8 Best Campgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina (2023)

As the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is a pretty big city with a long and storied history. One of the best things about the area is that it’s also close to lots of green spaces and campgrounds. So, if you’re a big fan of the outdoors and want to experience North Carolina’s unique climate, you have plenty of options.

Because there are various types of camping options near the city, we’ve broken down our list into the best all-around campgrounds, best RV sites, and the best-secluded camping. This way, you can pick and choose based on which type of camping you like to do best.

READ MORE: 21 Best Campgrounds in North Carolina

Best All-Around Campgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina

As a rule, state parks and recreation areas are ideal for camping because they have the most amenities and activities. While not all parks have the same elements to offer, they’re overall well-equipped for most campers. Plus, if you prefer to come in an RV, you can still find hookups at most of these parks, making them the best for both worlds.

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

8BestCampgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina (1)
(Video) Top 10 RV campgrounds in USA | Best RV Parks

Kicking things off isJordan Lake State Recreation Area, which is one of the largest state parks near Raleigh. As the name suggests, the campsites are situated around Jordan Lake, which extends far north and south, covering hundreds of square miles. While a lakeside beach isn’t quite the same as the ocean, there are plenty of sandy beaches to explore and relax at, both by yourself and with kids in tow.

There are actually multiple campgrounds, and you can reserve spots for tents and RVs, or you can backpack throughout the park and find spots that way. Backpacking camping sites are first come, first serve, so you might have to search for a while during busy parts of the year (i.e., holiday weekends).

  • Address:280 State Park Rd, Apex, NC 27523
  • Amenities:Toilets, Showers, Drinking Water, Picnic Tables, Grills, Lantern Holders, Garbage Bins, Dump Station
  • Pet-Friendly?:Yes, as long as all pets are leashed and stay on the trails. Pet owners must also clean up after their animals.
  • Why You’ll Love It:There are over 1,000 campsites at Jordan Lake spread across multiple campgrounds throughout the park. With so many acres and tons of water access, you can stay as long as you like and always have something fun to do each day. The lake itself is gorgeous and serene.

Falls Lake State Recreation Area

If you want a slightly smaller state recreation area for your camping trip,Falls Lakeis an excellent choice. This site is a bit north of Raleigh, and the lake is also pretty massive. However, with fewer campsites, you don’t have to worry as much about crowds or noise pollution from tons of other campers.

That said, this park has an amphitheater and multiple public buildings, so you can find out more about the natural area and see local shows happening during your visit.

  • Address:13300 Creedmoor Rd, Wake Forest, NC 27587
  • Amenities:Water and Electric Hookups, Central Bath Houses, Picnic Tables, Grills, Lantern Hooks
  • Pet-Friendly?:Yes, if pets are on a leash and stay on the trail. Owners must pick up the waste.
  • Why You’ll Love It:Falls Lake is a massive body of water north of Raleigh and Durham. So, if you’re into watersports and fishing, you’ll love spending time at this campground. While it’s not as big as the Jordan Lake Recreation Area (only 300 campsites), it still has plenty to do and see during your visit.

READ MORE: 10 Gorgeous Waterfalls Near Boone NC

(Video) Falls Lake State Recreation Area Holly Point Campground - Camping in Raleigh, North Carolina #RVLife

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area

8BestCampgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina (2)

If you head north toward the Virginia border, you’ll come acrossKerr Lake Recreation Area, which is one of the largest natural sites in all of North Carolina. The lake itself covers 5,000 acres and has over 800 miles of beach, making it a prime destination for visitors who love the water but don’t want to venture out to the Outer Banks.

With so much water around, you’ll want to bring your boat, fishing gear, and other watercraft. You may also wind up spending more time on the water than at your campsite since there is so much to explore.

  • Address:269 Glass House Rd, Henderson, NC 27537
  • Amenities:Bath Houses. Boat Ramps, Dump Stations, Showers, Amphitheater, Picnic Shelters
  • Pet-Friendly?:Yes, if they’re on a leash and owners pick up their waste.
  • Why You’ll Love It:If you’re a fan of lakeside activities, Kerr Lake has everything, including boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and much more. Plus, with boat access ramps, you can bring your own vessel and tear around the water. If you’re really looking for an adventure, the lake spans the border between North Carolina and Virginia, so you can cross between both states.

READ MORE: Best Campgrounds NearBrevard, North Carolina

William B. Umstead State Park

8BestCampgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina (3)
(Video) South Carolina's Best Kept Secret! Edisto Island (AMAZING RV Camping)

This state park is not centered around a lake, but it’s far more central to Raleigh, making it more convenient if you’re planning to head into the city during your visit. There is a small lake on the southern end of the park, and you can rent boats if you want to be on the water. One of the main selling points ofWilliam B. Umstead State Parkis its horse-friendliness is you’re looking for someone to stay and ride near Raleigh.

  • Address:8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617
  • Amenities:Boat Rentals, Picnic Shelters, Bath Houses, Showers
  • Pet-Friendly?:Yes, if pets are on leashes and owners pick up after them.
  • Why You’ll Love It:Although William B. Umstead State Park isn’t as expansive as other locales on this list, it still has lots of hiking and natural beauty. This park is ideal if you’re a horse lover, as there are horseback trails and parking for your rig. Plus, there is a small lake within the park, so you can go paddling or fishing if you want.

