For lovers of the outdoors, there is no better way to get close to nature than to sleep under the stars. Whether you are in a tent, cabin or RV, camping outside can be a great opportunity to step out of your day-to-day routine and enjoy the natural world. Picking the right campground for your trip can help shape your experience and offer you new ways to interact with the land, including sleeping by a river or visiting a campground that ensures quiet, relaxing evenings.
In preparing for your trip to camp in the High Country, Kim Loven of Down by the River Campground said, “It is important that you map out your route ahead of time and plan your trip, because GPS signal can cut out.” Knowing your way to and from your campground can ease worries and help travelers map out their visits to other local attractions and destinations.
“People love that the weather is cooler here,” Loven said, and that even on hot days the High Country offers campers a temperate climate to enjoy the evenings throughout the fall.
Campsites in the High Country offer a variety of amenities, services and destinations for campers to explore. Consider a campsites’ proximity to other destinations you plan on visiting as well as what kinds of services you and your family might enjoy while picking your site and you are sure to sleep well during your stay in the High Country.
New River State Park CampgroundThe New River is one of the five oldest rivers in the world and the newest U.S. National Park. While the official national park is in West Virginia, the headwaters of the New River start on the border between Ashe and Allegheny counties in the High Country. Renowned for its beautiful riverside views and popular recreation water sports, New River State Park in Laurel Springs, N.C., offers a variety of campsites for visitors. Kayak and canoes are available for rent from many local river outfitters. The main campground is located at 358 New River State Park Road in Laurel Springs. Call (336) 982-2587 or visit www.ncparks.gov/new-river-state-park for more information.
Linville Gorge WildernessKnown as the Grand Canyon of the East, Linville Gorge offers breathtaking views of Pisgah National Forest. One of the most popular areas for camping in the High Country, Linville Gorge is one of only two wilderness gorges in the southern United States. Visitors can also enjoy the river-fed waterfall at Linville Falls, the rock outcrop at Wiseman’s View and the Linville Caverns, a privately maintained cave system accessible by car from U.S. Route 221. With both front and backcountry camping options, there are plenty of opportunities for travelers to spend the night in the Linville Gorge Wilderness.
For campgrounds, RV parking and cabins at Linville Falls, see the Linville Falls Campground RV Park & Cabins at www.linvillefalls.com or call (828) 982-2706.
State ParkOne of the most environmentally diverse state parks in North Carolina, there is no shortage of beautiful scenery on the iconic mountain for campers in the High Country. Weather campers spend the day at the Grandfather Mountain attraction or traipsing through the backcountry trails, there is plenty to enjoy before setting up camp for the night.
To learn more about camping at the park, visit www.ncparks.gov/grandfather-mountain-state-park.
Blue Bear Mountain
CampgroundJust outside of Boone, Blue Bear Mountain Campground offers every style of camping under the forest canopy. Car accessible tent camping and RV campsites are available on site, and for those looking for a more wild adventure hike-in campsites provide seclusion. Teepee and cabin rentals are also available for campers interested in a rustic getaway. The teepees come fully furnished with a queen bed and other amenities. Visit www.bluebearmountain.com or call (828) 406-4226 to learn more.
Buck Hill CampgroundWith a style of camping for every visitor, Buck Hill Campground is a pet-friendly campground along the North Toe River. For the RV campers, Buck Hill Campground provides all the necessities and more at their spacious location. The campground has space for 69 RVs and each site is equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, and full hookups with 20, 30 and 50 amp service. Tent campers can enjoy an open grassy field overlooking a pond as well as fire rings, picnic tables, water spigots and several wooden deck pads. Lastly, Buck Hill also offers cabins for those who prefer “glamping” in newly built, ADA compliant tiny homes. Additionally, the campground provides free high speed Wi-Fi. New to Buck Hill Campground are a basketball court, a pickleball court and a renovated game room. To make a reservation or learn more, visit www.buckhillrvcampground.com or call (828) 766-6162.
Down by the River
CampgroundLocated by Linville River, this campground has RV and tent camping. All RV sites have water, sewer, 30 and 50 amp service and are paved. Wi-Fi and showers are available for all campers. As the High Country’s only “mature” campground, all parties must be 55 years or older or include at least one member who is over 55. Other amenities include paved roads for bikes and an indoor recreation area. The campground is located at 292 River Campground Road, Pineola and can be contacted at (828) 733-5057.
Flintlock CampgroundServing western North Carolina for over 50 years, Flintlock Campground is nestled just outside Boone where they offer RV hookups, cabins and tent camping. Open from the beginning of April until the first week of November, their stream-side campgrounds are tucked away in the beautiful mountain forest. The campground also has newly renovated facilities such as a bath house with private hot showers as well as free wireless internet, picnic tables, laundry, firewood, a camp store, play area and cable tv. Learn more at www.flintlockcampground.com or call (828) 963-5323.
Grandfather CampgroundOpen all year on Grandfather Mountain, Grandfather Campground balances the quiet serenity of the mountain with a close proximity to many of the High Country’s ski resorts, golf courses and attractions such as Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, Linville Falls, Gem mining and more.
Helton Creek CampgroundFive miles from Hwy 16 N. Minutes away from the New River, Virginia Creeper Trail, Shatley Springs and Mount Rogers, Helton Creek Campground is a family campground for tents and RVs in Ashe County.
This campsite is located at 2145 Helton Road, Grassy Creek, N.C. For more information, call (336) 384-2320.
Honey Bear CampgroundLess than 3 miles from Appalachian State University and downtown Boone, Honey Bear Campground is family-friendly campground for RVs and tent camping. Not only does it have fire pits, picnic tables, RV hookups, fishing and more, but this location also has a full-service coffee as well as an outdoor movie screen for movies under the stars. Moreover, the campground hosts a variety of events throughout the warmer months. Honey Bear Campground hosts BBQs, karaoke, cornhole tournaments, haunted trails and zombie paintball.
Honey Bear Campground is located at 229 Honey Bear Campground Road, Boone, NC. Visit www.honeybearcampground.com or call (828) 266-8914 to learn more.
Julian Price CampgroundLocated at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 297, this campsite has beautiful waterside views beside Price Lake. With access to hiking, boat rentals and picnic facilities, the Julian Price Campground hosts campers at primitive campsites and non-electric RV sites. To learn more, call (828) 963-5911.
Boone KOAJust outside the town limits of Boone, this location of the chain KOA Campgrounds offers a proximity to Boone while spending the night in nature. The campsite offers pull-through RV sites as well as a pool, arcade games, a farm animal mini zoo and close proximity to all the natural attractions near Boone. This is the highest altitude KOA Campground east of the Mississippi River. To make a reservation, visit www.koa.com/campgrounds/boone or call (828) 263-7250.
CampgroundRaccoon Holler Campground is located outside of Glendale Springs in Ashe County right on the Blue Ridge Parkway. With sites for both tents and RVs, this campsite is perfect for campers looking to indulge in swimming, fishing in a private lake that does not require a permit, cornhole, a playground and local canoeing and community events. This campsite is located at 493 Raccoon Hollow Rd, Jefferson, NC and can be contacted at raccoonholler.com or over the phone at (336) 982-2706 for more information.
Vanderpool CampgroundThe Vanderpool Campground is located at 120 Campground Road, Vilas, NC. With both tent and RV camping, this site has close access to Appalachian Ski, Seven Devils, Sugar Ski and Beech Mountain Ski resorts and offers high speed Wi-Fi, outdoor games such as horse shoes, beanbag toss and volleyball, and ice, firewood, RV supplies and more for sale on site.
To make a reservation, call (828) 297-3486.