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Sweet little 4 mile hike back to a primitive camping area. There is one designated area but we passed a few campsite scattered along other areas of the trail. The National park sits back-to-back with the state park and is joined by a nice trail.
Get ready. You are about to hike up a LOT of sleep stairs. The sites are really well laid out. Site 3&4 are my favorites because they are close to water access (bring a good filter). Plenty of trees to choose from for a hammock setup.
I have brought family here, planned a girls trip here, planned just nice getaways here.. etc. And I'll keep on coming back because this camping spot is incredible for the cabin or the rv camping experience. The sites are well spaced. The grounds are well planned. Everyone is so nice. It is just awesome out here.
We decided to do some cold weather camping so we made our reservation in December, packed up our bags and a canoe and went off to Lake James. It. Was. Awesome. For one, we were the only people at the "boat only access" sites. Secondly, the bathroom was super clean and the sites were awesome. Then.. last but not least a baby raccoon was hanging out nearby that we got to watch from a lil distance, and baby raccoons are adorable.
I'd definitely go back!
These are pretty decent sites. You just pull off the road, set up and enjoy the camping experience.
We hiked down to the gorge and also enjoyed the dispersed camping available right along the riverside, which was pretty cool but… that hike back up is a DOOZY especially with a pack on. I would recommend it. The payoff of the views is highly worth any trail difficulties.
This was a really clean, well respected area. I liked to see that most other campers were clearly doing their part to Leave no Trace.
Super nice owners, we had a tent camp party of 10 and really enjoyed the time there. Ice and firewood are available onsite, as well as some general store goods like sunscreen, t-shirts, etc. The bathroom/shower facilities were excellent. The sites are clean and clear.
Super close to the gorge as well, easy drive access. Also highly recommend the only diner there "down the street" (a stone building, iirc) at the crossroads - excellent burger and fries for takeout if you're in the mood.
One note - this is indeed a "family" campground, so taking our college-aged group there with a 10pm curfew was a bit rocky but it worked out fine.
We stayed here for a weekend in March 2021 and were surprised at how much we liked it. There are lots of trails close to the campground with one around a lake and a stream off of it. Facilities were very well maintained. Only downside not all lots level and some stumps that were hard to manuver around to park and to leave spot.