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The great thing about this campground is that it offers a peaceful setting no matter whether you are camping in your travel trailer, a tent, or as a group. As a leader of the Boy Scouts and the Royal Rangers, I have camped here many times in large groups. We even had a campout here with about 300 boys. As a group campout, there was lots of room for activities planned by our leaders—paintball, scavenger hunts, and evening campfire services. With that said, one of my latest campouts was just with a group of friends. I think the best fun was fishing, although I really like kayaking on the lake. At this campground, you don’t have to worry about driving in tent stakes if you are camping in a tent. The soil is sandy, and the ground is usually covered with pine straw. When I wanted to build a campfire, there were plenty of sticks and limbs to start and build a campfire. There is a swimming beach, but I would be careful about where I step since there is sometimes goose poop on the sand. You can also rent canoes and pedal boats. There is a hiking trail as well, but make sure you have waterproof shoes if it has recently rained. The trail beside the lake gets really muddy. The price is reasonable, and the staff is friendly. This is a laidback campground in a rural area, so if you are in need of supplies, you’d better bring them with you. The bath house has a concrete floor, but it is well-maintained. I have camped at this campground over a dozen times, and it never gets old. That’s why it’s one of my favorites.
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.
Wonderful place! We took the kayaks and camped for the 3 day weekend. It cost a bit more than expected and the beach area closed at 1800, which we had five kids, so that was a bummer. That is my only complaint. I wish we knew if the area without electricity cost as much. We never used the electric anyway.
This was my first visit, I plan on going back so I will update as I learn more about this site. There are RV and primativr sites. They are literally right next to each other. The RV sites have power and water hookups, fire pit, and picnic table at each site. The RV sited are also numbered. The primitive sites are not so well kept. They are not clearly marked and no dedicated fire pits. There is a little highway noise pollution, but not terrible. There is a free onsite dumpster. Fires are allowed. I had alcohol one night without any hassle. Showers/restrooms available on site are free. You pay by the day (in cash or check) at the Nature Center (during banking hours Mon-Thurs I believe). Prices are fair ($10 primitive site and $20 RV site). Campsite is riverfront (keep in mind for the bugs). I didn't see or hear much wildlife aside from an owl, a rat snake, and one good sized spider. Campgrounds are pretty clean. There is a large communal fire pit with plenty of seating and little private-ish decks overlooking the river. There is free wifi. Multiple people had their pets with them. Good cell phone reception with Verizon.
This was my first visit, I plan on going back so I will update as I learn more about this site. There are RV and primativr sites. They are literally right next to each other. The RV sites have power and water hookups, fire pit, and picnic table at each site. The RV sited are also numbered. The primitive sites are not so well kept. The are not clearly marked and no dedicated fire pits. There is a little highway noise pollution, but not terrible. There is a free onsite dumpster. Fires are allowed. Showers/restrooms available on site are free. You pay by the day (in cash or check) at the Nature Center (during banking hours Mon-Thurs I believe). Prices are fair. Campsite is riverfront (keep in mind for the bugs). I didn't see or hear much wildlife aside from an owl, a rat snake, and one good sized spider. Campgrounds are pretty clean. There is a large communal fire pit with plenty of seating and little private-ish decks overlooking the river.
If you are looking for a small campground miles away from a big city, this is it. Although it is not a large campground, there are several things to do if you like fishing, canoeing/paddling, swimming (during the summer), and hiking. You can rent peddle boats and canoes, or you can launch your own, including jon boats. Boat motors are not permitted except for trolling motors, but it doesn't take much to get around the 69-acre lake. There are at least three islands in the lake and quite a few coves for finding a great fishing spot. There is a 2.2 mile trail that circles the lake, a playground for younger children, a picnic shelter, and two bath houses. The bath houses have concrete floors, but they have hot water showers. One drawback about the showers is that they are push button showers, meaning that you have to push the button repeatedly during your shower. There are two types of camping at this campground. In one area, there are sites that have water and/or electricity. The other area has primitive sites with only picnic tables and fire rings. At night, you will hear geese, which doesn't bother me but will bother some. Another drawback are the sounds of traffic coming from the distant highway and the occasional sounds of military jets flying overhead since this campground is centrally located between U.S. Marine and U.S. Air Force bases. Despite the negatives about this campground, I love it. I have camped here over a dozen times, sometimes with the Boy Scouts and sometimes with friends and family. The campground seems to have a laid back atmosphere, and the staff are friendly.
This park is small and simple, which is part of the reason I love it so much! Sites are semi level paved pads with electric, water faucet is shared per two sites and a splitter is available from the office. They sell ice and firewood but there is no store. It’s mostly woods but some direct sun. It’s very quiet there as the lake is for canoes, paddle boats, or electric motors only. There is a small swim beach (seasonal) and playground as well as boat ramp and fishing docks. There are well maintained trails for the hikers. This is a well managed park! No staff is on site at night, they lock the gate and go home, but give campers the gate code. Dump station is available. Do not take credit cards. Nobody much there during the week but they say it’s very busy weekends. Plenty of tent space even for big groups. Check it out!