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Camping in North Carolina: Top 10 Places

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North Carolina is one of the top destinations to go camping in the entire country. The lush green forests and abundance of streams, waterfalls, and mountains are enough to draw any type of camper in for a camping trip of a lifetime. There are so many different places that you can choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming to choose at first.

Any list of places of the best places to go camping in NC isn’t complete without the accompanying gear list as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at all of the best spots that you can visit on a trip down to North Carolina as well as make sure that you don’t forget any of the essential gear.

best camping in nc - Growatt

Best Places To Go Camping In North Carolina

This list is only ten of the best spots to go camping in all of North Carolina. There are hundreds of sites that you’ll find, but we’ve worked hard to find the absolute best of the best to get you out in the woods and enjoying nature.

Davidson River Campground

Location: Pisgah Forest just north of Brevard

Reservations: Best to reserve online ahead of time

Davidson River Campground is a huge favorite amongst those who want to be in some of the most beautiful woods of the entire country. Tucked away in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest, this campground is prime for anyone that wants to explore hiking, waterfalls, or mountain biking in the area with easy access to a town closeby.

Carolina Beach State Park

Location: South of Wilmington beside the ocean

Reservations: Make online beforehand

If you’re looking to spend some time surrounded by water, look no further. Carolina Beach State Park has plenty of different campsites, perfect for water lovers. There’s plenty to do along the beach, in the ocean, and along the river that borders its eastern side. Hop up to the town of Wilmington for a quick reminder of what small city life is like.

Hanging Rock State Park

Location: 45 minutes north of Winston-Salem

Reservations: Best to make beforehand

With stunning views from abnormal rock features, Hanging Rock State Park is a great place to go when you want to explore the woods and hike all around. Staying in the campground allows for great access to the entire park and keeps you isolated from any big cities for the entire time you’re away.

Mount Pisgah

Location: Mile marker 408.6 of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Reservations: Available for certain portions of the campground

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Pisgah is one of the more popular spots to stop and stay the night. The reasons are obvious as soon as you arrive. You’re up on top of the mountain, looking out over vast swaths of forest and beautiful nature. Plus, you have the Pisgah Inn and Restaurant right there to feed you without having to cook for yourself.

Goose Creek State Park

Location: 35 miles south of Greenville

Reservations: Available to make beforehand

With plenty of primitive and RV spots available, Goose Creek State Park is a great place to get away for a weekend or more. You can hike around the estuaries or even paddle to explore all the different types of ecosystems found in this cypress swamp.

Lake Powhatan Recreation Area

Location: 15 minutes south of Asheville

Reservations: Available for all spots

A massive lake right next to downtown Asheville, this is one of the best spots to camp in North Carolina if you don’t want to miss out on the city life that Asheville can provide. The entire area surrounding Lake Powhatan is highly popular for biking, running, and camping.

Pilot Mountain Campground

Location: Just north of Winston Salem

Reservations: Available beforehand

Pilot Mountain State Park boasts a massive mountain that seems to erupt out of nowhere. This is a great place to go for just about any outdoor activity and you’ll find plenty to do while surrounded by this massive protected natural feature.

Deep Creek Campground

Location: Smoky Mountains

Reservations: Not necessary but suggested in busy months

Deep Creek Campground sits right at the gates of the Smoky Mountains National Park. This is one of the best spots to set up a base when you’re out exploring the park as it gives you easy access to all of the best trails around. The entire campground is blanketed in wildflowers throughout the spring and stays gorgeous the entire year.

Linville Falls Campground

Location: North end of the Linville Gorge

Reservations: Suggested in busy months, especially for cabins

Linville Falls is a great spot to visit when checking out and exploring the Linville Gorge. Referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, this gorge is stunning to look at and difficult to make your way through. It’s a great spot to see waterfalls, wildflowers, and has more trails than you could hope to explore in one visit.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Location: All across Western North Carolina

Reservations: Necessary at certain spots

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs the entire course of the western portion of the state and is one of the biggest attractions, especially when the fall colors come out. You can take a huge road trip along the parkway and find some of the most beautiful spots along the way.

Must-Have Camping Gear for North Carolina

Portable Solar Generator

Camping in North Carolina is one of the greatest experiences you’ll ever have. It’s one that can only be made better by ensuring that you have the power to charge your phone, camera, and all of the accessories that you have along for the ride.

A portable solar generator like the INFINITY 1300 can easily power your entire camping trip and make sure you’re ready for anything that comes your way. You’ll be able to capture every moment with a fully charged camera, light up the campground with any lights you plug in, and you’ll never have to worry about your phone dying in the middle of trying to find directions to the next spot.

best camping in north carolina - Growatt

The portable power station is quickly charged by the solar panels and makes getting a high level of fully sustainable energy a breeze when you need it the most.

Outdoor Toys

One of the most important things to bring with you is anything you think might be fun to play around with while outside. North Carolina is a complete playground for all outdoor activities, so be sure to bring your electric mountain bike, backpacking bags, kayaks, and so much more.

Any of those bigger toys that require power will be easily charged up by your solar generator, so let the bike do the work for you rather than worry about needing to pedal a heavy bike up the mountain!

Tent and Sleeping Gear

Getting enough sleep on the road is important, especially when there’s so much to see every day. Make sure you have a high quality tent that can keep you sheltered from the bugs and dry when it rains. Late summer storms can be incredibly common in the mountains, but pass just as quickly as they came.

Solid Hiking Boots

There are thousands of miles of trails in North Carolina and your feet need the right gear to tackle all of them. Bring along a solid pair of durable waterproof hiking boots.

To make it even better, bring along a boot dryer that can plug into something like the INFINITY 1500 so you can make sure you have dry feet every day.

best camping in north carolina - Growatt

Tips for Summer Camping in North Carolina

One of the most important things to remember when camping in North Carolina during the summer is that you should be prepared for late afternoon storms. A dark cloud will appear out of nowhere and the sky will fall down for half an hour or more. Afterwards, the sun makes its way back out and you can resume your day.

Make sure you’re ready for the changing conditions with the right gear and a portable power station to power the appliances that can easily help dry you out and keep you warm.


The best camping spots in NC are some of the best in the world. It’s easy to pick any spot on this list and have a vacation you’ll never forget.

Making that vacation even better can be easy when you bring the right gear, a solar generator, and an attitude that will help you conquer the toughest of trails across the state.

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