When traveling and seeking challenge you might want to check out the backcountry camping at this park. There are 4 backcountry campsites along the longest hiking trail of the park which offer fire rings and even tent areas for those wanting to feel more at home in nature.
I wanted to check these out while I was at the park after camping in the very nice improved campground to see what the difference could be. I packed my bag and after leaving the visitors center went off in search of Fern Cove, one of the more moderate to find along the lengthy loop.
The hike here was not bad at all though the hard packed dirt was littered with tree limbs and roots in some places, it was mostly clear. The climb was not bad in most places and I was able to easily trek to this location with my pack.
When I arrived I was the only camper here, making for a very quiet almost surreal feel in the woods. You could hear the birds chirping and the leaves moving in the breeze. It had been raining a bit in the area over the past couple days so a few areas of the camp were a bit muddy but nothing major.
This is one of those places I still had cell service despite being removed from civilization so that was kind of nice in case I had an issue of any type. There are bears in the area, though I saw non on my travel to this camp.
- Check into the visitor center first before hiking out to these site, they do require a permit.
- Beware of wildlife, in the area are bears and other large critters so know where you are and what could be encountered and make sure to always take precautions.
- Check out Lookoff Mountain or Laurel Ridge if you want a more challenging backcountry experience.