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Primitive Camping Near Asheville Nc

Hanging Rock State Park

Appalachian Bushcraft: Survival Debris Hut Shelter and Camp. Primitive skills in Asheville, NC.

Hanging Rock State Park sits on the Sauratown Mountain Range, a separated eastern range often called the mountains away from the mountains because of their divide from the Blue Ridge Mountains nearby. This 9000-acre state park has peaks of more than 2500 feet, with the highest point being Moores Knob at 786 meters above sea level. You can hike to this point or one of many other interesting attractions using more than 20 miles of trails in this state park.

Hikers, bikers, and equestrians are all welcome in Hanging Rock State Park. In the summer season, boating and swimming are popular activities, while fishing is a big attraction all year round. On Dan River, you can go tubing if angling doesnt have the thrill youre after. This stone mountain state park also offers some fantastic rock climbing opportunities. Hanging Rock has some of the best camping in North Carolina for adventurers, with plenty of waterfalls to check out. We also recommend seeing the view over the Piedmont plateau, which stretches out all the way to Virginia.

This North Carolina State Park offers a well equipped but simple campground, with two loops of tent and trailer sites. Drinking water, bathrooms, and hot showers are provided, but only pit toilets are open in winter. If youre going in a group, Hanging Rock is one of the best places to camp in North Carolina. The primitive group sites offer a fantastic wilderness experience in this scenic state park.

Long Point Boat Launch

Located at the end of a lovely, scenic drive through pine forests to the coast, this primitive lakeside camping site offers no amenities but has fantastic access to the water for fishing and boating from the shallow boat launch. There is camping and fishing available all year round, and this location sees light use on average, making it an absolutely fantastic place for a waterfront getaway. RVs and tents are both welcomed, and campers are encouraged to bring a canoe or kayak to enjoy the fun of the water as well as the beauty of the land!

Asheville Bear Creek Rv Park

Located in the heart of Asheville, Bear Creek RV Park is only steps away from everything this lively and upbeat city has to offer! Overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park has 100+ RV sites for you to pull-in, set-up, and relax for camping near Asheville.

Open year-round, Bear Creek is pet-friendly, has a swimming pool for the summer months, 3 bath houses, 2 laundry mats, and FREE cable TV and wifi! Come for the views, stay for everything this park has to offer!

Campers can make reservations on either a daily or monthly basis, with all sites offering a full hookup, electric, water & sewer. As one of the best places for RV camping near Asheville, Bear Creek will not disappoint.

The best part about Asheville Bear Creek RV Park? The ease of access to I-40, I-240 & I-26 for you to explore everything Asheville has to offer! From the wine tasting at the Biltmore Estate to strolling through the Asheville Botanical Gardens, this park gives you the best of both worlds for camping and city experiences.

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North Mills River Campground

5289 Mills River Rd., Mills River 828-552-8040

Reservations: Official Website

North Mills River is only a few miles away from Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard.

Yet it provides a shaded little Pisgah Forest campground for visitors to enjoy some Blue Ridge Mountain serenity.

The 31 campsites at the North Mills River Campground all include picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads. There are also some non-electric sites for RVs.

The campground has hot showers and flush toilets, and the Mills River isnt far from any of the campsites.

This is a great place for camping near Pisgah Forests best Pisgah District attractions. Looking Glass Falls, The Cradle of Forestry, and Pink Beds are all a few miles south, and the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and NC Arboretum are just north.

South Mountains State Park

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In one of the states most rugged areas, South Mountains State Park features elevations to 3,000 feet, an 80-foot waterfall, mountain streams and more than 40 miles of trails for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. A true backcountry experience is offered at 24 backpacking campsites at seven locations. Equestrian camping is available with trailer parking and barn to complement 33 miles of bridle trails. Mountain bikers enjoy a strenuous 17-mile loop. Drive-to campsites sit beside the Jacob Fork River, with the river and its tributaries offering miles of trout fishing. There are two picnic areas and a picnic shelter for groups. A visitor center offers museum-quality exhibits on the cultural and natural history of the South Mountains.

Or make your reservation at 1-877-722-6762

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Mount Mitchell State Park

Mount Mitchell State Park, sitting at a mere 6,684 feet above sea level is possibly one of the coolest NC mountains camping near Asheville experiences you will get!

As one of the nations first state parks, visitors to Mount Mitchell State Park can hike the easily accessible observation deck for 360 degree panorama views of the mountains. Once you are done exploring the spruce-fir forest, settle down at the state campground for an experience like no other .

Speaking of the campground, set your alarm if you want to secure one of the 9 coveted campsites at Mount Mitchell State Park! Every year, spots fill up quickly and reservations begin in April for the May-October calendar.

Every tent camping spot includes a fire ring, picnic table, and a bear proof food storage box. On site you will find a water spigot and bathhouse for flush toilets.

If you want a more rustic experience, back country hiking and camping is also an option which includes entry onto the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. Just be sure to pack layers as the temperature at the peak can be much cooler than in Asheville!

