :) *FAQ: Is this a good spot to bring my kiddos? Our campground is not equipped to handle the magical, whirlwind force that children release unto the world. There's a lot of breakable stuff, tempting treehouses (that might be occupied by other guests!), sites that are within earshot of each other, and hazards that aren't a good fit for kids. THE NEIGHBORHOOD The campground is located in the "Emma" area of Asheville. Also known as "Wild Wild West Asheville" (to distinguish it from regular West Asheville which is about 5 minutes' drive away), this is the last bastion of non-gentrified Asheville. Emma is completely un-zoned, so you get an interesting mixture of mostly residential and agricultural properties that scatter the area. The campground itself is tucked away in a 2-acre wooded valley. We're about 10-15 minutes' drive away from downtown Asheville and a $12-$15 Uber ride. Unfortunately, public transportation is not very accessible from the campground. WHAT'S NEARBY? - There are approximately a bajillion breweries in Asheville, many of which are within 5-15 minutes away. - Downtown Asheville (~10-15 minutes), West Asheville (~5-10 minutes) and the River Arts District (~5 minutes) are full of city life fun - amazing restaurants, live music, shopping, art galleries and did we mention breweries? -So much hiking! Choose your own adventure - waterfalls, mountain-top views, fog-drenched valleys, rambling rivers. There are some trails about 20 minutes away, but to get to the good stuff, you'll drive 40-90+ minutes. - White water rafting ~60-90 minutes away - Tubing down the French Broad River is the ultimate way to chill out in the sun. French Broad Outfitters, Zen Tubing and Lazy Otter are some companies that can take care of all the details for you. These are all 10-20 minutes away. OUR HISTORY We discovered this property in 2017, and quite by chance! We had finished working a seasonal job in Colorado and were on our way out to the coast to look into starting our own business. We happened to come through Asheville and casually stumbled across this property. Long-story-short, we put in a bid on the property. It was accepted, and now we have a real fixer-upper on our hands! Here's some history on the property as reported by the previous owners: The road you park on was the old county road, a long, long time ago. The couple who sold us the property is elderly, and the blue house you pass on the left on the way to park was where the wife grew up. In fact, that enormous pine tree on your right as you come up the road was the old lady's Christmas tree as a child. The jiu-jitsu gym used to be an auction house. Then it was used as a dance hall. Then it became a cabinet-making space and finally a timber frame-making space. Over the past year we've converted it into a jiu-jitsu gym, although you can still see plenty of "upcycled" remnants of previous uses, all around the gym. The campground area itself was slated to be turned into a trailer park. You can tell that the area was partially graded at one point or another. Thanks to that initiative, we have some convenient paths all around! They decided not to follow through on setting up trailer pads since it was more money than they had bargained for. After that, the space was used as a black-market dump! Luckily the city shut it down, and after two spring seasons of cleaning up back there, we're left with what you see! We're going to continue to pour our hearts, souls, creativity and probably more than just a little money into making "The Baying Hound Campground" a fun place to crash for a couple days while taking in all that is Asheville. Thanks for reading!
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99%
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Starlight Hills

17 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents40 acres · Bostic, NC
Our Spa is now available for booking! We are a constantly evolving location. Our goal is to provide a genuine secluded camping experience immersed in nature in a mountainous forest with privacy and well spaced out, secluded camp sites. We also have minimal light pollution, so our skies are beautiful for viewing the stars. We offer trails through natural wooded habitat with hidden gems of nature. Wildlife viewing throughout. There are feed locations to increase viewing opportunities. A creek on the property is lovely for walking. Centered between Charlotte and Asheville we are within your reach! We offer primitive tent camping, Glamping Tents and a Cabin. Glamping and cabin have a private Mountain View, fire pit area, Queen bed, Night Stand (built in phone charger), Desk area, interior and exterior lighting, heater and fan (powered by solar system). As a part of Starlight Hills Campground you have access to filtered drinking water, common overlook (w/ BBQ pits & picnic tables), trails, bathroom and showers. Welcome to bring all your furry family members ❤️. Please Note: 2 Wheel Dr. vehicles can access all of our sites. Gravel/ Dirt road up hill.
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$36
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97%
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Mountain Paradise

