The family and I were looking for a nice place to go camping, hiking, and fishing for spring break. We looked at the North Carolina State Parks website and found Lake Waccamaw had a few primitive camping sites we could reserve and pay in advance. As of this posting, there were five to choose from, so we chose camp site #2 on the water.
We reserved the site about a month out. We visited the lake and camp site the week prior because we have never been there. It's about 45 minutes to an hour from Wilmington. Not a bad drive.
On our way in, we stopped at the visitor center and asked a few questions. The staff was very helpful. On our first day we were provided with a vehicle pass to drive into our camp site for equipment/gear drop off. Good thing we stopped there! That would not have been fun.
Then we ventured into the camping/picnic area a couple miles further into the park. The camp sites are a short walk from the parking area on the trails you would use for hiking anyways. In parking area they have bathroom facilities. In the camping areas there's a pit toilet similar to an outhouse.
Campsite #2 is on the water in an adequately shaded area with a lake view and a lake front trail to the large dock for fishing. It was a rather relaxing camping experience for a few days. Did some light hiking on some of the trails as well as walk to the dock for a couple hours of fishing with the family.
All the camping areas come with park benches, fire pits, and grills. Ours also happened to include a baby squirrel that stayed with us for the final 2 days we were there.
Overall we really enjoyed Lake Waccamaw state park. We would really recommend you give this place a try.
I have camped with a large group of friends at site #2 a couple of times, but this weekend, I wanted to camp with just my two boys, and site #5 (the yurt site) was available. This site was new since I had camped here last. It said it slept 6 and the website showed a pic of two beds; I *assumed* there would be four more, since it slept 6.
Long story short, just 2 beds. But the worst part was weeds growing up through the floorboards, ripped screens, doors that wouldn't zip completely, and two (purposeful) holes at the top that surely let in mosquitoes! The boy who slept at ground level is completely bitten up, despite me spraying everyone with bug spray and using my tennis racket-style bug zapper to clear out the yurt before bed.
Our trash can was completely full (I mean, at least there's a trash can, but we could hardly use it). Our fire ring was full of ashes and the grate was jammed down. The previous campers had left us a few jugs of water but also small pieces of trash scattered about. What I'm trying to say was that this site was not maintained between the last visitors and us.
The campground, though, is awesome if you like roughing it. You are allowed, thankfully, to drive to your site, but it's a hike to walk to the running water toilets, and I saw lots of people drive to them. There is a closer pit toilet but I didn't check that out.
The lake is beautiful, shallow, warm, good fishing, fun for everyone! Bullfrogs, peepers, and owls called all night. Dragonflies galore flew about. It's rustic, but relaxing. And the visitor's center has a nice exhibit on the Carolina Bays.
This is a great spot for campers who would like to car camp and have a swimming feature. The lake is super shallow for at least a hundred yards in all directions from the dock. Where shoes when walking on the dock, lots of nail heads and splinters.
The swimming dock is a short walk from campsite 1, but quite a hike from the other primitive group sites. There are some hiking trails that meander through the sandy pine forest. They range from a .75 mile self-guided nature trail to a 4 mile hike along the lake,
The campsite had picnic tables, fire pit, food prep counter and was not near any other campsites. The mosquitos (expectedly) were pretty voracious despite liberal application of repellent.
The pit toilet had a healthy population of spiders, but the campsite was an easy walk to flush toilets and water fountains.
It would be a nice, private place to camp in colder months, but not much to do. The sunset on the lake was absolutely gorgeous and we had it to ourselves on the first night. This is also a popular destination for locals, so there were quite a few people on the dock on Saturday.