Camping In NC’s Mountains
Rugged individuals who prefer primitive accommodations, those who like having all the comforts of home and everyone in between will all feel at home in North Carolina’s mountains. Our high country features plenty of unspoiled wilderness for the primitive camping enthusiast, as well as campgrounds with a family flavor and private RV parks for those who like to camp without roughing it.
The purely primitive camper must go to the Grand Canyon of the East – Linville Gorge Wilderness. It covers 12,000 acres and the gorge descends more than 2,000 feet to the Linville River below. Wild and isolated, the Linville Gorge Wilderness offers the camper the ultimate in scenic beauty and tranquility. Pack your fishing rod along with your tent, so you can tangle with smallmouth bass and native trout.
Backpackers with a taste for at least some civilization can begin an excellent two to three day foray into the Black Mountains from their base camp along the South Toe River at the Black Mountain Campground. Spend one night at base camp and then follow the blue blazes on the trail to Mt. Mitchell, the tallest peak in the eastern United States. If you camp in the park, stay off the ridges because winds routinely hit 70 miles per hour there and snowstorms have occurred every month of the year on Mt. Mitchell.
A fun family outing starts at the Carolina Emerald Mine & Vein Mountain Gold Camp near Marion. You’ll find primitive riverside campsites, as well as sites with power and water here. The attraction is the only native emerald mine that is open to the public in North Carolina. In addition to the emeralds, the site produces gold and a wide array of gemstones such as garnet, aquamarine and moonstone. You and the kids can pan, dredge or work the sluice for precious metal and stones.
North Carolina’s mountains are laced with rivers, so as you might expect, canoe camping is in vogue here. Check out Headwaters Outfitters in Rosman for a variety of overnight canoe trips on the French Broad River.
Luxury lovers will find plenty of places to park the RV in North Carolina’s mountain region. For example, Creekwood Farm RV Park in Waynesville offers a variety of amenities and a location central to many signature North Carolina attractions. Nearby you’ll find the Smoky Mountain National Park, Cataloochee Ski Area, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
An RV park that offers all the amenities plus on-site activities is Mountain Stream RV Park in Marion. Most sites are streamside on Buck Creek. Campers can fish in the stocked trout pond and the park offers Saturday night music and entertainment at the covered pavilion.
No matter where you are heading in North Carolina’s mountains, there is a campground right for you.
added: December 28, 2008
updated: August 30, 2011