7 sites · RVs, Tents27 acres · Marshall, NC
Enjoy a campsite to yourself on top of a mountain with beautiful mountain and sunset views. Situated near the charming and historic town of Marshall, nearby Hot Springs, Mars Hill and Asheville, you'll have access to a variety of delightful experiences. Despite being close to these attractions, our location is tucked away at the end of a dead-end, low-traffic road. With easy access off the paved road. You’ll have the camp area to yourself although there are some other homes in the neighborhood around our land. Tag us and follow our Instagram @mountainparadisecampground Outdoor enthusiasts will be thrilled with the proximity to the Pisgah National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, and numerous other beautiful hiking trails, recreational activities, and tourism opportunities.
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98%
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Above the Fray Glamping, Black Mtn.

6 sites · Lodging11 acres · Black Mountain, NC
The views are hypnotic and look down and out over the continental divide. Good morning sun and sunsets can be seen in the same spot. Your car is parked within feet of your deck so Car Campers and experienced campers can enjoy. Designed with campers and dogs in mind. The deck is large (384 square feet) with a tin roof. Some roofs are full size, some 2/3rds and some 1/3rd, depending on what one wants for tent size or sun exposure. (See pictures of each site/deck) Each deck has sun and rain curtains for helping keep comfortable in normal weather. Dogs enjoy a two gate system so quests and dogs can be leash free and away from the road. All dog owners know to pick up after their pets. The human Private Porta John is cleaned weekly. Lights and electrical is 110V (3 prongs) for YOUR coffee pots, electric grills, mattress inflators, crockpots, electric blankets fans, etc. I do not provide any electrical appliances, other than counter area lighting and low level string lights so one can see the night sky. Many of my campers will "Pay it Forward" and leave coffee pots, hot plates, fans and such, so count yourself lucky to find a deck with them. I provide chairs, 5 gallons of fresh water in containers, fickle solar shower and pop up changing room along with an assortment of camping supplies from dog bowls to antimicrobial wipes. I provide various size garbage bags to manage your garbage. Your parking area is next to the deck. Black Mountain’s tasty restaurants are 4 miles away and All Trails is a great app for finding trails suited for your interest. Be respectful to the place and please be friendly to the people you meet. Learn more about this land: Private Glamping Decks with a view that pictures do not do justice. Private decks on a dead-end gravel road mean hopefully the sounds will only be of nature. The conveniences of electricity, porta john, water, chairs, table, roof, cleaning supplies, rain curtains, and astounding views have my Glampers coming back often. Designed with Dogs in mind with a two-gate system and no need for a leash when on the deck. Obnoxious, barking dogs are not welcome, so bring only controlled and well socialized dogs. Help me keep it dog friendly. Never block the road with a park car.
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$75
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99%
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TangleWood Creekside Campsites

21 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents170 acres · Marion, NC
A rocky creek winds through the woods at the base of several hikable peaks hidden just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to explore, on foot or mountain-bike, anywhere within our 170 acres (or the adjoining 250 acres owned by the US Forestry Service off our Western border) and are likely to catch glimpses of turkey, beaver, deer, fox, eastern box turtle and the many species of songbird and raptor. The location is convenient to tons of local attractions for sightseeing and outdoor activities as well as shopping, dining, even wine tasting. We would be happy to supply a comprehensive list of the various local attractions upon request but the following are a few of our favorite things to do within a short drive: visit Linville Falls, Caverns, Gorge and/or Winery; drive the Blue Ridge parkway; tube/kayak down the Catawba river; hike beautiful Crabtree Falls; cross Grandfather Mountains mile high bridge and explore the nearby towns of Spruce Pines or Little Switzerland. The scenic drives to Asheville, Blowing Rock or Banner Elk make them each wonderful day-trip destinations.
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$40
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Tellurian Family Campground

