Camp near Raleigh to experience natural beauty among pristine lakes and parklands.
Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, Raleigh offers a haven for camping enthusiasts at nearby state parks and serene lakeside destinations. Explore the city and visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences before immersing in the sprawling wilderness of Umstead State Park. Venture out farther to seek tranquility at Falls Lake State Recreation Area, where shimmering waters invite fishing, paddling, and lakeside relaxation. Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, with its expansive reservoir, offers swimming, boating, and bird-watching for any type of camper. Then choose from a variety of camping options, including waterfront tent campsites, RV parks with hookups, and open-room lodges for covered stays during cold and wet seasons.
Only 20 minutes from Raleigh is Umstead State Park, where miles of well-maintained trails wind through lush forests and along bubbling creeks. Campers can set up tents in the park's designated pet-friendly campsites near Crabtree Creek, each equipped with fire rings and picnic tables. For more coverage, book a spot at Maple Hill Lodge where all campers need are sleeping bags. Then hike Sal's Branch Trail or Reedy Creek Multi-Use Trail to see the park’s unique chainsaw art along forests and man-made lakes. Note that the family campground will reopen in spring 2024 with modern amenities such as new restroom facilities.
For a lakeside camping adventure, head to Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Campers can spend the night at on-site campgrounds with over 300 pet-friendly campsites next to Falls Lake and modern amenities like clean restroom facilities and designated swimming areas. Wake up and go fishing for bass, catfish, and sunfish, or paddle along the lake's tranquil coves in a canoe or kayak. Hikers who visit in spring and fall can explore the extensive network of trails and see migrating monarch butterflies, while mountain bikers may want to ride along the renowned Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. Note that Holly Point campground is closed for construction until January 2024.
Embrace the beauty of Jordan Lake's expansive reservoir from one of the scenic campgrounds on-site in the recreation area. Each of the 1,000 pet-friendly campsites has convenient access to swimming beaches, boating ramps, and fishing spots for tent campers and RVers alike. Campsites are also equipped with firepits, picnic tables, and restroom facilities—some also have electric and water hookups. Then, explore Jordan Lake Educational State Forest, take a leisurely hike along New Hope Trail, or embark on a bird-watching expedition for bald eagles.
Raleigh enjoys a mild climate with four distinct seasons. Spring and fall offer pleasant temperatures ranging from 50°F to 70°F as well as vibrant foliage and glimpses of migrating monarch butterflies. Summers invite campers to cool off in the lakes, with temperatures averaging around 80°F to 90°F. Winters near Raleigh see temperatures averaging around 30°F to 50°F, which allow for year-round camping trips to the area.