The best camping near
Charlotte, NORTH CAROLINA

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Perfect Spot

Great spot lots of trails and primitive at its best.

A relaxing lakeside atmosphere

Uwharrie National Forest-Badin Lake Campground, New London, NC.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48934 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5368418.pdf

Campground Overview: 34 sites, two loops…upper loop and lakeside loop. Relatively large sites with vegetation that blocks constant view of neighbors. 

Each site has a gravel parking pad and separate gravel tent pad, a standing charcoal grill, firepit with adjustable grate, a picnic table and a metal pole for hanging lanterns, etc. I would advise securing online reservations, but they do have an Iron Ranger to drop your payment in should you find an empty site. Note: There are warnings that online reservations take precedence, so if you use the Iron Ranger payment drop chute and someone reserved the same campsite…you will be required to move to a different location when the online reservation campers arrive. Just so you know.

No electric. 

Oddly, no firewood for sale…although scrounging produced plenty of things and fallen branches to keep a fire going.

I preferred the lower loop as nearly every outer site was on the lake with great views and lake access and sites are spread out. The inside sites of the lower loop are pretty spacious and deep. Water spigots were spaced out around the loop, so a short walk as we were equal distance between two. 

Restroom/showerhouses were quad door buildings. Separate men’s and women’s restrooms and two separate shower rooms. Facilities were kept clean and stocked by resident hosts. 

With Verizon, I never lost signal…a plus for a National Forest!

The upper loop appeared to offer a little more solitude than the lower lake loop…but no lake views. 

The lake loop trail crosses the main campground roadway between the two loops. This trail is relatively flat and meanders around the lake and it’s many fingers…offering lovely lake views and some nice fishing locations. 

During my midweek visit it was quiet day and night. The sunset across the lake was gorgeous and relaxing. Loud powerboat noise was minimal as only a couple bass boats thought it essential to travel at high speeds from location to location. Next visit my canoe and mountain one will accompany me. 

What I enjoyed: as much as I dislike tree rats, I was entertained by two feuding squirrels that chased each other relentlessly and knocking each other out of tree tops. Woodpecker and Turkey wake up calls. 

For a National Forest, I was surprised by the level of daytime industrial noise nearby. 

Overall, a fantastic location relatively close to Raleigh/Durham and Fayetteville for a great camping getaway. I was only able to stay one night as the campground was booked, all reserved in advance. So plan ahead.

Offroader's Paradise

Uwharrie National Forest-Arrowhead Campground

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48934 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5368418.pdf 

Uwharrie National Forest is fairly vast, but several camping areas are located in one general area. Equestrian campgrounds, hunting camps and then Arrowhead and Badin Lake campgrounds, along with the boat launch area. Arrowhead Campground has had a bigger budget compared to its lesser sibling Badin Lake Campground. 

Campground roadways are paved, as well as the campsite parking pads, The restrooms are newer, larger and offer paved parking for users. 

Sites are reasonably large and offer a picnic table, firepit, charcoal grill and metal hanging pole for lanterns, etc. some foliage exists between Campsites, but you still have a visual of your neighbors. 

It appeared during my visit that most users were off-roaders with either 4x4’s or quads. The onsite host advised that it is very popular with the off-road enthusiasts. Enclosed and flatbed trailers filled most of the sites. 

Caution: During hunting season, the National Forest is open to hunters…wear brightly colored or hunter orange clothing especially dawn and dusk.

Reserve well in advance if you desire a site…these campgrounds fill quickly. 

Arrowhead also offers an inner-campground paved walk/bike/stroller trail…and the drive down to the boat launch(which has a fairly sizable paved parking lot and latrines). You can also pick up the lake loop trail by the Boat Ramp.

Being located so closely to the Raleigh/Durham area…and the Fayettville area…I can see this being filled to capacity most days and definitely weekends. Mid-week it was filled.

History Abounds

Tons to do, including hikes and history. Make sure to go across the street to the Kings Mountain Military site. Better yet, plan your stay when they are doing an event.