7 sites · RVs, Tents93 acres · Casar, NC
For more information, visit our website at www.telluriancampground.com Tellurian Family Campground offers conveniently located spacious travel trailer, camper, RV and tent camp sites with incredible views and access to a pristine mountain river. The property consists of 93 acres and 2780 feet (1⁄2 mile) of river frontage on the First Broad River. The First Broad River offers canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and fishing. Smallmouth and freshwater sunfishing is incredible on this stretch of the river and there are also opportunities for mountain river catfish. Tellurian’s scenic location offers stunning vista views of the surrounding countryside, sprawling views of the South Mountain and Cherry Mountain ranges, as well as long range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sunsets are amazing and the star lit skies are uninhibited by city lights. One of the few lights that can be seen at night lights up a steeple silhouetted against the mountain ridges. It’s truly a peaceful site. Tellurian is centrally located between Charlotte NC, Asheville NC, and Spartanburg SC in the small town of Casar, NC. We are located in a rural setting in the foothills on the edge of the South Mountains Range, a branch of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thank you for checking out our place! We are Jud and Amanda Wortman. We have three children – Emma Grace and Baxter (twins) and Elena Jo. As a family, we enjoy canoeing, kayaking and camping. We live 9 miles from Tellurian on a family farm. We have always enjoyed quiet secluded campsites, river floats and sitting by the river. After years of looking all over the mountains for a river property we could call our own, our favorite spot on the river came up for sale. It just so happened it was nearly halfway between where we both grew up. After many sleepless nights worrying if we could succeed or not (it was much larger than properties we had been looking for), we bought it! Our favorite spot on the river was virtually inaccessible by any way other than floating. But after hundreds of hours of hard work, we think we have developed a place where others too can enjoy the things we do about the property. We dream big and Tellurian remains a work in progress, but we feel we have created a place where folks can enjoy the peacefulness of nature, the river and incredible views. Naming our campground proved to be one of the most challenging tasks throughout the process of developing it. After many ideas and brainstorming sessions as a family, we decided to go with Tellurian. We know it’s a bit different; that’s what we like about it. We think our place stands out and, after visiting Tellurian, we think you’ll agree it does too. Tellurian Family Campground tel·lu·ri·an [təˈlo͝orēən] ADJECTIVE: of or inhabiting the earth. NOUN: an inhabitant of the earth.
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$55
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Riverside Camping on the Farm

11 sites · RVs, Tents50 acres · Mills River, NC
Sleep under the stars while listening to the river run while staying on a working farm! During the summer months watch our vegetables grow and the pickers pick! The winter months you'll enjoy a sea of green as our cover crop takes over the field. You can cool off in the river or check out the surrounding Pisgah National Forest. Dogs on leashes are welcome and owner is responsible for cleaning up after pet. The farm provides a portable toilet but no other amenities. Campfires may be restricted, so check local regulations. This is a working farm, so please be respectful of the crops and workers and keep dogs on leashes. Fishing is NOT allowed on the river unless you have booked a trip with one of our guides. Please note, if it’s rainy the roads will be muddy and 4-wheel-drive vehicles are the best option. Head 4 miles east to the town of Mills River for restaurants, stores, and services. You can find hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails within a short bike or car ride in Pisgah National Forest. Chimney Rock State Park is 25 miles east and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountain scenery. Or perhaps go for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our guests love staying here: "This was our first time using Hipcamp and we couldn’t have been happier! Candace was great at communicating and quick to respond to our questions. Site 1 was perfect. We had so much room for just the two of us and the water access was great for our dogs to swim. Plus it was so quiet, we’ll probably never go back at state park camping! Thanks for everything and look forward to visiting again!"
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$43
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Blue Ridge Ranch

21 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents440 acres · Ferguson, NC
Blue Ridge Ranch, established in December of 2020, is located on 440 acres nestled between two mountain ridges in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The property features an established pasture, mountain ridges, barns, and a homestead. In addition, the ranch is home to five ponds (some stocked and one trophy), more than a mile of trout streams, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Together, they provide the perfect foundation for the establishment of farming, livestock, camping, and community events. All profits of Blue Ridge Ranch go to Hope for His Children, Inc., a 501(c)(3) that conducts youth camps at the ranch. Tours of the ranch are available for $10/person (to offset fuel expense) and includes interaction with some farm animals. We pride ourselves in doing everything possible to help our guests have a great experience. We offer coffee during morning hours in our farm store! We are sorry, but we are not able to allow guests to bring ATV's and motorcycles to operate on the property. There are many acres of hay that we must protect and our agritourism insurer does not allow guests to operate ATV's and motorcycles on property.
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$15
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99%
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Dark Ridge Hide Out (Adults Only)

