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For many, camping stirs up fond memories of building fires, roasting marshmallows, learning to pitch a tent or catching that first fish. Camping allows friends and families to unplug, almost literally, from everyday life and plug into Mother Nature’s playing field. Here are nine campgrounds in Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills of Western North Carolina where families can have the time of their lives.

Camping in Chimney Rock, NC

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 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. Covered deck sites are offered for tents, RVs or popups. This is a small-pet friendly campground.

Camping in Forest City, NC

Foothills Family Campground

This family owned and operated campground offers tent sites, cabin rentals and full hookup RV sites for rent. Cool off in the swimming pool, fish in the pond, or stroll along one of several hiking trails. Family-friendly activities are planned throughout the year to keep guests and especially kids entertained such as bingo, cornhole tournaments, and pumpkin carving and trick-or-treat at Halloween.  This is a pet-friendly campground.

Camping in Spindale, NC

Orchard Park

Enjoy the serene atmosphere that surrounds Orchard Park coupled with a game of horseshoes, bocce ball, volleyball, basketball or even knocker ball. Hollands Creek is located on the property and said to have gold, according to local legend, so gold panning is also available for guests. The park accommodates tents, 12-foot travel trailers, or motor homes up to 40-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.

Camping in Lake Lure, NC

Hitching Post Campground

Enjoy the perks of visiting Lake Lure when staying at Hitching Post Campground. Just minutes from Lake Lure and the Broad River, this campground offers tent and RV camping, plus bunkhouses and even apartments. Amenities include a fishing pond, playground and picnic areas, camp store and bathhouse. Nature trails covering forty-four acres of the property revealing cascading waterfalls, babbling brooks and indigenous Western North Carolina flora. This is a pet-friendly campground.

Apple Valley Farm Motorcoach Resort

For those who like to getaway in style, Apple Valley Farm Motorcoach Resort offers RV sites with complete access to amenities at Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure including a sandy beach, pools, tennis courts, miniature golf, boat and kayak rentals, wellness spa and salon. Diverse rally packages are also available. RVs must be a manufacturer-designated minimum 32-foot Class A motorcoach. This is a pet-friendly campground.

Camping in Rutherfordton, NC

4 Paws Kingdom Campground

Known as the first dog-dedicated campground in the country, 4 Paws is a wonderland for dogs and their owners. If pooch pleasing is a priority, this campground is a must-do. Amenities for dogs include several different off-leash playgrounds and dog parks, a doggy spa, grooming stations, 12 acres of natural hiking trails and a fully fenced swimming pond. Owners can choose between semi-wooded back-in sites or pull-throughs that accommodate any size rig. There are also six deluxe RV sites with private fenced dog yards – five of them also have private decks. Camping cabins and rental trailers are also available. Dog owners can enjoy a swimming and fishing pond and state-of-the-art bathhouse.

River Creek Campground

Located 10 miles east of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock and right on the Broad River, this campground is the only one that offers river tubing. Tubing is available on weekdays Memorial Day through Labor Day. Reserve a variety of tent camping or RV sites, or a cabin that sleeps two, four, five or six people. Amenities include a playground, fishing access, camp store and arcade games. This is a pet-friendly campground.

Camping in Union Mills, NC

Rutherford Mountain Campground & RV Resort

This rural retreat is located 20 minutes from Lake Lure and Interstate 40, and boasts a serene and peaceful atmosphere with activities for families and individuals. New to the campground is an outdoor, saltwater pool and patio area. Campers can choose RV sites with full hook up, water and electric, or sites for primitive tent camping. This is a pet-friendly campground.

Thermal City Gold Mine & Campground

Enjoy the ultimate camping and mining experience at this authentic and historic gold mine. Recreational gem mining and gold panning, sluicing, dredging and detecting are available. A hub for gold miners across the southeast, campers can discover gems and minerals indigenous to Western North Carolina such as emeralds, rubies, moonstone, rose quartz and more. Flumes are covered allowing for mining in rain or shine. Stones are inspected and identified free of charge. Rent a primitive or full hookup campsite or opt for one of the five cabins. Reservations and a deposit are required for cabin rentals. This is a pet-friendly campground.