The best HIKE IN camping near
Lake Norman of Catawba , NORTH CAROLINA

86 Reviews12 Campgrounds
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Most Recent Lake Norman of Catawba Camping Reviews
Small and quiet

Family Campground

One nice thing is the size and separation of the sites. One bad thing is the road is busy.

This campground is one way and exits into a trailhead parking area. There was one site that was in the parking area, would not be my first choice. Shaded sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Nice shower house , well maintained.

Easy access to several trails and not far from the falls. The river runs the back of the campground.

Loud drunk neighbors!

If you happen to have loud drunk neighbors, who party until 3:30 am, the hosts will not tell them to be quiet. Someone did call the sheriff, but no one came until 10 am the next morning. They woke the drunks up to tell them to be quiet, but they were allowed to stay in the park. I give it 2 stars because this is a beautiful park.

Clean and Scenic

Very nice campground. Our RV site had plugs for 50 or 30 amp, which was convenient. The bath house is on the back of the little store, a short walk for the tent campers / longer walk from the RV sites. Bathrooms were VERY clean and spacious with plentiful hot water. The store sells ice cream as well as firewood bundles for the fire pits.

Beautiful Fall foliage. Miles of hiking trails connected directly to the campground. The Carter Falls trails are more moderate-intensity but definitely worth it. The trails headed east toward Elkin and Grassy Creek Winery are more of an easy hike, with plenty of beautiful hardwoods and creeks to cross. The winery itself was beautiful and worth the trip.

We also visited Elkin Creek Winery while we were there. You could hike it, about a 20-min walk from the campground, along the road. The road seemed pretty safe. We were tired, so we drove. The winery was gorgeous and the proprietors were so kind. We went on Sunday when they had brick oven pizza - reservations are required, since they have limited quantities. It was one of the best pizzas we’ve ever had (Bacon Brie and a build-your-own with basil, tomato, and mushroom).

Hidden Gem

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.

Great getaway

We loved our time here. It was fun hiking to the vineyard and to Carter Falls. Very clean and nice place to stay

Happy camper

It was our first time camping as a family and now we wish we could camp every weekend!

New, Basic, but Nice

We only stayed for 1 night as we were passing through, but we plan to return one day.

Positives are it’s a newer campground, nice and shaded, full hookups (w,e,s), lots were wide, Easy to get in and out of, plenty to do within the park (hiking, fishing, kayak/canoe, etc), has a nice dog park, hosts were very welcoming and kind, VERY clean.

Negatives are unlevel lots (we had to lower ours by over 4” and still weren’t level, but couldn’t adjust anymore), sites aren’t exactly private - but there was a bit of space between sites.

Wonderful Park, Strenuous Hiking

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!

Great hiking and awesome views.

Lots of trails to choose from. Beautiful views. Lots of history. Visit here often.

Love this place.

Very close to my home. I hike in to the remote campsite on the lake. Lots of fishermen and trash since the scum can’t seem to pick up after themselves. The cabins here are also great. Clean and nice location. I would suggest the overlook cabin. I generally tent camp and the Point, not many know of this location as it’s a decent hike in. Great place.