Love it.

Great place to camp. Very quiet,very friendly clean bathroom. Cheap camping.

Great place to camp.

Great Place to camp with your family. The park has more to do other than the campground it is a wonderful place if you have young kids.

First time at a KOA

Stopped here for an overnight on our way south. We had a pull-thru full hookup site. It was relatively level but not perfect. Main bath house was under construction and not available. There is a bar, convenience store, and RV service center at the entrance which is convenient. We didn’t have time to look around the campground much but it served it’s purpose for us. Oh, there are no fire rings but it claims on their site that you can build one in the gravel. We didn’t see a single other site with a fire.

Quiet & peaceful

Great little gem in the area to avoid the chaos and calamity with the other Uwharrie area campgrounds. Very quiet and peaceful. Spacious lots in a wooded setting, includes a pool, walking trails, and access to Lake Tillery. Ice and firewood available onsite. Bath-houses are dated. Campground staff is super friendly and eager to make your stay comfortable.

Hidden treasure

We loved our stay! Glad to finally find a nice campground just over an hour away from Charlotte. Easy trek for a short weekend trip. We exhausted ourselves hiking and canoeing and much more stuff to do! Nice sites with electric hookups. Firewood available. Will definitely be back!

Good

So, if you end up in a crap site you might drop those 4 stars to 3. Its going to be impossible to determine a great site from a bad without going there since the only pic they have online is from site 1. B loop, has a lot of RVs. A loop, has the amphitheater. C loop, felt like the smallest loop and really close to the entry hiking trail. We've stayed in both A and C. C loop, site 48, is where we stayed this trip. Its a good site. Close to the showers, which are clean and well maintained. Close to the trash bins and water spicket as well. Behind the site is a great little "valley" to explore if you have kids/dogs. Has awesome trees for hammocks and the tent pad doesnt slope. Did not love the fire pit at this site but the sites to the left and right are great. Overall, tons of sites and good clean facilities. The trails are plentiful so you shouldnt run out of places to explore.

Ole reliable

Been here twice. Not bad sites, probably the most consistent sites throughout my reviews. All pads are different so pay attention to dimensions. Bathrooms are ok with showers. Water points around the campground. Long trails to hike and a couple strenuous trails.

Beautiful park

I spent a night at the primitive campsite and hiked a few trails. The park is gorgeous and full of life. I saw plenty of frogs and tadpoles in the creeks, listened to a symphony of birds, and I'm pretty sure heard a few coyotes throughout the night. I also saw an abundance of different species of spiders, dragonflies, moths, and other interesting critters.

The trails were clearly marked and easy to follow. Lots of routes varying in views and difficulty were available and the staff were incredibly helpful. As for the campsite itself, it was cozy enough. Easy to find and it provided a few logs for sitting and a firepit. The rain collection bucket was mostly a little closet filled with spiders and such. I chose to gather water from the creek to purify instead.

My only complaint is that this is a popular park especially during this season. If you are looking for more isolation, then you may want to try this place off season. I had campers on either side of me and the trail was spitting distance from the campsite. While they weren't disturbing or being a nuisance, I go camping to escape people. Lol That said, I genuinely enjoyed my stay and will be back.

The Joys of Nature

Great place to commune with nature.

Escape to nature’s playground

LNSP is just a 45 minute drive from Charlotte and 1.5 hours from Asheville. The campsites are spacious, and surrounded by woods with plenty of shade to keep the summer heat in check. The Lakeshore Trail takes hikers around the lake with opportunities to swim along the way. If mountain biking is your thing, there’s plenty of miles of trails for all skill levels just 2 miles away from you campsite. Lake Norman is huge and has a boat launch for everything from motorboats to paddle boards. You can even rent canoes, kayaks, peddleboats and standup paddle boards for $7 per hour. RVers will have to rough it - there’s no hookups but a dump station is available. Reservations are made through the state park website.

