We last ran this feature four years ago and it stands today — except where the nightly fee has gone up, which we’ve updated.
We take a lot of groups on weekend hiking trips to the mountains. As a result, we stay in a lot of group campgrounds. When we book a group campground, we look at a number of factors, including:
Proximity to good hiking. Ideally, we look for a campground with immediate access to trails — and not just any old trails, but trails that will yield a full day of memorable hiking. If we can treat people to an entire day of using just their own feet to get around, we we find they enjoy the day that much more..
Shaded camping. We hike mostly in summer, so we need to pitch tents where they won’t broil during the day.
A commons area. A big fire pit, a picnic table or two, rocks or logs to sit on — we don’t ask much, but these are biggies.
Basic amenities. We need water at the campsite, we’d like a privy not too far away. A bathhouse, of course, is nice. And if we can park a reasonable distance away — within 50 yards of the campsite, say — all the better.
Privacy. From others in the group, to some degree (hey, we all need a little me time), but mostly from neighboring campers. We escape to the wild for various reasons; it’s those who escape to the wild to be wild that we prefer to avoid.
Good vibe. Most importantly, the site must have a good vibe. It needn’t be immaculately groomed; rather, we like a spot that fits in with the natural surroundings. Sometimes you know the second you drive up, sometimes it takes a night or two of camaraderie to summons the vibe.
There are other factors, but these are the basics. Based on these basics, here are our our five favorite group campgrounds in North Carolina.read more
If your knee-jerk response to finish this thought is “… not enough adventure,” we hear you. It’s a common sentiment this time of year. The leaves nearly gone, the cycle of another calendar year is fast coming to a close. We begin looking ahead to next year with thoughts of big plans for the year ahead. And that’s when it hit: “What were our plans for this year?” And what the heck happened to them?read more
The headline came across my Facebook feed: “Bear euthanized after ripping into tent, injuring mother & daughter.”
I didn’t need to read on to know what happened. But I did.
A bear wandered into the Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park early Sunday, entered a tent where a family of five slept, scratched a 3-year-old and her mom in the ensuing scuffle. (Both sustained superficial lacerations to their heads.) The father shooed the bear away, the authorities were notified, the bear was caught.read more
As we look ahead to the upcoming summer camping season, we look with special attention to certain campgrounds. Here are some of our favorites.
With 160 sites you’d think scoring one would be a given. Not the case at this popular campground which takes advantage of both its proximity to the cultural offerings of nearby Brevard and its perch at the base of the recreation-rich Pisgah National Forest.read more
July 4th weekend — the first, really, in two years. There’s a lot of pressure to make the most of this three-day celebration.
A traditionally popular way to observe the weekend is to go camping, and before you say, “Wish I’d thought of that before: there won’t be any campsites left. Besides, I don’t have the key camping gear” be advised that neither are an issue. For starters, reserveamerica.com. reports that plenty of campsites remain available throughout the state. As for the requisite camping gear, look no further than the GetCamping! program we run with our partners at Great Outdoor Provision Co. Six-person tent, sleeping pads, hammock, two-burner camp stove, two rocking camp chairs, a hammock, lights — all the key camping gear. And what we don’t provide, you likely already have; we’ll include a list of suitable household substitutes, stuff you likely already have around the house that works well for camping.read more