For many, camping brings about memories of open fires, roasted marshmallows, learning to pitch a tent, and catching that first fish. It’s a singular activity that allows friends and families to unplug -- almost literally! -- from everyday life and instead, plug into Mother Nature’s picturesque playing field. If you’re searching for the ultimate camping experience, read on for our favorite 10 campgrounds in Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills where families and friends can literally have the time of their lives.
Bostic, North Carolina
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort Golden Valley
Tucked away at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Asheville and Charlotte, is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort Golden Valley. Guests can enjoy a variety of accommodations including cabins and cottages with all the comforts of home, pull-through and back-in RV sites, lakeview glamping tents, treetop cabins, and even bungalows and lodges that sleep up to 16 people. Campers can spend the day enjoying an unparalleled line-up of amenities including canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking and mountain biking trails, tennis and basketball courts, an activity pool with water slides, a water zipline, playgrounds, laser tag, or even just watch the world go by on a lakeside swing. The campground has numerous daily planned events and activities, and available add-ons like golf cart rentals, hot tubs that can be delivered to your campsite, and “bear visits” by Yogi himself! Jellystone Park offers a variety of multi-night stay deals and military discounts, and is pet friendly (specific cabins only), so be sure to check their website for details before booking.
Chimney Rock, North Carolina
Hickory Nut Falls Family Campground
With scenic views of Hickory Nut Falls and less than a mile to the entrance of Chimney Rock State Park, campers at Hickory Nut Falls Family Campground can enjoy a peaceful retreat next to the calming sounds of the Rocky Broad River. Tent sites are available along the river or in wooded areas, and covered deck sites are offered for tents, RVs or pop-ups. For those that prefer a few more creature comforts, there’s even cabins and tiny house cabins for rent. Hickory Nut Falls Family Campground is pet friendly, is open April through November, and is located only 5 minutes from Chimney Rock State Park so the possibilities for nature-filled family fun are truly endless.
Forest City, North Carolina
Foothills Family Campground, Orchard park Campground & RV Park
Foothills Family Campground is a family-owned and operated campground that offers tent, cabin, and full-hookup RV sites for rental. Cool off in the swimming pool, fish in the pond, go gem mining, or stroll along one of multiple hiking trails. Family-friendly activities are planned throughout the year to keep guests (especially kids!) entertained, and pets are always welcome. The campground is located just south of Forest City, so there’s easy access to museums like KidSenses or the Bennett Classic Car Museum, and fun outings like Forest City Owls baseball games. Foothills Family Campground is a Passport America campground, so be sure to check their website for special rates when booking.
If you’re looking for a serene atmosphere that’s off the beaten path, Orchard Park Campground and RV Park is just the place. Play a game of horseshoes, bocce ball, volleyball, basketball or knocker ball. Pan for gold in Hollands Creek -- located on the property and (according to legend) still sheltering gold, it’s a perfect way to pass the time. The park accommodates tents, 43-foot travel trailers, or motorhomes up to 43-feet. Choose between 20’ x 20’ primitive sites, or tent and camper sites with power, water and sewer hookups. Full camper and RV hookups are available, wi-fi is included, and major area attractions like Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, Tryon Equestrian Center, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are close by, so your perfect chill vacation is just a phone call away!
Lake Lure, North Carolina
Apple Valley Farm Motorcoach Resort, Hitching Post Campground
For those who like to do an RV getaway in style, Apple Valley Farm Motorcoach Resort offers RV sites with access to all the amenities at Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure including their beach, pools, tennis courts, golf courses, boat and kayak rentals, and even the spa and salon. Rental packages are available and you even get to choose your own lot! RVs must be a manufacturer-designated minimum 32-foot Class A motorcoach. Apple Valley Farm is pet friendly and with the added amenities of Rumbling Bald there’s really no better place to glamp it up RV-style!
Anyone who wants a camping paradise should check out Hitching Post Campground. Just minutes from Lake Lure and the Broad River, this campground offers tent and RV camping, plus seasonal and yearly lease sites. Amenities include a fishing pond, playground, picnic areas, a camp store, bathhouse, and nature trails with waterfalls and indigenous flora covering forty-four acres of the property. The Hitching Post Campground is pet friendly, and within mere miles from the incredible amenities and activities of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village, Bat Cave, and Green River, and offers discounts to nonprofit groups so if you’re looking for a camping retreat location, this is the place to go. Pair that with this campground’s breathtaking location in Hickory Nut Gorge, and you’ve got the perfect camping experience.
Rutherfordton, North Carolina
4 Paws Kingdom Campground & Dog Retreat, River Creek Campground, Rutherford Mountain Campground & RV Resort
Known as the first dog-dedicated campground in the country, 4 Paws Kingdom Campground & Dog Retreat is a wonderland for furry family members and their adult human companions. Amenities include multiple off-leash playgrounds and agility parks, a doggy spa, grooming stations, 12 acres of natural hiking trails and a fully fenced swimming pond. Cabins, yurts, rental trailers, and even a yome are available, and their RV sites come in standard, premium, deluxe, and super deluxe varieties. The campground hosts weekly weekend events that are both dog and human friendly (don’t miss Barktoberfest!), and human amenities include a fully-stocked camp store, state of the art bathhouse, and access to all the fun including 4-Paws’ swimming and fishing ponds. With their central location and bark-friendly amenities, this campground is the ultimate bonding vacation for dogs of all ages and the adult humans that love them.
Located along the banks of the Broad River 10 miles east of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, River Creek Campground is the only area campground that offers on-site river tubing as an amenity. Tent, and RV sites are available, and the campground offers cabins that sleep up to 6 people. Amenities include an on-site playground, fishing access, an arcade, and a stocked camp store. Pets are welcome at River Creek, and their nearby access to everything from Lake Lure to Chimney Rock, golf courses, hunting, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking makes this an ideal location to home base on vacation.
Rutherford Mountain Campground and RV Resort is a peaceful rural retreat that’s just outside of Lake Lure. Rutherford Mountain believes that a campground should be a serene environment, and offers a tranquil atmosphere that includes a saltwater pool and patio area, private showers, on-site laundry, and panoramic mountain views. Campers can choose RV sites with full hook up, water and electric, or sites for basic tent camping. The campground is open year-round, pet-friendly, and its location is within easy access to activities like Sliding Rock, Chimney Rock State Park, tubing on the Green River, local riding stables, rafting on the French Broad, and even snow tubing on Moonshine Mountain. Specials are offered for military and first responders, so be sure to check their website before booking.
Union Mills, North Carolina
Thermal City Gold Mine
History buffs and anyone who has ever dreamed of immersing themselves in a fantasy gold mining experience will love camping at Thermal City Gold Mine. Enjoy the ultimate camping and mining experience within this authentic and historic gold mine. Recreational gem mining, gold panning, sluicing, dredging, and detecting are available for mining sleuths of all ages. A hub for gold miners across the southeast, Thermal City Gold Mine campers can discover gems and minerals such as emeralds, rubies, moonstone, and rose quartz, and the mine’s covered flumes allow for mining adventures rain or shine. Stones are inspected and identified free of charge. Campsites are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, are primitive or full hookup, and cabins are available for rental reservations. The campground is pet friendly, open from mid-March through late October, and offers seasonal “Gold Digs” with real prospectors, local crafts, and fantastic vendors. It’s a “golden” opportunity for a unique camping experience!
Stay Calm & Camp On!
Camping is memories made under a canopy of trees and a blanket of stars. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to unplug from the rat race of everyday life amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge foothills. The panoramic majesty of Western North Carolina is calling -- and it’s only a short ride away!