North Carolina offers many different types of camping. This should come as no surprise since North Carolina has beaches to the east and mountains to the west. It’s also one of the best climates in the United States, making comfortable camping easier for a longer stretch of the year than in most places. 

Roanoke River Platform Sites

There are 15 platform sites on a 140-mile stretch of the Roanoke River. The Upper Roanoke is home to three of those campsites: Tusca Landing, Tillery, and The Bluff. All three are cabin-like structures. These are best suited for amateur campers who want a new experience but can also feel like they’re at home.

The majority of the campsites are in Lower Roanoke. River Landing and Conine are similar to the North Roanoke sites. The others are all roughing it, where you’re on a wooden platform in the open and must bring your tent. These sites include Barred Owl Roost, Beaver Lodge, Beaver Tail, Cow Creek, Three Sisters, Cypress Cathedral, Bear Run, and Royal Fern.

The Cashie River sites consist of Lost Boat and Otter one, both of which are also roughing.

Panthertown Valley

Panthertown Valley is located in the Nantahala National Forest and is known as the “Yosemite of the East.” This is a 6,300-acre area where you can also find 25 miles of trails, waterfalls, and solitude. All campsites are spacious, but they must be kept and are limited to 12 people or less.

This is traditional camping, including being deep in the woods, campfires, hiking, and swimming in the warmer months. Panthertown Valley is also close to Harrah’s Cherokee, Cashiers, Sylva, and Asheville.

French Broad Paddle Trail

There is a campsite on the French Broad Paddle Trail every 15 miles over a 140-mile stretch of the French Broad River. This is the best option for people who want to paddle and camp.

For those seeking to go on this kind of adventure for the first time, the 1-Night Evan’s Island trip is a good option. This does include Class 2 rapids. Begin the trip at Redmon Dam and paddle 1.75 miles to Evan’s Island. Camp overnight and paddle another 3.0 miles to Barnard the next day. It’s important to note that the rapids are much more intense after Barnard. Longer paddle-camping trips are available for those with more experience or a deep thirst for adventure.