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Top 5 Places To Go Camping In North Carolina

Aug 17, 2007
Going Camping? Have you decided where to go? Let me give you a good idea of some fantastic places to go in North Carolina. That's right, North Carolina. What better state to go camping in? With the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east, all of it steeped in American history, there just isn't a better state to choose.

But where in North Carolina? A difficult question to answer because there are so many options open to you. I will help you narrow it down by giving you some information on the top 5 places to go camping in North Carolina. Because these are all such great places, they are not listed in any particular order.

Merchants Millpond State Park (Sunbury, NC)

Located in the northeastern part of the state, this camping spot often gets overlooked simply because it is neither in the mountains nor on the beach. This is very unfortunate because it has so much to offer. The Merchants Millpond itself has been called a mini Okefenokee Swamp because it has a wetland ecosystem.
This makes it an excellent place for fishing and canoeing. The high ground around the pond offers many hiking trails. The campground is well maintained and very appealing. With only 20 campsites available, it isn't overcrowded, but you do want to be sure to get there early to get a site.

Lake James State Park (Morganton, NC)

Lake James hold the distinction of being one of the clearest, cleanest lakes in the Carolinas. This is one of the newer camping spots and as such, has contemporary facilities. However, there is no Rv camping here, but it is great for tent campers. The views are absolutely breathtaking. The high mountains of the Pisgah National Forest can be seen across the water. This campground has 2 campsites that are disabled accessible. There is so much to do here - swimming, fishing, canoeing and hiking. What more could you ask for!

Big Creek Campground (Cove Creek, NC)

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a great place but can be a bit overcrowded unless you know where to go. Big Creek Campground is just such a place. It is the smallest campground in the Park with only 12 campsites and is tent only, which explains why it is often not overcrowded. It is also a walk-in campground from the parking lot, so you are transported to a simpler life when you camp here. The campground is at the head of the Big Creek Trail that traces the old logging era railroad grade. If you want to cool off, you can do so in one of the swimming hole in Big Creek that pool between the white rapids. With Big Creek Campground as your base, you can enjoy all the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Hanging Rock State Park (Danbury, NC)

With the barren rock faces of the Sauratown Mountains rising from the Piedmont, overlooking the countryside, it is no wonder that dramatic setting of the Hanging Rock State Park is so popular! The campground is a perfect base from which to explore the park and see all it's wonders. The 73 campsites are in two loops. The first loop has 42 campsites and is open all week, while the second loop has 31 campsites that are open only on weekends. It is best to get there by 1pm on Friday for a weekend camping trip. But why not get there during the week and stay longer. You will be glad you did.

Balsam Mountain Campground (Cherokee, NC)

Experience something rare - red spruce and Fraser fir forest in the highest reaches of the great Smoky Mountains. Balsam Mountain Campground offers the highest tent camping in the Smokies in the type of forest usually found in Canada. Originally established in 1934, Balsam Mountain Campground was set up for tent camping, as there really wasn't much in the way of RV camping at the time. Today, it is still for tent camping in the best tradition. Because the campsites are too small for RVs, it is never over crowded. This makes it ideal for a wonderful mountain get-away. Get away from the rat race and spend some quiet solitude in Balsam Mountain Campground, exploring the great Smoky Mountains to your heart's delight.

A couple of other places that merit a mention are Ocracoke Island Campground, which is only accessible by ferry, and Frisco Campground, which is in the Cape Hatteras Seashore. Both are wonderful places to camp on or near the beach.

Tough choice, I know. You may want to go camping in North Carolina every chance you get just so you can experience them all. With always pleasing scenery, North Carolina is a camper's paradise. So, pack up your tent and sleeping bags and get ready for the best camping experience you've ever had.
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