The best BOAT IN camping near
Vander , NORTH CAROLINA

26 Reviews4 Campgrounds
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Most Recent Vander Camping Reviews
Phenomenal experience

The staff is amazing. All facilities were super clean. I suggest campsite #23. Lots of hiking and biking trails !

Pleasantly Surprised.

It was a little tricky finding the entrance to this campsite, but when we managed to Google map our way in into the park, we were very happy with our selection! These campsites are in a beautiful pine woods forest. Many sites have a pretty mossy pathway near the tent platform. The platform is elevated and and dirt framed in wooden railroad ties. The sites have great privacy and the campsite was virtually empty except for us and one other family. The campground ranger said they only fill up on the 4th of July. They set-up and trash can with a bag for you upon arrival. There is no general store nearby so bring wood and supplies in with you. There was a water pump/spigot near the restroom with great pressure (potable water). We brought our own pop-up shower and road toilet with us, so didn’t need the restroom. The ranger that greeted us was super nice and respectful. He gave us the gate code in case we needed to leave after they closed the gate at 9:00pm. Very quiet and peaceful.

Memorial Day 2020

Word to the wise, when the website says the park closes at “posted times”, they mean 9pm. We know this because we got there at 9:05 and the gate was locked tight. We thought we’d walk in, and if it wasn’t too far, I’d pack the tent in, and we’d get the rest of our stuff in the morning. After walking a while and not seeing the camping area, we called it a night and slept in the back of our Jeep with our dog. The maintenance man was surprised to see me roll out of there when he arrived in the morning to open the gate. He was very apologetic and gave us the code in case we needed out in the middle of the night.

This is a no frills campground, and we knew that going in. We’re ok with that. There is one vault toilet and one water source. The people in the group site however, utilized the one water spigot as a bath house, yep, full on bathing, dish washing, you get the picture, even after being told by the staff not to.

The maintenance staff kept the area clean, and were around frequently, as well as rangers.

There is no park store or anything, so bring what you need. After many stops, we found the one place in town that sold firewood, it’s the speedway gas station.

No frills, not much to do, but relax and listen to nature. We’re ok with that, just not worth the 3 hour drive for us again.

Great place to Hike

Great place to hike, fish, and camp with the family.

Backcountry Camping in a State Park

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.

Lovely little campground on the river

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.

A great campsite!

A great campsite! We had a fantastic time last week! We also had the privelidge of having the park COMPLETELY to ourselves…the ranger confirmed that we were the only campers that night!

A beautiful site, we only wished that we could stay longer.

Beauty, peace, and quiet

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.

LAZY RIVER

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.

Hike-in primitive camping

Not crowded, nice selection of trails, plenty of fishing on the Cape Fear, woodland creatures abound.