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We chose crowders mountain as first time campers since we had heard it was a nice campground, and we were looking for a “hold your hand” type experience the first round. This campground lived up to expectations. The hike in was only about a mile. Not terrible, but if you’re out of shape and carrying a pack it may be slightly daunting, but still do able (I made it, so can you! 😃)
They have firewood available for purchase, but they also let you collect/scavenge the surround area for your own and we did well just doing that.
All in all a great first trip. Would definitely return! 🏕🏔👍🏻
We had a blast; even with younger kids. RV sites and cabins, friendly staff, free shuttle to the amusement park, great community center, and more. Whether you are hanging in the RV park or at the amusement park, you'll be satisfied. Nice RV sites and well maintained!
We stayed at Mcdowell Park Campground over a long weekend and really enjoyed it. The park is located southwest of Charlotte off of hwy 49 near Lake Wylie, SC. The hwy is busy and neighboring Lake Wylie is also busy. however, once you pull off the road and back into the nature preserve, all of the noise (except for airplanes) falls away.
Our camp spot was level and plenty big enough to accommodate our 12x17 tent. We had our own power and shared water with the next campers. We were close to the bathhouse which was really clean. We loved the laid back atmosphere. We even had a couple of families in a group camping next to us and across from us. And while their kids were "active" it didn't affect our easy weekend.
We were able to buy ice and firewood at the camp office. The staff were very nice and accommodating.
Others mention that there is not much to do. In the campground, there is a playground and not much more. However, the overall Mcdowell nature preserve has plenty to do with Lake Wylie, playgrounds, nature trails, fishing, and more. You can be as busy or as chill as you choose.
We are headed back in March 2020 to kick off our camping season.
This seems to be a real nice campground. We stayed when the amusement park was closed so it was very quite and hardly anyone there. It had just rained a bunch so it was a bit muddy but it looked like all the spots are blacktop to park on so it was alright. Nice friendly staff too.
We stayed on site 16 right on the lake. Beautiful views. Our site was very steep, so took a lot to get level, but it was ok. The rangers we're very nice and helpful. Took a walk on the nature trail and it was a nice, short hike and then we looked at the museum and schoolhouse. The only downside is that you could hear the traffic at the campsites. Other than that it was a great spot.
Uwharrie National Forest-Badin Lake Campground, New London, NC.
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.
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.