Getting into nature has an unlimited amount of benefits. From resetting your internal clock and sleeping better, to raising endorphins, nature can be your best friend. From camping, to hiking, to fishing, getting outdoors can be a solo mission or a family affair. If you’re in the Carolinas and want to get our of your apartment in North Charleston and into the outdoors, we’re here to help!
Both states are full of natural wonders and eye-catching landscapes.The Carolina’s abundance of state parks and bodies of water makes it a perfect region for an awesome camping trip. Home to both a beautiful coast with soft dunes and flat plains and rugged mountain vistas, here you can pitch a tent and have an adventure of enjoying the outdoors on a scenic hike and stargazing up at the Milky Way. From beachside camping to pitching a tent sky high in the mountains, here are some of the best places to go camping in the Carolina region.
If you’re looking for a real backpacking experience out in nature, then the remote Linville Gorge is the place to go. Located in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, this massive deep-cut gorge plunges almost 2,000 feet deep. Stretching across 12 miles, here you’ll find rock formations, canyon walls, and the beautiful Linville Falls waterfalls. A perfect place for campers who want to spend their days on the trail, here you can chase waterfalls, discover summit views and catch memorable sunset views from Shortoff Mountain. Campsites are available on-trail near the summits.
Mount Pisgah Campground
Reaching 5,000 feet in height, Mount Pisgah Campground is one of the highest campsites you’ll find along the Blue Ridge Parkway, only 20 miles away from Asheville. Perched high up in the clouds with rolling mountain landscapes, here you can enjoy panoramic views from the observation deck or go on a hike on one of the popular hiking trails that range from moderate to difficult. Choose the Frying Pan Trail for 1.6 miles of adventure through thick hardwood forest along the rocky terrain, and rest your head in one of the 52 sites available for reservation and dine at the nearby restaurant at Pisgah Inn. If you’re the spontaneous type, don’t fret, as there are still 74 other campsites on a first come, first serve basis.
Fall Creek Falls, Jones Gap State Park and Mountain Bridge Wilderness Preserve
This 100-plus foot waterfall lies deep in the heart South Carolina’s 40,000-acre Mountain Bridge wilderness preserve at the end of a strenuous 1.5-mile uphill hike. The elevation gain is tough but rewarding. When you reach the top, not only will you be rewarded with an up close encounter of an impressive water feature, you’ll also be treated to sweeping views toward Greenville of Paris Mountain and the surrounding Piedmont.
Eastatoe Gorge, Pickens County
The Eastatoe Gorge is protected by the 373-acre Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve. Once a bastion of impressive old growth hemlock, the area saw its fair share of decimation after the accidental introduction of invasive hemlock wooly adelgids. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has now closed this heritage preserve to primitive camping due to the high volume of downed and falling trees, but it makes an excellent summer day hike, especially if you’re looking to escape the heat of the Upstate with a cool swimming hole. To access the trail head north on US 178. Eventually you’ll go through the small community of Rocky Bottom, South Carolina. Shortly after Rocky Bottom is a bridge spanning the length of Eastaoe Creek. Take a left after the bridge and follow signs for the Foothills Trail. Continue on past the Laurel Valley trailhead of the Foothills Trail to a gate blocking an old logging road on your left. Park at the gate and head into the gorge on the old logging road.
If you’re a fan of fishing the mighty Cape Fear River, Carolina Beach is one of the best spots to do it. Even though the town itself may be small, it is packed with places to cast a line, due to ocean-facing beaches, in-shore fishing grounds and a wide selection of charter fishing companies. You will need to purchase a saltwater fishing license here, which can be purchased online ahead of time or at any of the tackle shops or sporting goods stores in the area. Although you can fish from the surf, in-shore or off-shore here, the summer is usually best for surf fishing, where you can catch mackerel, blowfish, sea bass and perch.
The area known as Lake Norman, located about 30 minutes north of Charlotte, actually covers several small towns including Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville. It is the largest man-made body of freshwater in the state and therefore, offers numerous spots for quality fishing. In fact, fishermen come from all over the world to this lake to try to make a record-making catch. Here, you’ll find plenty of catfish, bass and perch, among others. In fact, the fishing is good in this spot, that several national fishing tournaments are held here each year.
With so many great spots to get outdoors in the Carolinas, there’s not reason to stay stuck inside. Get into nature, take a hike in the woods, camp in the forest, fish in the open waters, or just relax in a hammock. Nature is calling your name!