State Park campgrounds in North Carolina.
State parks in North Carolina lure campers with mountain adventures, lakeside beauty, and barrier island wildness.
Active travelers are spoiled for choice in North Carolina, home to 34 state parks jam-packed with adventures in scenic locales. Hike to the summit of the highest mountain east of the Mississippi, canoe past cypress trees in the swampy northeast, and hang glide from a sand dune in the Outer Banks. There are 3,000 campsites across the state park system and access varies:Read more...
Active travelers are spoiled for choice in North Carolina, home to 34 state parks jam-packed with adventures in scenic locales. Hike to the summit of the highest mountain east of the Mississippi, canoe past cypress trees in the swampy northeast, and hang glide from a sand dune in the Outer Banks. There are 3,000 campsites across the state park system and access varies: backpack, paddle, ride a ferry, or pull up in your car. The 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail swings past several state parks on its journey from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks. The best seasons for camping statewide are spring, summer, and fall.
Where to Go
Asheville & the Blue Ridge Parkway
Several state parks border the Blue Ridge Parkway. Camp near a 600-foot-tall granite dome and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Stone Mountain, or drive south to camp below Grandfather Mountain, a beloved Parkway attraction with a mile-high swinging bridge. Paddling to your campsite is an option at Lake James State Park near Linville Falls. Mount Mitchell State Park Campground is one mile from the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. For waterfalls and rugged scenery, pitch a tent at Gorges State Park about 50 miles south of Asheville.
Hiking, paddling, and rock climbing are popular activities in the mountain foothills of the western piedmont. Near Winston-Salem you can sleep in a vacation cabin at Hanging Rock or kayak to a campsite at Pilot Mountain, a striking granite knob with a slew of recreational activities. Choose a campsite or a cabin at Lake Norman and Morrow Mountain state parks, which are both near Charlotte. Fishing and low-key watersports are the draw at Falls Lake, a 12,000-acre reservoir with more than 300 campsites.
Northern Coastal Region
In the northeast corner of the state, hikers, mountain bikers, and kayakers can explore the swampy charms of Dismal Swamp and Merchants Millpond state parks. Tent, RV, and paddle-in sites are available at Merchants Millpond. Savor views of the Atlantic and the Albemarle Sound from atop a sand dune at Jockey's Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks then head to Cape Hatteras National Seashore for topnotch barrier island camping.
Southern Coastal Region
Who needs white noise when the surf is crashing a few steps from your campsite? Yep, that’s how tent camping goes down on Bear Island, an undeveloped barrier island within Hammock Island State Park that’s reached by ferry, canoe, or kayak. Carnivorous venus flytraps keep the scenery interesting near Wilmington at Carolina Beach State Park, which is tucked between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic. Tent sites, RV sites, and cabins are available.