My girlfriend and I camped at Gorges State Park for a few days in October of 2017. The trails are excellent and they were in great condition when we visited. The waterfalls are beautiful and it isn't a very strenuous hike to Rainbow Falls.
Camping seems to be hit or miss. The campsites aren't bad, but during our stay the privy pit was nearly unusable, so we dug our own. The access road to the campsite trail was closed as well, so the hike to the campsite from the parking lot felt closer to 3 miles. Given the lack of amenities and the distance to the Raymond Fisher campgrounds, I'd advise that you snag one of the primitive backcountry sites instead. They are situated along the main trail to Rainbow Falls, and almost every backcountry site was in a nice spot with easy access to the stream. Be aware that many of these backcountry sites are directly adjacent to the trail, and hikers will probably pass by your campsite.
If you are camping, expect bears. I don't know if this is still an issue, but we had a bear messing with our stuff every night. It didn't exactly bother us, but we did have to hang our trash and food far from the campsite while we slept. It made us a little nervous because we were the only campers there and you are miles from your car, but it didn't come close enough to our tent to really frighten us.
That being said, we had an incredible time and would definitely return. Despite being in a state park campground it still felt very secluded, and we felt that all the set backs made it more of an adventure.
This place is so beautiful and offers a variety of things to do. My family and I come here all the time to fish in the rivers. They also have a lot of nearby hiking/biking trails for all skill levels. I would give it 10 stars if I could!
I was planning on staying at the campsite known as Raymond Fisher while in this area last month. There was a lot of beautiful hiking to do here and it being a rainforest climate it was absolutely amazing sounding to get out in the thick of it. But then I was alarmed to find out that the camp itself was experiencing some difficulties with bears. Now a lot of places I have camped in the east have mentioned Bears, but never so much so that they were experiencing closures of camps because of this. I took it as a strong hint that I needed to go elsewhere.
But I was encouraged to hike in this area and see some of the amazing sites. A little confused as to why hiking would be ok but not camping I did a short hike on a more improved trail that was heavily trafficked. I figured why not, if I am out there I just have to be faster than the person behind me right…lool.
It was beautiful!!!
I will be going back to this area when bear activity isn't as intense because if the other trails are half as amazing as this one I want to see them all!!
- If you are planning to camp check in advance with the ranger station or online. I noticed when reviewing their site today that they have officially not reopened camping as of yet.
- Take hiking stick or poles depending on your preference for the longer hikes and consider water shoes as well. One of the hikes I would like to return to is 7.5 miles and treks through water on portions as well as uneven terrain. The pictures I saw when visiting looked amazing!!
There are 2 sides to this park. The side we stayed on butted up next to an entrance to Pisgah. We stayed at Ray Fisher campground site. It was about a mile hike to the pond side sites. Fire rings and pads are built in. Not much to do without crossing into pisgah but worth staying here to see the nearby falls
A great destination for amazing geological features, views and a variety of different lengths of hikes… Linville Falls, Brown Mountain lights, beautiful Pisgah National Forest. Great for dayhikes, backpack overnights, camping.
A couple of yearas ago, I stayed in Sapphire, NC, for a trip and had the opportunity to visit the beautiful falls and scenic overlooks in and around Gorges State Park. There are trails fewer than 2 to over 10 miles, and I did a short one to view some of the biggest falls I've ever seen (I'm not a falls chaser or anything, but I've seen a decent amount).
My girlfriend took all the falls pics with her nice camera, but I've attached a few of the overlooks right in/outside the park!
Did not get to camp, but hiking in the area was great!
A fall camping trip from 2011. It's one of the newest State Parks in North Carolina established in 1999 and is the only State Park west of Ashville. Excellent hike-in campsites and beautiful waterfalls.