Whether you are craving the crackling sounds of a warm bonfire or just looking for a cozy place to sleep under the stars, we have you covered on your next favorite camping spot. Here’s six 6 of our favorites.
This waterfall oasis is a beautiful change of scenery with every season. If you haven’t camped here during the fall months, it’s a must-do. Right along the Appalachian Trail, you can find plenty of cozy spots to throw up a tent or hammock. Just make sure to set up your spot 200 feet off the trail and from water sources or utilize the nearby Dennis Cove Campground.
Rocky Fork State Park
There are so many miles of trail to explore in Rocky Fork State Park by foot, bike, and fishing pole! The further up you climb, the more breathtaking the views become, and the higher elevation creeks are noted as one of the top three brook trout fisheries in our state. This state park has three primitive backcountry camping sites that must be reserved here ahead of time.
Unaka Mountain Overlook
If you are familiar with The Beauty Spot, then you may have heard of the Unaka Mountain Overlook. Though it is a further drive through the mountains, and we do recommend a higher vehicle clearance, the sunset views from this spot are spectacular! There is a camping area hidden in the trees near the lookout, or you can find plenty of backcountry options away from the gravel road off the beaten path.
Red Banks Campground
About one mile from an intersection of the Appalachian Trail, you will find Erwin’s newest primitive campground at Red Banks. Owned by USA Raft, this campground welcomes tents, vans, RVs, and hammocks for $10/ person per night and children free! This is a great option if you are looking to day hike the Appalachian Trail with shower and bathroom amenities at your fingertips.
Pitch a tent at Roan Mountain’s Grassy Ridge for stellar sunrise views. This is a local’s favorite gem with views of the Appalachian Mountains in every direction. The bright orange and red hues of the sunrise mornings bring about a peaceful feeling like no other. The further in you hike, the more in-tune you become with the sacred grounds of Roan Mountain.
Located at the foot of Buffalo Mountain and just below the Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower observation platform in Unicoi, Woodsmoke Campground is tucked right inside the Cherokee National Forest. Bring your RV or rent a cabin and feel right at home any time of the year.
Please remember to practice Leave No Trace ethics when hiking and camping in our beautiful mountains to keep these trails around for generations to come.
Article & Photography By:
Alicia Bynum, AdventurePickle.com