Top Horse Camping near National Forests in North Carolina

Do you love the outdoors and horses? If you're looking for a rustic but comfortable experience, horse camping in National Forests in North Carolina is the way to go. Whether you own a horse or are joining a tour group, equestrian camping is an adventurous and unique way to experience the city. Find our top-rated horse campsites from other campers like you. Plan the perfect trip in minutes.

Best Equestrian Sites Near National Forests in North Carolina, NC (29)

    Camper-submitted photo from North Mills River
    Camper-submitted photo from North Mills River
    Camper-submitted photo from North Mills River
    Camper-submitted photo from North Mills River
    Camper-submitted photo from North Mills River
    Camper-submitted photo from North Mills River

    1.

    North Mills River

    25 Reviews
    44 Photos
    398 Saves
    Mills River, North Carolina

    Overview

    North Mills River Campground is a rustic mountain getaway in Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. Located just outside the popular city of Asheville, the campground provides access to a variety of cultural and natural attractions, including an arboretum, the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and numerous hiking, fishing and mountain biking opportunities.

    Recreation

    The forest is known for its hiking and mountain biking trails, several of which are near the campground. Mills River offers excellent trout fishing, as well as tubing and swimming, which are kid-friendly favorite activities. Visitors wishing to learn more about the area can attend educational programs during the summer.

    Facilities

    The forest is known for its hiking and mountain biking trails, several of which are near the campground. Mills River offers excellent trout fishing, as well as tubing and swimming, which are kid-friendly favorite activities. Visitors wishing to learn more about the area can attend educational programs during the summer.

    Natural Features

    The campground is situated in the Appalachian Mountains at an elevation of 2,200 feet. The surrounding land boasts mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls and slopes densely forested with hardwoods. The group camping area is adjacent to the beautiful, shallow waters of the Mills River.

    Nearby Attractions

    Several natural and cultural attractions are within close proximity to the campground. Sliding Rock, Looking Glass Falls and the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway are among the most popular sites. The small town of Brevard offers various amenities and services, and visitors can take a trip to Asheville to visit art galleries, music venues, shops and restaurants.

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (828) 577-4167.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $40 - $44 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Black Mountain Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Mountain Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Mountain Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Mountain Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Mountain Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Mountain Campground

    2.

    Black Mountain Campground

    23 Reviews
    174 Photos
    538 Saves
    Montreat, North Carolina

    Overview

    Black Mountain Campground sits in the shadow of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern U.S. and borders the South Toe River. Black Mountain is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast.

    Recreation

    With the South Toe River located adjacent to the campground, visitors will have no shortage of things to do, including picnicking, day hiking, scenic driving and trout fishing. Hikers will be pleased with a variety of trails from which to choose, including a leisurely half-mile walk through the forest or a challenging 5.6-mile hike to Mt. Mitchell.

    Facilities

    With the South Toe River located adjacent to the campground, visitors will have no shortage of things to do, including picnicking, day hiking, scenic driving and trout fishing. Hikers will be pleased with a variety of trails from which to choose, including a leisurely half-mile walk through the forest or a challenging 5.6-mile hike to Mt. Mitchell.

    Natural Features

    The campground sits at an elevation of 3,040 feet. The 6,684-foot Mt. Mitchell towers over the area, with several other high peaks of the Black Mountains nearby. This lush Appalachian forest is rich with wildlife, plants and scenery.

    Nearby Attractions

    Groups can easily head out for a day of scenic driving along Blue Ridge Parkway or hiking in Mount Mitchell State Park.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $35 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Lazy J Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lazy J Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lazy J Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lazy J Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lazy J Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lazy J Campground

    3.

    Lazy J Campground

    12 Reviews
    31 Photos
    132 Saves
    Rosman, North Carolina

    Welcome to Lazy J Campground, nestled near Rosman, NC. This spot is a gem for those looking to escape into nature without straying too far from civilization. The campground sits right by the French Broad River, offering a serene backdrop of flowing water and lush woods. It's a perfect place for both tent and RV camping.

    One of the standout features here is the friendly and helpful staff. Visitors often rave about how welcoming and accommodating they are, making you feel right at home. The bathhouses are consistently praised for their cleanliness, and you can count on hot showers after a day of exploring.

    If you're into fishing, you’ll love the riverfront sites where you can cast a line right from your campsite. The sound of the river adds a peaceful ambiance, perfect for unwinding by the campfire. For those who enjoy hiking, there are trails nearby that lead to deeper parts of the river and scenic spots.

