Top 5 Must-Visit Campsites for North Carolina in 2024

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

There aren’t a lot of states in the country that boast the scenery that North Carolina offers, from the state’s sun-splashed shores on the Atlantic side to the gnarled peaks of the Appalachia in the west.  

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, North Carolina is a can’t-miss destination, thanks to the state’s ties to the 2,050-mile, north-to-south mountain range that cuts through the western flank of the Tar Heel State.  

With spring right around the corner, there is an influx of families and outdoor enthusiasts to explore Mother Nature. Using Reddit and Google Trends, BetCarolina took a breath of fresh air on North Carolina sports betting updates and looked into the top places to camp in the Tar Heel State. 

Based on results from Reddit and Google Trends, Hanging Rock State Park is the top place to camp in the Tar Heel State, followed by the Pisgah National Forest. The Google Trends search was conducted between February 6 - 13, 2024, comparing search interests for “Hanging Rock State Park,” “Pisgah National Forest,” “Lake James State Park,” “South Mountains State Park,” and “Mount Mitchell State Park.” 

North Carolina’s Favorite Campsites

Rank Campsite Search Interest
1 Hanging Rock State Park29
2 Lake James State Park22
3 Pisgah National Forest21
4 South Mountains State Park20
5 Mount Mitchell State Park11

Where Do Carolina Residents Camp The Most?

The most popular campsites in North Carolina all rest in the west of the state, including Stokes’ Hanging Rock State Park, which drew the strongest search interest score of any qualifying destination, at 29.  

Trailing the northwestern park in No. 2 statewide, Nebo’s Lake James State Park drew a search interest score of 22, thanks in large part to the 2,743 acres of unspoiled natural wonders that borders Lake James, which has a catchment area of 387 square miles from a dammed up portion of the Catawba River.  

The Tar Heel State’s third favorite camping spot was Pisgah National Forest in the Asheville region, with a search interest score of 21 for the open space area that was originally donated to the U.S. Forest Service by Edith Vanderbilt in 1914.  

Rounding out the list of the most popular campgrounds in North Carolina was South Mountains State Park in Burke County, with the 20,949-acre Appalachia space notching a search interest score of 20, while the state park that surrounds the tallest point east of the Rockies (Mount Mitchell State Park) rounded out the top five with a search interest score of 11.  

As the weather warms and trips outdoors beckon for North Carolina residents of all ages, it seems like there’s a natural bounty of destinations to camp out and explore, with the Appalachia region calling to those who seek to get in touch with the great outdoors in 2024. 

Stay with for more updates surrounding all things North Carolina and for the best NC sportsbook promos when they are live. 


Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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