16 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents20 acres · Elk Park, NC
"Adults only" doesn't mean anything other than just "no children", so as to preserve the natural peace and quiet, and assurance that there won't be loud and unruly children on the property. Inquiries and booking requests received after 9: pm may not be answered until the next morning. Dark Ridge Hide Out, is a 20 acre parcel in the Blue Ridge Mountain's on the back side of the Beech Mt Ski Resort in a secluded quiet and safe community with less than a dozen homes in a one mile radius. Away from light and sound pollution. Except for an occasional passing vehicle "and often none at all from 10pm to 6am" all you will hear is the sound of the creek which runs through the lower section by the RV sites, cricket's and frogs at the nearby fish pond and only the light from the moon and star's in the clear mountain sky and fire flies. It is my home place with a tobacco barn and a big combination cattle/tobacco barn built almost entirely just by my Mom and Dad in early 1940"s. My parents and grand parents lived off of the land here and raised cash crops like cabbage, corn and tobacco, we also raised sugar cane and made molasses, we had free range chickens, as many as 50 honey bee hives and over 50 head of cattle, two or three hog's and of course a horse. There was four main fields; two for cow pasture, one meadow to grow hay "now Christmas trees" and the main one on my part where all crops were grown is where the camp sites are. I grew up helping with the crops and other farm chores, one was to go to the pasture and bring the milk cows in and do the milking every day before and after school, feed the hogs and chickens, gather the egg's, let the chickens out in the morning and close the chicken house in the evening to protect them from critters like opossums, raccoons and wildcats. This is where I grew up, my dad grew up and, near where my mother and both of my grandparents grew up. My house was built in 1905 the same year my dad was born. The campsites are on my 20 acre section section of the original 82 acres with the house and barns, the remainder went to my brother but now is out of the family. The section of Elk River with the Compression Falls "45 ft high" and Twisting Falls which is part of Pisgah National Forest is less than two miles from here, and an old logging road going around the mountain above the river for about three miles to another Falls "Elk River Falls, 65 ft high" is a great place to hike or mountain bike. You will be free to explore and hike any part of my property except the house and out building's. The pond's are full of Trout and Blue Gill fish that are like pet's they love little pieces of bread. You can feed the fish but no fishing.
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$25
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97%
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Jake's Farm

5 sites · Lodging, Tents11 acres · Candler, NC
Jake's Farm is an 11 acre organic farm producing vegetables, small fruits, medicinal herbs and tea ingredients. We began our venture in 1997 and added campsites and treehouses in 1995. The farm is conveniently located 8 miles from West Asheville, 11 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and 15 miles from Asheville Regional Airport.
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$33
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Campgrounds at Little Switzerland