    Pets are welcome, so feel free to bring your furry friends along. The campground also has a small market for any essentials you might need, and firewood is available on-site. Kids will enjoy the playground, and the presence of chickens and horses adds a charming, rustic touch.

    While the campground is close to Brevard for any shopping needs, it's also near Pisgah and DuPont for some fantastic hiking opportunities. Whether you're here for a spontaneous trip or a planned getaway, Lazy J Campground offers a cozy, nature-filled retreat.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $18 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    4.

    Cataloochee Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    31 Reviews
    186 Photos
    229 Saves
    Maggie Valley, North Carolina

    Overview

    Cataloochee campground is located in the historic Cataloochee Valley--a relatively remote part of Smoky Mountain National Park. The secluded setting offers visitors the ability to enjoy a multitude of recreational activities like hiking and fishing, without the crowds, which are sometimes common in other parts of the park.

    Recreation

    The Cataloochee Valley features an extensive trail system that is less heavily used compared to other areas of the park. The two main trails, Caldwell Fork and nearby Rough Fork Trail, run mostly parallel to one another in the central portion of the valley. Either of these trails extend alongside scenic creeks and streams and support both hikers and horeseback riders. For hikers only, the 3.9-mile Boogerman Trail forms a nice loop off the Caldwell Fork Trail and is less than a mile walk from the campground. Anglers will agree that some of the best Rainbow and Brook trout fishing in the area can be found in the Cataloochee Basin, one of the most remote sections of the park. Fly fishing is particularly good during spring months when aquatic insects hatch in large numbers. The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park. A handful of which can be found in the Cataloochee Valley, including the nearby Palmer House, built in 1869, which contains a self-guided museum.

    Facilities

    The Cataloochee Valley features an extensive trail system that is less heavily used compared to other areas of the park. The two main trails, Caldwell Fork and nearby Rough Fork Trail, run mostly parallel to one another in the central portion of the valley. Either of these trails extend alongside scenic creeks and streams and support both hikers and horeseback riders. For hikers only, the 3.9-mile Boogerman Trail forms a nice loop off the Caldwell Fork Trail and is less than a mile walk from the campground. Anglers will agree that some of the best Rainbow and Brook trout fishing in the area can be found in the Cataloochee Basin, one of the most remote sections of the park. Fly fishing is particularly good during spring months when aquatic insects hatch in large numbers. The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park. A handful of which can be found in the Cataloochee Valley, including the nearby Palmer House, built in 1869, which contains a self-guided museum.

    Natural Features

    Cataloochee Campground is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and pristine mountain streams, like nearby Cataloochee Creek. Elk are common in this part of the park, during the spring and fall. At a 2,600 foot elevation, Cataloochee provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Whether blanketed in bright spring wildflowers or exploding with vivid fall colors, the scenery at Cataloochee never disappoints.

    Nearby Attractions

    A number of the park's famous historical buildings, including the Steve Woody and Caldwell Houses, both built in the late 19th-century, are nearby the campground. The Steve Woody House, built in 1880, is located along the Rough Fork trail, an easy 2-mile roundtrip hike from the parking lot at the end of Ranger Station Road.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $30 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    5.

    Smokemont Campground — Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    51 Reviews
    433 Photos
    409 Saves
    Cherokee, North Carolina

    Overview

    Situated in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this sunny group camp offers an ideal setting for camping excursions. Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World-renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian culture, this is America's most visited national park.

    Recreation

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise, with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short, leg-stretchers to strenuous treks, with a number of those trails, including The Smokemont Loop Trail and the Bradley Fork Trail, accessible from the camp. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies: Fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are also popular activities. Campers can enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the countless streams and rivers that snake through the mountains, with trout available in abundance. The nearby Bradley Fork River provides a great place to splash in the stream or fish for trout. Wildlife viewing is a popular pastime, and with around 1,500 bears living in the park, it's not uncommon for visitors to spot one. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world's temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy. The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park.

    Facilities

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise, with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short, leg-stretchers to strenuous treks, with a number of those trails, including The Smokemont Loop Trail and the Bradley Fork Trail, accessible from the camp. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies: Fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are also popular activities. Campers can enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the countless streams and rivers that snake through the mountains, with trout available in abundance. The nearby Bradley Fork River provides a great place to splash in the stream or fish for trout. Wildlife viewing is a popular pastime, and with around 1,500 bears living in the park, it's not uncommon for visitors to spot one. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world's temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy. The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park.

