The quaint town of Highlands, NC is a hidden jewel just 2 hours drive north of Atlanta surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest and situated atop a plateau at elevation 4118 feet. Rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, hiking, and even skiing at nearby Mount Bachelor are all in play in Bend, but it’s still a river town at heart. Some of the best camping sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains lie in Pisgah. Iron Horse is minutes from the famous Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, the scenic mile-high Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiner 28, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee, Fontana Dam, and the Nantahala River Gorge. Several parts of the river are impounded by dams for water, power, and flood control. Things to Do in Bryson City, North Carolina Mountains: See Tripadvisor's 31,266 traveler reviews and photos of Bryson City tourist attractions. Unless otherwise posted, National Forests and National Grasslands are open for dispersed camping. Explore. Camping near Asheville is easy thanks to the numerous national forests and state parks. From grabbing an ice cold beverage from your YETI cooler to eating backpacking food by headlamp in your bivy sack there’s no wrong way to enjoy the great outdoors. Camping & hiking gear at REI. The waterway known as the Lumber River extends downstream from the Scotland County-Hoke County border to the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Are campgrounds open for camping during the Coronavirus? North Carolina State Parks offer traditional campsites, beach camping, cabins and paddle-in sites. Pisgah National Forest surrounds the Asheville area with 500,000 protected acres of wilderness bliss. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. Often called “boondocking” or “camping off the grid,” dispersed camping requires campers to be self-sufficient with their water, waste, and electricity. Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species, and exploration of this unique environment often begins at the expansive visitor center with its museum-quality exhibits, augmented by picnic grounds and shelters. The CDC addresses travel, stating “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Popular camping area. The Stan Murray Shelter, a three-sided structure 3.5 miles from Carver’s Gap, is an option, but if you want a warm night, continue another 2.3 miles to the massive Overmountain Shelter. It rises in the northwestern portion of the state near the Blue Ridge Parkway's Thunder Hill Overlook. Try glamping, river platform camping, or spending the night under the stars on the lawn of our state's first capitol in New Bern. European settlers first called the river Drowning Creek, which still is the name of its headwater. Lake Santeetlah offers a more remote, wilderness camping experience, surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is one of the best falls in the area and the walk to get to the falls is a short one that requires very little effort. It boasts more than 75 miles of shoreline and hosts a variety of fish including smallmouth bass, largemouth … Set in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and in the heart of Cherokee tribal country, the KOA in Cherokee, NC, boasts 360-degree views of the mountains, exciting activities for the whole family and an unforgettable camping adventure. Dispersed camping is camping anywhere outside of a developed campground. There’s camping galore along the AT, but if you want a true AT experience, stay in a shelter. (2.5-mile round-trip hike, moderate) This waterfall in Panthertown Valley in Nantahala National Forest is small, but really big on beauty with a great pool for a splash. . Gorges State Park. Big and busy are the two best words to describe Elkmont Campground. With the Little River running through the campground, you can enjoy some waterfront camping and several nearby fishing holes. The Lumber River is a 133-mile-long (214 km) river in south-central North Carolina in the flat Coastal Plain. Whether you are on a cruiser, sport bike or dual sport, Iron Horse is where riders stay and play. Trip Tips. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Reserve >> Camp out at Tryon Palace, our first state capitol, during Lanterns on the Lawn in April. The Yadkin River is one of the longest rivers in North Carolina, flowing 215 miles (346 km). We have reviews of the best places to see in Bryson City. No matter how you spend time outdoors there’s just something about the experience that makes you feel more alive. After rafting Section III your personal gear will be waiting at the campsite where you can enjoy an afternoon of swimming, hiking or fishing (SC or GA fishing license required), followed by a steak dinner catered around a campfire, and a night camping out under the stars. Located only eight miles away from the famous town of Gatlinburg, this is the number one stop at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail appeals, head to Max Patch. Camping and Shelters. Extend your hike to a 5-mile loop for mountaintop views and another waterfall. Make a camping adventure out of your Chattooga River experience.