13 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents7 acres · Spruce Pine, NC
Welcome to the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina! At approximately 3,455 feet elevation we enjoy mountain breezes all summer long, especially in the evening! We have a total of 12 tent sites available with a fire pit at almost every site. The Raised bed style flat tent sites divert water during rain storms so there is no water or mud flowing into your tents. PLEASE DO NOT ‘photo book’! We ask guests to please read through the details BEFORE booking a site and do not book by photos alone. For example: not all tent sites are park at sites. Some of our more secluded sites in the woods are far from bathrooms etc. PLEASE Do your research!!! Sites near the winery/bathrooms are not secluded and you can see/hear ‘people’. The ‘wildlife’ sites require parking in guest parking lot and a 5 minute walk. During the summer months we often have free range chicken eggs and organic produce and herbs available for our campers. We are next to our own winery/cidery that features home brew wines and beer. We also offer coffee and sodas. Firewood for sale. You may bring your own firewood as long as it’s not from out of state. Note: beginning summer of 2025 we will be phasing into an ‘adult only’ campground with an age 16 or older requirement for camping. We are still honoring ‘family’ bookings for this year. We have a few primitive sites in our woods for those who love more seclusion and places to hang hammocks. Again, PLEASE read through all the descriptions of each particular site to make certain you choose the right fit for your camping needs. Do not book by ‘photos’ alone! We cannot stress this enough and it has been problematic to many hipcamp hosts. We offer Hiking/jogging trails at the campground with more trails on the nearby blue ridge parkway. We are just around the corner from the famous Emerald Village Mines and only a 5 minute drive to downtown Little Switzerland. We are also only a 5 minutes drive to the famous Diamondback scenic mountain road. Approximately 20 minutes drive to Crabtree Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Many weekends we have live music from local musicians. Our cantina next door at 539 blue ridge gem mine road is now open for the season and serving home brew beers and small batch ciders for ages 21 and older. Photo ID required. Sodas available for purchase as well. We now have a well lit covered porch area and club house with free WiFi and available 24 hours to our campers. Note: absolutely no outside alcohol or underage alcohol consumption permitted on premises. Anyone not in compliance with North Carolina state laws and federal laws will be evicted from campgrounds without refunds. If the campgrounds happen to be under a burn ban please understand that we can’t and will not break the law for you! All campers must obey the burn ban if in effect or face possible penalties under state law! This is for your own safety as well. Anything sold by us may be legally consumed at your campsite and is covered under our permit. The Latest check in permitted is 11:30 pm at night out of courtesy to our neighbors and other campers. Camp host can’t go to bed until all campers are checked in so no late night arrivals please! Thank you for your understanding. Adult horseback trail rides are available at nearby Springmaid Mountain Retreat. Maps provided to Springmaid Mountain. All minors must have ADULT supervision at all times (older siblings do not qualify as adult supervision). With farm animals and 140 acres of woods next door with three ponds can be a dangerous situation for young, unsupervised children. If we are babysitting your children to keep them out of danger or from damaging our property you’ll be asked to leave the campgrounds with no refunds. We’ve had huge problems with this and it’s a big liability as well as a potential tragedy! We want everyone to be safe. Up to 2 dogs are allowed per campsite. Dogs Must remain on leash at all times and have proof of up to date rabies vaccination. A rabies tag or photo of certificate is fine. We have chickens and horses on our mini farm. So please keep dogs under control at all times. Also, please do not feed our chickens, horses or any of the wildlife on our property. As a working farm we have fresh eggs and seasonal organic raised produce all summer available to our campers. Campfires are permitted at the fire pits unless there is a burn ban. Some Firewood is provided for a small )10.00 fee per bundle. It is the responsibility of our campers to check the weather conditions, noting any burn bans for the area or rain etc, looking at all the rules and property details, before booking is the campers responsibility. Please do not blame the host! We have a very forgiving cancellation policy of 24 hours. HipCamp now offers rainy day insurance. Watch for our special events like ghost story campfire tales/walk with local guest authors, yoga, herbal remedies classes, trail treasure hunts with prizes, mushroom identification classes etc. Our next campfire ghost stories event is September 15th and 16th 2024. Additional parking is available for added cars in the guest parking lot area if campers have no more room at their campsite for visitors or extra cars. We have a hot/cold shower and modern style flush toilets available in large cargo container. We also now have WiFi in the Cantina area and some of the closer tent sites. Our clubhouse stays open 24/7 with a microwave available, games, television and comfortable seating areas. Note: One quarter mile of gravel drive is steep but I drive my two wheel drive car up and down it every day. However, if you have a vehicle that chugs and struggles up hills (older RV etc) you may find it a challenge. We are working on getting that section paved to help out the older RVs and buses. Note: The gray building and pond area is NOT our property. Please be respectful of our neighbors and the family that lives there. Do not wander around our neighbors pond /barn area. Thank you! All campers are expected to read and follow the HipCamp guidelines. This is not just a ‘business’, it is also a family home that we are graciously sharing with you for a small fee so we expect campers to respectful of our land, our neighbors and your fellow campers. Anyone who can’t show some integrity, maturity and be responsible and respectful of this will be asked to leave and/or permanently banned from both the winery and our campgrounds. We are pretty mellow, yet take bad behavior and disrespect for others very seriously. Unsupervised has been a huge problem lately and we simply won’t tolerate very young children wandering the woods, running across other folks campsites, deliberately damaging our property etc. It is up to the parents to fully supervise their children and keep them safe! Caught without a last minute hotel room and rather not park your family in Walmart lot? We offer car camping in our parking lot for $15.00 a night. You’ll have access to bathrooms and a hot shower! We also have tents, sleeping bags and camping mats for rent. This is our second year open and there have been many wonderful improvements! ❤️
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Booked 1 time

