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Great free primitive camping. If all you need is a fire and a tent, this is the spot for you. The Linville Loop is also an amazing 3-4 day backpacking trip for anyone up to the challenge.
Nice spot within the Nature preserve. Sites are close but not on top of each other. Paved but not necessarily level. The cleanest and most well designed bathrooms I’ve ever seen in a campground. Lots of great hiking trails throughout the preserve. Level boxed in pads for tenters in a separate area from RVs as well as sites that can be packed out to. On a visit during COVID it was open but limited. Set on the beautiful Lake Wylie, surrounded by marinas and large beautiful lakeside homes. Well designed for fishing, boating, gatherings and picnics. It feels so remote but is literally minutes from the full metropolis of Charlotte, NC. A must see for at least a day hike if you are in the area or camping if you have the chance.
We stayed in Long Arm paddle-in area 2. Park staff was not very helpful at all when we first arrived, but despite the attitude and the terrible rainy weather, we found our site fairly easily. As other reviews here and elsewhere mention, the tent pads don’t drain well and huge puddles develop- some sites were completely overtaken by a full inch of water. Thankfully the rain stopped on our first night, but it could definitely ruin a trip. The privy was nice to have, but I could smell it at every campsite and that definitely bothered me. Overall a decent weekend, but my suspicions that I am just not a Lake Person were confirmed.
Stayed here a for a few nights in July of 2020. Rain was an issue and bugs were pretty bad. Lots of sites along the road with fire pits. Very difficult to get a fire started due to how damp everything was. The road was a bit rough in spots but 4x4 isn’t necessary. I hiked down to the river where the waterfall is and that was pretty cool. Moderate difficulty on that trail.
Camped 9/25-9/27 in the family campground. Stayed at site 13. Super clean bathhouse which was very nice. Shower stall with doors instead of just curtains. There is a sink for dish washing in the back of the bathhouse. Dumpster is at the end of the large parking lot. The river is wonderful to listen to as you fall asleep. There is 0% service in the campground. No carriers had service so be aware.
Hiked to the top of Chestnut Knob and that was a very strenuous and beautiful hike. You will have service at the very top of the hill to call/text family and friends. You can start your hike right from the campground which is another bonus so you won’t need to drive to a trailhead.
Note: Bring firewood with you! Once the visitor center is closed there is none available and the campground has been picked clean of all available logs and sticks.
Overall I would definitely come back to camp and hike again. Beautiful state park!