READ MORE: 8 Best Hiking Trails Near Franklin, NC

Best RV Parks Near Raleigh, North Carolina

While tent camping has plenty of charm, sometimes you want the creature comforts of home while sleeping under the stars. Fortunately, Raleigh is no stranger to RV camping, and many of the state parks listed above cater to both tents and motorhomes. However, here are two specialty RV parks that are perfect for individuals, couples, or families looking for adventure.

North Carolina State Fairgrounds Campground

If you’re a regular RVer, you know that fairgrounds are excellent spots to park your rig. TheNorth Carolina Fairgroundshas over 300 sites with full water, sewer, and power hookups, making it an ideal stop during your stay in North Carolina. The only problem is that each site is first come, first serve, so you have to plan accordingly, especially if you’re coming for an event. We recommend coming the night before or super early in the morning to avoid the rush.

  • Address:801 Youth Center Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607
  • Amenities:Water and Electrical Hookups, Dump Station
  • Pet-Friendly?:Yes, if they’re leashed, and owners pick up their waste.
  • Why You’ll Love It:The North Carolina Fairgrounds are an excellent place to park your RV because there’s always something going on. Plus, since you’re next to the city, you can find anything you need close by. There are no reservations for this RV park, but the fairgrounds has 350 sites with full water and power hookups, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting a spot. Plus, it’s much cheaper to park here than book a hotel for your stay in Raleigh.

Coopers RV Park

8BestCampgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina (4)
(Video) AVOID MOVING TO NORTH CAROLINA - Unless You Can Deal With These 10 Facts | Living in North Carolina

Some RV parks have full amenities, meaning you can practically live onsite and get everything you need.Coopers RV parkis more bare-bones, so it caters to self-sufficient RVers who want to stay away from the city while still being close to civilization. Overall, this RV park is great if you have a full-service rig, but not as much if you’re traveling in a camper van or small trailer.

  • Address:13528 U.S. 70 Business Clayton, NC 27520
  • Amenities:Water and Power Hookups, Dump Station Nearby
  • Pet-Friendly?:Yes, but all pets must be on leashes, and owners are responsible for waste pickup.
  • Why You’ll Love It:Coopers RV Park is designed for those who want a long-term stay in a quiet, secluded area. While the park is just south of Raleigh, it’s far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city, so you can relax and unwind for the duration of your visit. There are also lots of shops and restaurants nearby, so you can explore the area as much as you like.

READ MORE: 5 Best Caves and Caverns in North Carolina

Best Private Camping Near Raleigh, North Carolina

Although state recreation areas and RV parks are great for most camping trips, they can also get crowded quickly, especially during the busy travel season. So, if you’re looking to have a quieter, more intimate camping experience, it’s best to book a secluded campsite on private property. This way, you can feel like you’re really “roughing it” without having campers on either side of your lot.

Privette Point

Do you like the idea of staying on a farm? If so, you should book a visit toPrivette Point. This site has acres of pristine natural beauty, two ponds, and a bridge. The ponds are also stocked with fish, so bring your poles and cast a line. Alternatively, you can bring a canoe or kayak and explore the water up-close.

  • Address:Wake Forest, NC
  • Amenities:Water and Electrical Hookups
  • Pet-Friendly?:No
  • Why You’ll Love It:This area is peaceful and serene, with natural beauty and water features surrounding the campsite. The land used to be a tobacco and cattle farm, so there’s a lot of open space and no one else around for miles. After a few days of camping here, you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated as you’ll be connected with nature the whole time.

Animal Sanctuary and Peace Park

As the name suggests, thissecluded campgroundis in the heart of an animal sanctuary, meaning you’re about as far away from civilization as possible. There are also only three sites available, so you likely won’t run into other people during your visit. The downside of this spot is that it’s not pet-friendly, but that’s just so dogs and cats don’t disturb the wildlife.

(Video) Free, Uncrowded, Riverside spots - North Carolina has some PRIMO National Forest Camping!

  • Address:Coats, NC
  • Amenities:Water and Electrical Hookups
  • Pet-Friendly?:No
  • Why You’ll Love It:Coats is well outside the city, so you’ll be able to escape modern life for the duration of your trip. As an animal sanctuary, you’ll be able to experience wildlife in its natural habitat, giving you a hands-on glimpse of what life could be like if there were no people around. This campsite bills itself as the ultimate destination for all “hippies, tree-huggers, and Earth lovers.”

Other Campgrounds in North Carolina

Planning a camping trip in North Carolina? Raleigh may be a popular spot, but don’t forget about the other amazing camping destinations in the western region and along the coast. We’ve got some other recommendations for you that we think you’ll love:

  • Best Campgrounds Near Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Best Boone, NC Campgrounds
  • Guide to Camping in North Carolina State Parks
  • Best Beach Camping in North Carolina


1. 10 Places in North Carolina You Should NEVER Move To
(Nick Johnson)
2. 10 Best Places to Visit in North Carolina - Travel Video
3. Mayberry Campground - Mt Airy NC
(I Love RV Life)
4. Sycamore Lodge Resort | Best Campground in Hot Springs, NC
(Sycamore Lodge Resort)
5. Thousand Trails Lake Gaston RV & Camping Resort, Littleton, NC
6. Best Areas to Live in Raleigh North Carolina | That's Raleigh
(That's Raleigh)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated: 10/06/2023

Views: 5695

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.