Hot Springs Campground And Resort

The Hot Springs Campground is located along the banks of the French Broad River, a short stroll from the Hot Springs Spa and Natural Mineral Baths. This facility is a favorite stopping point for travelers of all types from hikers coming off the Appalachian Trail to vacationers and health seekers. The campground includes primitive sites, electric sites, group camping sites, RV sites with full hookups, pull-through RV sites, and multiple cabins.

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Fires Creek Recreation Area

Located about five miles from the city of Hayesville, the Fires Creek Recreation Area provides more than just a great, free camping experience! Campers at the remote Fires Creek location will also have access to some of the best trout fishing in the area, as well as great picnicking, hiking, and horseback riding opportunities along the 25-mile expanse of the Rim Trail in the backcountry area.

Inside Fires Creek, campers have their pick of two free camping options: Bristol Campground, which offers nine sites and a vault toilet and can accommodate equestrian campers and Huskins Branch Hunters Camp, which boasts a more primitive camping experience. Drinking water is provided on site, and no reservations are needed at either of these campgrounds!

Triple Creek Campground Tn

Overnight Bushcraft Camping and Foraging Ramps / Wild Leeks, Nettles, and Indian Cucumber. Asheville

In addition to stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains, there are lots of reasons to park your RV rental at Triple Creek Campground. This RV park offers a peaceful place to camp, surrounded by 12 acres of dense woodlands and gentle streams. Theres lots to do around the campground, with a playground for kids and outdoor games such as horseshoes. The nearby Cosby Creek is ideal for outdoor adventures, with kayaking and fishing possible here. Campers can bring pets along to this campground, and theres also access to WiFi if you need to keep in touch with folks at home.

Camping at Triple Creek Campground is ideal for those looking for a secluded, well-equipped campground. There are roughly 35

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The border between North Carolina and Tennessee is home to one of the more beautiful sections of the Appalachian Mountain Chain the Great Smoky Mountains. This mountain range is home to a selection of North Americas highest peaks, including Clingmans Dome which is the second-highest point in North Carolina. The Appalachian Trail passes directly through the center of this national park, so its a perfect place to check out a section of this infamous through-hike.

More than 10 million visitors come to Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, more than Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon all combined! Hiking is the most popular activity by far, as on foot you can see many of the park highlights. Check out mountain rivers, countless waterfalls, look out for elk and other wildlife. Great Smoky Mountains is quite clearly some of the best camping in North Carolina.

Smokemont Campground is our recommendation for a night amongst the peaks, located on a quiet forested bridge near the state border. Tent and RV sites are available with flush toilets and potable water provided. This family-friendly campground has plenty of space for picnics or sports games, all against the gorgeous setting of the Smoky Mountain peaks. The scenery in this National Park is part of what attracts millions of nature lovers, you could spend a lifetime just taking in the view.

Holly Shelter Game Land

Last on our list of free camping in eastern North Carolina, Holly Shelter Game Land is a public hunting location that offers camping during specific times of the year. This terrific camping spot is located near US 17, not far from Surf City, and boasts opportunities for hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Campers can enjoy the comforts of RV camping or pitch a tent for a more rustic experience in the scenic game land as it opens for the camping season this is a great location for campers who want to enjoy the outdoors but still be close to the fringes of bustling, everyday North Carolina life!

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Primitive Camping On The Blue Ridge Parkway

A signed backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight use of the primitive camping areas on the Blue Ridge Parkway. By signing a permit, the signer agrees to abide by all park rules and regulations and is responsible for all members of the camping party.

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and provide for social distancing as called for by state and CDC guidance, the parkway will impose a 10-person maximum use permit at all backcountry camping locations. Additional details…

Backcountry camping permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis and are available at applicable campgrounds from June through October. From November through May, permits are available at the corresponding District Office. Site inventory is limited, so advance reservations are encouraged. See chart below.

Permits are issued under the following conditions:

  • no more than 6 people per campsite
  • groups larger than 18 people are prohibited
  • permits cannot be issued for more than 3 consecutive nights
  • the approximate dates and location of entry and exit, number of overnight campers, and identification of any vehicles parked overnight are required for permit issuance


Backcountry Use Regulations

1. A backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight use and must be in your possession at all times.

2. Camping outside of the designated sites is prohibited.

6. Natural resources are protected by federal law. Do not disturb or remove any animal or plant life.

Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

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1481 Mount Jefferson State Park RoadWest Jefferson, NC 28694

Mount Jefferson State Natural Area is located near the town of West Jefferson, in the northern reaches of western North Carolina.

This area, which is visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, is special for its unique geology and rare plant ecology.