Yearly Camp

We have been coming to Arrowhead for about 4 years now. We make time to come at least twice a year. Camp hosts are very accommodating. Very family friendly! I love how close we are to the lake for when we bring the boat.

Nice for a stop over

Small camp ground with plenty of space. Some amenities. Bass lake is small, but nice and the weather was beautiful so it was a nice setting as the evening feel. Fun watching all the turtles in water bobbing in and out. Nice way to end a travel day. Quiet place even close to the hyway. Friendly staff. Passport America Full hookup.

Mostly Permanent Campers

I traveled here alone and did not feel very comfortable. The campground is very simple. It is almost full of people in campers.

Fabulous

This park is new and clean. There’s miles of winding golf cart trails in the woods. Beautiful pool. Great friendly owners. We will be regulars.

Quiet and water all over

My camp site (#5) was about 50 yard's from the water. I found a place I could sneak right to the water and fish. Really enjoyed the peace and quiet here. Something to note is I did hear a few boats going up and down the river late at night. My only real complaint is I couldn't find a single electric plug anywhere. I tried the picnic area, the bath house, the swimming area.. Nothing. I was trying to top off my phones battery but had no luck.

Great price for nice campsite

Local to me but 20 a knight u can’t beat it .

Get away from the city

This is a cool little spot not far from Charlotte NC which doesn't seem as busy as other nearby campgrounds. Staff are friendly. There are cites right next to a lake which is perfect for paddling around in a canoe or kayak just watch out for stumps. Fishing wasn't great when I was there, but it might be better in cooler weather.

We love this park and campsites!

Fun beach within easy walk from campsite!

Better than expected

Long weekend stay at site #42. Nice level and large site. Some sites are smaller and closer but our site and those on both sides of us were large and level. Bathhouse by our site was kept clean and stocked well. Small lake for fishing and they rent canoes and kayaks. Lots of trails. Equestrian camping area on the other side which we had no reason to visit.

DONT TRUST anything these crooks say

Walked in on 8-2-2019& reserved a boat, a$50 charged to credit card& was told to bring$175 the day of rental. After traveling an hour plus we arrived the day of rental& was told to hand over another$300 cash? We have 3 witnesses as to what we was told friday at counter. I asked the clerk to produce the contract stating what he was saying& he couldn't. Basically DONT TRUST anything these crooks say!

Clean, open spots, NO FRILLS

Very nice staff. We stayed a weekend. The RV spots were nice with easy access. The bathrooms and showers were AMAZINGLY clean! However, other than a playground there is nothing for kids to really do. The staff at the nature center were very polite and the trails were nice, but again not for tiny kids. If you were taking older kids it would be perfect.

Not Crowded during Summer Week

Clean bathhouse.  Plenty of hot water for shower.  Camp host flexible and takes seriously the safety of the campers.  Pull through pad was paved.  Badin Lake was beautiful at sunset.  My car is small and I had to drive very slowly on the dirt road (1.3 miles to the campground) as it had many large rocks (softball sized) and holes.  A Jeep or SUV would be better equipped than a car that runs low to the ground.  A speed of 5 to 8 mph was fine.  Campground road was nicely paved.

good campground

Decent campground with a pond for fishing, a swimming pool, and a store. The pool doesn’t have normal steps that you walk down into the pool on, they only have the ladder steps which make it a little tricky getting in with a small child. There is no access to the lake from the campground, but the lake is close by. Very friendly staff. The bathrooms/showers have no ac.

Nice area, just not for us

The staff is wonderfully nice and helpful. We took our three boys (all under 5) for the weekend. There was not much at all for them to do other than play in the pool, which was a tad bit dirty. BUT there were storms that weekend so I don’t think that was their fault. There is a play ground and game room for older kids but nothing for the smaller children to do.

If it was just adults going, or even older children maybe 7 and up it would be a great location.

Hidden with no bathrooms

I'm so glad I fixed my hot water tank the week before going because I didn't read the fine print that they do not have any restrooms! Full hookup though!