    Natural Features

    Smokemont Group Camp is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges, blanketed in wildflowers during the spring and bursting with vivid foliage in the fall. At 2,200 feet, Smokemont provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves a rich cultural history of Southern Appalachia. From the pre-historic Paleo Indians to early 19th century European settlers, the park strives to protect the historic structures, landscapes and artifacts that tell the stories of the people who once called these mountains home.

    Nearby Attractions

    The adjacent Smokemont Campground provides additional camping facilities for smaller groups. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Oconaluftee Indian Village and Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, located six miles away in Cherokee, North Carolina, provides cultural and historical information about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Cherokee also provides grocery stores and fuel.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Customers who cancel a group overnight facility reservation less than 14 days before the arrival date will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Equestrian

    $50 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Oconee State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oconee State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oconee State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oconee State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oconee State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oconee State Park Campground

    6.

    Oconee State Park Campground

    42 Reviews
    134 Photos
    163 Saves
    Tamassee, South Carolina

    After hours of scrolling through nature photos and majestic mountains, the urge to get out and explore is hard to ignore. We applaud the explorers and adventurers of the world who brave the treacherous elements, as well as the sweet photos that come as a result. However, for many the ideal of a fun weekend away consists less of roughing it, and more relaxing on a beach or in a warm cabin. If you’re in the latter of these groups, you’re going to love Oconee State Park.

    Oconee is the idealistic place for families and friends looking for a nostalgic getaway complete with rustic charm and character. Dotted throughout the park are rustic, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Cabins available for nightly and weekly rental. Meanwhile, a small, glassy lake lazily invites campers to disrupt its reflection with the canoes and kayaks located on shore.

    The Greenville region is known for 25+ waterfalls found throughout. Closer in, the 1,100+ acre state park hosts a number of wooded nature trails snake throughout. It also serves as the trailhead for South Carolina’s 77 miles Foothills Trail. Friends and families visiting can enjoy the local wildlife, as well as the regional flora and fauna which proudly thrive in abundance.

    In the summer Lake Oconee comes alive, creating the backdrop for unforgettable family vacations. Festivities begin in June, including Square Dancing, mini golf, pedal boating competitions, and so much more. However the Winter Months are just as enjoyable if you don’t mind getting cozy in a warm cabin, sipping some coco, and reading a good book. The rangers here are known for their hospitality, and are knowledgeable on the area. Stop in their lodge for a small convenience store, firewood, and great conversations.

    Oconee offers all the benefits of a mountain resort without the upscale pricing. There are 140+ sites available for rent, starting at just $21/night. Cabins and lodging is available but pricing is dependent on group sizes and room choice, so be sure plan out your trip in advance before coming.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Pisgah National Forest Wash Creek Horse Camp
    Camper-submitted photo from Pisgah National Forest Wash Creek Horse Camp
    Camper-submitted photo from Pisgah National Forest Wash Creek Horse Camp
    Camper-submitted photo from Pisgah National Forest Wash Creek Horse Camp
    Camper-submitted photo from Pisgah National Forest Wash Creek Horse Camp

    7.

    Pisgah National Forest Wash Creek Horse Camp

    3 Reviews
    5 Photos
    59 Saves
    Mills River, North Carolina

    Overview

    Wash Creek Horse Camp is a small group area designed for equestrian use located two miles northeast of the North Mills River Recreation Area and Bent Creek of the Pisgah Ranger District.

    Recreation

    As part of the Pisgah National Forest, a network of equestrian trails are available in the North Mills River, Trace Ridge and Wash Creek areas and are easily accessible with space for several horse trailers. Hiking, fishing and hunting are popular activities in the area. Some of these trails are shared by mountain bikers. Routes are marked with signs and colored blazes.

    Facilities

    As part of the Pisgah National Forest, a network of equestrian trails are available in the North Mills River, Trace Ridge and Wash Creek areas and are easily accessible with space for several horse trailers. Hiking, fishing and hunting are popular activities in the area. Some of these trails are shared by mountain bikers. Routes are marked with signs and colored blazes.

    Natural Features

    Wash Creek offers a remote hardwood forest setting with a small, shallow stream nearby.

    Nearby Attractions

    The site is 20 minutes from the North Mills River Recreation Area and 45 minutes from Lake Powhatan Recreation Area. It is approximately 1 hour from attractions in both Brevard and Asheville.

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (828) 577-4910.

    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Group
    • Equestrian
    • Standard (Tent/RV)

    $40 / night

  1. 8.

