The best DISPERSED camping near
North Topsail Beach , NORTH CAROLINA

36 Reviews9 Campgrounds

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Most Recent North Topsail Beach Camping Reviews
Very clean and fun

Great sites, fishing pier, playground great for kids, close to shopping and other stuff

It’s a national forest...

This site is conveniently close to many beach attractions. To compare it to the local RV sites it so great in the aspect you are not on top of each other. The site itself for it being on “national park/forest land,” is “ok.” But in comparison to other national parks or federal land, it is barely a 3 star. It struggle in cleanliness and upkeep. The facilities are at best an “ehhh it’s food enough.” There are nice people here though that are making an honest effort, and who can argue with this places excellent location?

4x4 Camping Heaven

Freeman Park is a beach area located in Carolina Beach. It's the place to take your 4x4 vehicle, your friends, kids, and dogs, and have some fun in the sand, wind, and waves.

First and foremost, make sure you know how to drive in the sand and what to do when your car gets stuck. It happened to us, as well as to many vehicles on the beach.

Also, be aware of the tides, it's dangerous to be driving near the water when the high tide comes in.

The camping is allowed on the beach Labor Day through memorial Day, but might require a permit, check the rules before you go. In the past, the permit was required only after April 1, so we always tried to come in February or March, when the weather is nice but not too hot.

The camping is allowed in the designated spaces. There's enough room for one tent. Remember, when camping on sand, you don't need stakes. Instead you bring 4 plastic bags, fill them with sand, tie the tent corners to the bags and bury them in the sand. This will prevent your tent from flying away,

There are several pit toilets on the beach, some trash cans are provided too. There's a store next to the fishing pier a short distance from the beach where we usually go to brush our teeth in the morning. 

I love Freeman park and give it 4 stars only because it's a primitive camping spot and people should be aware what to expect. It doesn't have fancy amenities, but the proximity to the ocean is priceless. 

Our favorite dining spot: The Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar in Carolina Beach.

Clean and Small Campground

We really enjoyed our night at Oyster Point.  The host was friendly and helped me find another campsite when my was taken by an unregistered guest.  We were able to launch kayaks almost directly from campsite #11.  Tent pads are big enough for 1 large tent or 2 small tents.  The campground is small so fairly quiet.

Pro's: 

Metal Fire Ring/Grill 

Picnic tables 

Lots of lantern hooks

 Port a Johns were very clean

Some cons:

The bugs are bad in June and bug spray didn't really help.

The sites aren't in order by number. 

The gravel road had a lot of ruts in it so getting my trailer with kayaks in and out was a lot of trouble.

No showers

Port a johns were noticeably tilted down hill

Paddle In Sites

We stayed at site 14, which is on the other side of the island and is only accessible on a boat. We kayaked from the park office and boat launch. The route was difficult for me, the tide was coming in plus a strong wind, it took us about an hour to get to the island. The site itself was perfect, much better than the rest as much as we could see as we looked around. It's located in the woods with a nice shady clearing, its own very private little beach. We kayaked to the beach and walked around to see the ferry dock.

Make sure you know the tide schedule. The water levels are changing pretty dramatically during the day. 

We also experienced a  lot of mosquitoes during the night on the island, but it probably depends on the weather.

The fires are not allowed on the island, which requires some thoughts around cooking and reheating food. 

Overall I would say it was a very unique experience.

Not a “campground”, dispersed camping areas

This is not a”campground” per se, but rather a large area of national forest where dispersed camping is allowed. This is about as close to nature as it gets! All primitive camping, no amenities at all. Beautiful natural surroundings. Watch out for snakes and alligators!

Closed due to COVID 19 (May 2020)

We stopped to check it out and it was closed due to the coronavirus. It is also the location on the southern trailhead for the Neusiok trail, part of the mountains to see trail. Highly recommend hiking the trail from the campground! Views are beautiful!

Several free campsites available throughout base

There are several different camping locations available throughout the base, all of which are free but must be reserved ahead of time. Base access required! They are all on the water, very peaceful. Many if the ponds are stocked for fishing. No hookups, but some sites do have a bathroom. No”hiking” trails around the campsites but lots of areas to walk and explore!

Nice little camp

Nice little campground well kept. Make sure you don’t check in after hours lol. Make sure you bring good bug spray!!!

Nice, convenient and secluded

Found the campground on a map and went to see what it was all about. Sites are very large and well maintained. The bathroom is a vaulted toilet. The water spot is close to sites. No power, that makes it real camping. Great experience.