Mandala Springs

19 sites · Lodging, Tents67 acres · Barnardsville, NC
We welcome you to Mandala Springs, a magical healing oasis just 25-30 minutes from Downtown Asheville, where you can take your time, breathe in the mountain air, relax to the soothing sound of a spring-fed stream, explore a plethora of hiking trails on the 67-acre property that lead into the Pisgah National Forest, and reconnect with yourself and loved ones in nature. Our pristine land offers a vibrant natural habitat situated in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. This perfect, Earthy paradise is ideal for couples seeking an intimate getaway, families longing to share nature’s playground with their children, adventurers eager to hike and climb, and individuals craving the solitude and stillness of a mountain retreat. While you’re here, you can enjoy endless, living spring water that flows freely on the land, a swimming hole to revitalize your senses, massive boulders in the forest to play on, and decadent organic chocolate made in our chocolate factory at a discounted price. We also welcome you to book a sauna session during your stay for a deep, cleansing experience. For the full effect, alternate between the sauna and cold plunges in the stream—you’ll likely leave feeling like a new human. Additional healing services such as massage and body work are available upon request.
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Camping near Marion guide

Overview

Resting at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Marion blends small-town comfort with big-time nature. Close proximity to Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest make the town a popular basecamp year-round. Take a day trip less than thirty minutes from Marion to Lake James State Park. It has over 150 miles of shoreline with beaches, boat ramps, Blue Ridge Mountain views, and lakefront tent and paddle-in campsites. Or stay in town and camp in a cabin rental at Pisgah National Forest, which provides half a million acres of scenic outlooks, tree-covered trails, and iconic waterfalls. East of Marion, South Mountains State Park has RV campsites that can fit trailers and accommodate horses, diverse trails, and multiple creeks—all of which make it a perfect place for paddling, biking, hiking, and horseback riding.

Where to go

Lake James State Park

Northeast of Marion on the border of Pisgah National Forest, Lake James State Park features sandy beaches, rugged forestry, and two on-site campgrounds. Lake James’ campgrounds offer tent-only accommodations with backpacking areas and paddle-in campsites. All frontcountry campsites include a firepit, picnic table, and 12x12 tent pad with access to potable water faucets, toilets, and hot showers. After a night in nature, check out the park’s boat rentals for a day out on the water or hike along Mill's Creek Trail for Blue Ridge Mountain views.

Pisgah National Forest

Less than an hour from Marion, forested peaks, rivers, and waterfalls await in Pisgah National Forest. The forest maintains multiple campgrounds, cabin rentals, dispersed districts, and horse-friendly campsites, many of which include full hookups, drinking water, dump stations, and showers. Pisgah is also home to over 200 waterfalls, Blue Ridge Mountains, and gem and mining caves in Emerald Village, where visitors can take a unique black-light tour of the cavernous depths. Campers can also consider the rugged terrain and valleys of Linville Gorge Wilderness area for more challenging trails and mountain climbing.

South Mountains State Park

South Mountains State Park has two access points for campers: Clever Creek and Jacob Fork. As the largest state park in North Carolina, South Mountains is renowned for its 18-mile mountain-bike loop, an 80-ft waterfall, and 40 miles of hiking trails reaching elevations up to 3,000 feet. On-site camping facilities for tents, RVs, trailers, and horses are available at the Jacob Fork access. All campsites come with firepits, picnic tables, and access to showers—a few provide electric hookups, as well.

When to go

Marion’s warm summers and mild winters attract campers year-round. With sun-filled summer skies and temperatures reaching the mid 80s to low 90s, campers can spend warm days by the beach and out on the water from late June to early September. Winter temperatures often drop below freezing overnight, making cold-weather camping gear essential for winter camping.

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