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Weatherproof Canvas Wall Platform Tentstay Dry Without The Hassle

Ashevilles own Diamond Brand Outdoors manufactured 12 custom-designed canvas tents exclusively for Lake Powhatans glamping sites. Each 12×16-foot space accommodates up to four guestsits fully enclosed with large screened windows providing natural light and protection from the elements. A weatherproof fly adds extra shelter from the rain. Indoor/outdoor chairs are available for relaxing on the raised front porch under the big sky. Glamping in Asheville, NC could not be any easier!

Where Can I Find Free Camping Near Asheville

Asheville is located between the two main sections of Pisgah National Forest, so these two locations will have your most options of free camping sites in the vicinity of Asheville. All National Parks allow dispersed camping. National Parks sometimes limit it to only designated marked sites, call the local ranger office and check before you go.

Most of the dispersed camping is off of forest service roads marked by FS on your Pisgah National Forest maps. Call the Pisgah Ranger Station 828-877-3265 to ensure the forest service road you wish to go on is open for passage, as sometimes they get closed down due to weather damages. You can buy a map at most outfitters in the area or order online. We suggest getting a map locally, giving you the opportunity to talk to the local employees who can add knowledge of the Blue Ridge Mountain area.

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Asheville West Koa Holiday

Address: 309 Wiggins Rd, Candler, NC 28715

About: The Asheville West KOA Holiday has large full hook-up lots with the KOA trademark patio, Wi-Fi, and cable. It also has a dog park and activities such as ice cream Saturdays and nature trails. In addition, the campground has a pool that is open from the end of May to the beginning of September.

Pro Tip:Learn why we think the cost of a KOA membership is totally worth the money.

Daytime Adventure Nighttime Bliss

Free Camping in North Carolina at the Basin Creek Camping Area

Only 10 minutes from downtown your deluxe glamping site awaits at one of the best campgrounds near Asheville, NC. Lake Powhatans glamping tents allow you to experience nature and outdoor recreation without sacrificing the comforts and luxuries of home. Choose one of 12 custom designed, fully furnished canvas platform tents in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest for your next mountain adventure. Pisgah Glamping sets the stage alongside the 6,000-acre Bent Creek Experimental Forest and trail system, Ashevilles top destination for hiking and biking. Bring your friends, family or true loveits right down the road and a world away.

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Wilsons Riverfront Rv Park

225 Amboy Rd, Asheville NC 828-254-4676

Official Website

Wilsons Riverfront RV Park is ideal for those wanting to explore Asheville.

Its located just minutes from Downtown Asheville and right on the French Broad River and the river greenway.

The campground can accommodate tent campers and has sites with full hookups for RVs. There are also full bathroom and shower facilities.

Wilsons is more of a great place to stay in town than a deep dive into the wilderness around Asheville. But it is close to I-40, I-240, and I-26 for exploring further afield.

Carrier Park is only a quarter-mile away, and it has walking/biking paths, sports fields, and picnic shelters.

Best Places To Go Free Camping In North Carolina

Looking for a no-cost camping option in the gorgeous, scenic state of North Carolina? Youre in luck! There are many wonderful, free camping spots scattered across the states four national forests and beautiful backcountryso many, in fact, it can be hard to pick one that suits all your camping needs! Luckily, our free camping guide is here to help. Weve rounded up some of the top-reviewed, best spots for free camping in North Carolinaread on to find the area thats best for you and your family!

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A Popular Nc State Park

But as the rugged, remote and mountainous state park that sits in Avery, Caldwell and Watauga counties, grew in popularity, with some 52,000 visitors last year, so did the clamoring for one of the backcountry, primitive, hike-in-only campsites.

Murray said 2,753 campers pitched a tent in the park last year, but there were countless others who were turned away after traveling sometimes from other states, only to find the campsites were all taken.

I think a lot of people are going to be glad they can now make a reservation, Murray said. We have a lot of visitors who travel a long distance and sometimes its pretty disheartening when you cant reserve ahead of time. I think $15 accommodates most budgets, and I think most people are going to be happy they will have a reservation.

The Ultimate Pisgah National Forest Camping Guide

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Pisgah National Forest offers more than half a million acres of wilderness to explore, stretching from near the southernmost reaches of Western North Carolina to the northern border.

The National Forest is split into three ranger districts. The Pisgah District encompasses areas south of Asheville, the Grandfather District includes areas near Grandfather Mountain State Park and the Linville Gorge Wilderness, while the Appalachian District stretches along the Tennessee border.

There are dozens of Pisgah National Forest campgrounds and day-use areas for visitors to enjoy. Most of them are in fabulously picturesque locations, nestled deep in the forests and often near mountain streams or lakes.

There are also ample opportunities for Pisgah National Forest RV camping.

While there are no U.S. Forest Service cabins in Pisgah National Forest, privately-owned Pisgah National Forest cabin rentals are widely available.

In addition, there are a number of private campgrounds near Pisgah National Forest that offer cabins, treehouses, and other creature comforts.

Thanks to the moderate Pisgah National Forest weather, spring is often an inviting time for nature lovers to visit, with the verdant green forest dotted with beautiful North Carolina birds and wildflowers.

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