National Parks in North Carolina.
Explore rugged mountains, barrier islands, and the origins of flight in North Carolina national parks.
On the western edge of the Tar Heel State, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the US, with millions arriving annually to hike, bike, and camp near its rivers and waterfalls. The Appalachian Trail (AT) funnels hikers through the Great Smokies while the Blue Ridge Parkway ribbons past mountain towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains. CampsitesRead more...
On the western edge of the Tar Heel State, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the US, with millions arriving annually to hike, bike, and camp near its rivers and waterfalls. The Appalachian Trail (AT) funnels hikers through the Great Smokies while the Blue Ridge Parkway ribbons past mountain towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Campsites can be found up and down the AT and the Parkway. On the east coast, two national seashores set a wild mood on barrier islands marked by dunes, sea birds, and oceanfront campsites. National historic sites and battlefields across the state explore pivotal conflicts in the Revolutionary and Civil wars.
Where to Go
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway follows the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 469 miles, linking Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. There are five developed campgrounds along the parkway in North Carolina. You can also rent cabins, sleep in a hostel, camp on farms, or park your RV near mountain towns like Blowing Rock and Boone.
Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has nine developed campgrounds, and five of them are in North Carolina. Wooden camping shelters line the AT, which runs along the spine of the Smokies on the North Carolina and Tennessee border. Camping and glamping options are plentiful near Asheville, an outdoorsy but cultured basecamp for exploring the Smokies, its foothills and its wild rivers.
Greensboro & the Piedmont
Between the western mountains and the Atlantic Coast, the low-lying Piedmont region and its rolling hills are home to North Carolina’s biggest cities: Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, and Winston-Salem. Though without a campground, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park (northwest of Greensboro) spotlights a pivotal battle in the Revolutionary War and is set within a short distance of several campgrounds and RV parks around Greensboro. You’ll also find farmstays with grazing horses, sheep, or bison. Creekside and mountain meadow campsites are available too.
North Carolina Coast
Campsites come windswept and wild on the barrier islands that separate the North Carolina mainland from the Atlantic Ocean, a region generally known as the Outer Banks (OBX). You can make camp near the beach at one of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore's four developed campgrounds. Learn the story of the world’s first engine-powered flight at the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kitty Hawk. At Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on nearby Roanoke Island, exhibits explore the mysterious history of the Lost Colony. Neither park offers camping, but private campgrounds and RV parks can be found up and down the islands. Primitive beach camping and rustic cabins are available at Cape Lookout National Seashore just south of OBX.