    Bent River Equestrian

    3 Reviews
    15 Photos
    54 Saves
    Penrose, North Carolina

    Bent River Equestrian is a small horse farm at the foot of the Pisgah National Forest and *less than *4 miles from DuPont State Recreational Forest.

    The farm is in a small neighborhood, so appropriate for families, couples, and small groups to use as a base camp for their adventures. We are only a few miles Oskar Blues, The Hub, and Ecusta Brewing! Additionally, Brevard has many restaurants and a bit of night life, with bands playing at 185 King St. regularly. Sunsets in the Fall and Spring are amazing on the farm, but we normally recommend you spend afternoons in the shade of the woods or river.

    There are two Farm Hands/Backpacking Guides who live on site in their own tiny homes, and my small home is on site. Campers have an unobstructed view of Looking Glass Rock, Mt. Pisgah, and you can see up to The Devil's Courthouse.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $30 - $900 / night

  2. 9.

    Paradise Ridge Permaculture

    3 Reviews
    31 Photos
    55 Saves
    Swannanoa, North Carolina

    Please feel free to look at my instagram account  for many photos of the estate.

    https://www.instagram.com/ambergf/

    This is a private piece of property in a quiet area of Buncombe County, just outside of Asheville but just before Lake Lure and Chimney Rock.  Many things to do , hike, climb, cycle or motorbikes.  A girlfriend of mine has about 30 horses and allows paid rides if you like.  Too much to list for the area but would love to discuss it with anyone.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Reservable
    • Tents
    • Equestrian
    • Trash

    $20 - $30 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Upper Cove Creek - UCC1 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Upper Cove Creek - UCC1 Dispersed

    10.

    Upper Cove Creek - UCC1 Dispersed

    3 Reviews
    2 Photos
    122 Saves
    Balsam Grove, North Carolina

    Within the Pisgah Ranger District there are 65 disbursed roadside camping sites that are available on a first come - first serve basis. These campsites are located alongside gravel roads throughout the district and include a parking area, tent pad, and fire ring. Toilet facilities and drinking water are not available. Trash pick-up is not provided. Trash must be collected and disposed of properly. Failure to remove or properly dispose of trash is a crime and law enforcement officers will issue citations for littering if trash is strewn about or not properly disposed of. The following regulations must be adhered to and are strictly enforced by Law Enforcement Officers. • Roadside camping is allowed at designated campsites only. Signs designating a legal campsite show a camping_ symbol and a site number (for example "AC-3" for Avery Creek site 3). • The National Forests in North Carolina have a policy which allows for campers to occupy a roadside campsite for a maximum of 14 days out of a 30 day period. If a camper changes locations or moves to another campsite, it cannot be within 10 miles of previous site, the maximum stay limit of 14 days applies to all sites occupied. • All vehicles must be parked along road shoulders without blocking traffic. • Campfires are allowed only within the metal fire ring provided on the site, Building of additional fire rings is not allowed. AJJ camping equipment and tents must remain on the designated tent pad. • Collecting 'dead and downed' :firewood in the forest is permitted for camp fires. It is illegal to cut, chop, or saw live or standing trees or other live growth. Do not chop into or drive nails into live trees. • It is illegal to establish and set up a campsite for the purpose of reserving a camping place. The campsite must be occupied on the night it is set up by a minimum of one person. • It is illegal to leave a camp unattended for period of more than 24 hours. • It is illegal to fail to remove all camping equipment, personal property, trash, and refuse from a campsite when vacating or leaving that area or site. • It is mandatory that all human waste be buried at least 6 _inches deep and a minimum or 200 feet from a stream. trail, or campsite. • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on Avery Creek Road (FSR 477) and Lickstone Road (FSR 97). Prohibition is 1000 feet to either side of the road, campsites, trails or roads leading off of either of the aforementioned. Warning: Unattended property and equipment in these areas can be an easy target for criminal activity. Protect your property by locking valuables out of site. Access to these campsites is easy by any vehicle. If you see anyone stealing anything from a roadside campsite or parking area near a public trailhead, picnic, or recreation area please call 911 to report it or call USPS Law Enforcement at the Pisgah District Ranger Station at 828-877-3265

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    • Tents
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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most popular equestrian campsite near National Forests in North Carolina?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular equestrian campground near National Forests in North Carolina is North Mills River with a 4.3-star rating from 25 reviews.

What is the best site to find equestrian camping near National Forests in North Carolina?

TheDyrt.com has all 29 equestrian camping locations near National Forests in North Carolina, with real photos and reviews from campers.