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Raven Rock State Park is known for its namesake cliffs on the edge of the Cape Fear River. It has over a dozen miles of trails, which include horseback riding, hiking, and cycling trails. Since this park is along the fall line, most of the trails are easy with some rise and fall in elevation. Make sure you hike to the“Raven Rock” while you are there. It is impressive, and there are other trails that offer peaceful walks through the forest and other views of the river. The only camping allowed, for now, is primitive tent camping. The campsites can be reached either by hiking or by canoeing/kayaking in. There is a privy, but there are no showers. I counted seven spaces for camping. There is a site(or was) for group camping. The ranger told me that it is no longer in use. When I was talking to her, she said that they are working on an area for RV camping and that it would be ready next year. If I understood correctly, it will be in the area of the Mountain Laurel Loop Trail. When you camp there, make sure to take a good head lamp or flashlight. I had to walk quite far to get to the privy, and during the night, it is dark! The site that I chose was a longer walk to the privy than the other campsites, but it was a little more remote and private. I also had to by-pass a mud hole on the way to the privy, so again, take a good light source. The best thing about Raven Rock State Park is, of course, the 150’ cliffs along the river. The best thing about camping at Raven Rock State Park is how quiet it is. The hike is 1.7 miles, and other than the sounds of Cape Fear River down below, the only thing you hear at night might be an occasional airplane flying overhead. Since it was during December, I didn’t see any other campers. During the day, however, the park had several day hikers. If you want to camp in the backcountry but don’t want to hike very far to get there, this is a great place. If you have an RV or just want to camp where you can drive to, you will have to wait for a year, according to the park ranger.
We used this campground as a stopping point after a trip to Fantasy Lake Water Park. It's secluded, small, cute, and located right on the Lumber River.
Our particular site, PA 7, is one of two right on the river's edge, across from the Naked Landing trail. Sites 7 & 8 would be perfect for two families to camp together, because they'd have the whole trail area to themselves. These sites have a bit of hike-in required, in that you can't drive up to them (see my uploaded photo of where the parking lot is in relation to the sites).
There is a vault toilet near the parking lot ("that's gonna be a no from me, dog") but an actual restroom facility across the parking lot.
Each of the sites has its own trash can, and a ranger comes by in the morning to empty it.
The river is nice to swim in after a hot summer's day, although the bottom is quite squishy. It's a good area to fish or use small watercraft.
We slept in hammocks and were awoken at dawn by a cacophony of juvenile barred owls directly above us.
I spent a night at the primitive campsite right before new years and enjoyed it immensely. It was forecasted to be rainy and had been raining for a couple of days prior. The park was absolutely gorgeous and secluded feeling (probably thanks to the rain!) The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful and provided plenty of info. The campsite had a bench and firepit. The site itself was off the trail a bit allowing it to be more secluded feeling. Overall, I loved it and will be going back. I hope to take a fishing rod with me next time as I have heard decent things about fishing there.
The trails are nice and short, not too much room for extra exploration. Best advice is there are some big rocks in the river at various locations that you can lay on and take a nap. Super comfy and the water is also pretty shallow. Great place to get wet. Never camped here before, only day trips.
I have camped with a large group of friends at site #2 a couple of times, but this weekend, I wanted to camp with just my two boys, and site #5 (the yurt site) was available. This site was new since I had camped here last. It said it slept 6 and the website showed a pic of two beds; I *assumed* there would be four more, since it slept 6.
Long story short, just 2 beds. But the worst part was weeds growing up through the floorboards, ripped screens, doors that wouldn't zip completely, and two (purposeful) holes at the top that surely let in mosquitoes! The boy who slept at ground level is completely bitten up, despite me spraying everyone with bug spray and using my tennis racket-style bug zapper to clear out the yurt before bed.
Our trash can was completely full (I mean, at least there's a trash can, but we could hardly use it). Our fire ring was full of ashes and the grate was jammed down. The previous campers had left us a few jugs of water but also small pieces of trash scattered about. What I'm trying to say was that this site was not maintained between the last visitors and us.
The campground, though, is awesome if you like roughing it. You are allowed, thankfully, to drive to your site, but it's a hike to walk to the running water toilets, and I saw lots of people drive to them. There is a closer pit toilet but I didn't check that out.
The lake is beautiful, shallow, warm, good fishing, fun for everyone! Bullfrogs, peepers, and owls called all night. Dragonflies galore flew about. It's rustic, but relaxing. And the visitor's center has a nice exhibit on the Carolina Bays.