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Found the campground on a map and went to see what it was all about. Sites are very large and well maintained. The bathroom is a vaulted toilet. The water spot is close to sites. No power, that makes it real camping. Great experience.
Flanners Beach is tucked away just off of Hwy 70 outside historic New Bern NC. It’s a small campground overlooking the mighty Neuse River. Most sites are level. Sewer is not offered but of course they have a dump. Water and electric is available and camp fees are very reasonable. There is a sand beach to enjoy and you are within 10 miles of both New Bern and Havelock where Cherry Point Marine Corp base is located.
I’ve known about this campground for a long time, but I never got a chance to camp at it until now. It was long overdue. The campground has pull-through and back-in sites. The sites are level and most have 30/50 amp hookups, as well as water. There is also a primitive tent camping area. You can choose to stay along the river or next to the woods. There are viewing platforms to look at the river, trails, and at least three ponds in which you can fish. There is not a swimming pool or an arcade pavilion, but there are a lot of things for children and adults to do. The campground is along the Neuse River, and it is part of the Neuseway Nature Center complex. The Nature Center has a variety of live animal exhibits, and across the street there is a planetarium and science center. Also included on the premises are a playground, a fossil dig, a picnic shelter, and a small train in which visitors can ride. You have to register at the Nature Center, which is about a hundred yards from the campground, and the fee was$20.00, which I thought was very reasonable. The host was one of the nicest hosts I have ever encountered at a campground. He answered all the questions we had, and he walked us to the bath house to make sure we understood how to enter the code to unlock the door. There are some drawbacks to the campground, although not many. It is a long walk to the bath house from the campground, but our host said that they are trying to get a bath house within the campground itself. The reason it has not been done sooner is because the whole area is in a flood zone, and they have to figure out the best way to have bathrooms there. The waters from the Neuse River have covered the entire campground and Nature Center complex more than once and almost every year. With that said, you will want to make sure the river has not flooded before you decide to go. It rained the entire time we were there, so we didn’t get to enjoy many of the outdoor opportunities, but I enjoyed seeing the river and the animal exhibits. However, there is a lot more to do across the bridge into Kinston. With a short drive of three-tenths of a mile, you will be on Herritage Street. Over the last three decades, the city of Kinston has been in a steady decline in population, and the crime rate has increased. However, city leaders have been bringing things back to life. This campground is right across the river from Herritage Street, which has a nationally known restaurant(The Chef and the Farmer), the only full size Civil War ironclad replica in the world, a successful brewery(Mother Earth Brewery), and many other eclectic shops and parks. For breakfast and lunch, Lovick’s Café is a great choice, and it has been in business since the 1940s. It is most famous for its dough burgers. For some people, this might be a two star campground because it doesn’t seem to offer much. Others, including myself, would rate it five stars because it has a little bit of both worlds—nature and civilization(Herritage Street). I will give it only four stars because I’m trying to be objective, knowing that people looking for campgrounds want swimming pools, game rooms, Wi-Fi, etc.
This campground is out in the middle of a farming community miles away from the nearest large city. Decades ago, it was a popular destination for folks for miles around. There was a store and a mill, but more importantly, it was a social gathering place. We took our Cub Scouts there to camp and to have ceremonies a few times. The worst thing about this campground that I have found is that there are venomous snakes that come from the millpond. As far as activities, it does have a swimming pool and a trail or two to explore; but the main attraction is the fishing. Fast forward to the present. A previous owner turned the campground into a cat rescue, and in the past, I have seen dozens and dozens of cats around the campground, sometimes gathered together as the owner is feeding them. This time I only saw five. With that said, you have to watch out for cat droppings. Because of several hurricanes coming through, the pond has washed over the banks a few times, and the dam has broken on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, the dam is still broken and is in need of repair. The millpond is the main attraction for this campground, but with the pond being completely drained, you cannot fish in it or boat on it until it is repaired. In the past, most people launched their own boats instead of renting them, and since it is a millpond, there were lots of places to fish among the cypress trees and stumps. You could see plenty of turtles and geese. There was a peaceful beauty there. My favorite part about the campground is taking pictures of the old mill and store, although it has deteriorated and has“no trespassing” signs. There was once a dock for fishing, but that has also deteriorated and has“no trespassing” signs. The campground did have a store that sold live bait, but with the pond drained, there is no need for it to be in business anymore. Most of the people at the campground are seasonal or permanent residents. The campground has RV sites with cable/internet connections, an in ground pool, a fishing pier, and a pavilion for gatherings. Even with it needing a lot of work and updating, it is a place where you can camp without the sounds of traffic all night long. At night, you could hear owls, geese, and frogs, but this time, it was quiet since the geese aren’t around anymore. The campsite was a little soft because of all the rain, so staying in the back of my SUV seemed like a better option. During the day, you will hear an occasional piece of farm machinery since it is surrounded by farms. Overall, it’s a good place to camp if you just want to get away from the sounds of traffic, and the owner was very nice. As I talked to her, she said she was trying to get help from the federal government to get the dam/embankment fixed so the pond can fill up again. I would like to go back there when the pond is back to its normal level.
My first campsite with my new-to-me T@B trailer. We camped right up against tall grassy dunes so we were protected from the wind. Could hear the ocean at night. Super clean bathhouse. The staff would drive around 3 times per day to collect your trash. Once they picked up my awning poles and put on the trailer to throw away—they’re not kidding when the say everything and anything will be picked up! Had to chase them down but retrieved so all was good. WiFi was not great but who cares when you’re practically parked on the beach. Will def go back here. Too late in season so I didn’t use but they also have salt water pool!
Love this park. Bear Island is only accessible by boat. So you have to pay a small fee for the ferry ride that takes you to Bear Island. Or you can canoe or kayak. You have to hike with all your camping gear less than a mile to the beach. There is not much shade on the hike there but it wasn't bad on a hot summer day.
The beach camping spots are right in front of the dunes. We went on Labor Day weekend and there was no one there! So peaceful and serene. Lots of shells to find! And what a beautiful beach. There are nice bathrooms, water, and a snack bar that is open during the summer (cash only). Lots of picnic tables here as well.
Planning on coming back here next summer and staying longer! Such a unique camping experience!
If you have a chance, definitely check out Goose Creek State Park. My husband, son, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and myself stayed at the park this past weekend, and we had a wonderful time. We stayed at campsite 11, and we had plenty of room for our two tents, two vehicles, a pup, a toddler, and the supplied picnic table, fire pit, and additional charcoal grill. The one negative about spot 11 is there’s a hiking trail that run directly behind the campsite, so it feels like people are constantly walking through your campsite. Spots 1-10 were definitely a bit smaller, and spots 11-14 are larger. If we were to stay again, I believe we’d try to stay at site 13.
The fishing dock is quite small, but it was fun to fish from with a few people. Be sure to bring bug spray! The worst for me was the biting flies. There is one outhouse-type bathroom near the dock with a spigot and dumpster nearby. There are about 10 steps leading up to the one-person, non-flushing bathroom.
There’s a wood station at the campground that uses the honor system. It’s $5 per bundle. We visited the visitors center in the hopes that they would have live bait for sell, but they sell nothing of the sort (no ice, bait, fishing rods, etc). So bring everything you need other than wood!
Overall, I’d give the campground 4.5/5, and I certainly recommend it! Try to stay in sites 11-14 if possible.