Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Carolina Hemlocks Rec Area

Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area sits in the scenic mountains of Pisgah National Forest. This is a great place for small to medium-sized groups to swim, fish, tube, hike, camp, picnic and simply relax in the cool shade of the forest.


The river provides endless hours of fun for families and water enthusiasts, including swimming and tubing. Anglers can also try their luck for trout and smallmouth bass from the shore. Picnickers will enjoy relaxing in the shaded picnic shelter set amidst the deep woods. After eating, visitors can take a leisurely walk along a one-mile trail or get a workout on a 3.8-mile trail.


Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area offers 35 primitive campsites, sites equipped with picnic tables, tent pads, lantern posts and campfire rings with grills. The facility provides hot showers and restrooms with flush toilets. Campers can purchase firewood, ice, tee shirts, souvenirs and rent tubes.

Natural Features

As the name suggests, Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area is shaded by a thick hemlock forest with a mix of deciduous trees and rhododendrons. The facility is adjacent to the South Toe River and sits at an elevation of 2,900 feet.

Nearby Attractions

Visitors can enjoy scenic driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway or hiking in Mount Mitchell State Park.

ADA Access: N

National Forest
Drive In
Hike In
Boat In
+ More
ADA Accessible
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
No Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Trash Available
Carolina Hemlocks Rec Area is located in North Carolina
35.8044 N
-82.2044 W
Get Directions
From Asheville, North Carolina, take I-26 west to exit 9, onto 19 east toward Burnsville. Follow 19 to Micaville and turn right onto Highway 80. Follow 80 south approximately 8 miles to the Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area.
5 Reviews of Carolina Hemlocks Rec Area
Beautifully situated by the river

Great spot tucked in a bend of the South Toe River.  The reservable sites are MUCH smaller than they look online, particularly site 7, which is the perfect size for a motorcycle and a one-man tent.  We reserved the site and our car was barely out of the street when parked!

We moved to site 18, which was not on the river, but delightful regardless.  If your site is not by the river, you run the risk of being near Hwy 80.  I can confirm that Hwy 80 is used 24x7 -- it's not terrible, but it's not Silent Night either.  The tent pad was slightly elevated with excellent drainage, which was a good thing or we couldn't have stayed dry for two nights.

The hosts were friendly and hard-working, getting firewood delivered and keeping the facilities clean, which was a miracle given the wet weather.  I would not drink the water without boiling it; could have been the weather during our visit, but the water was an interesting golden yellow color.

The campground is beautifully wooded, although there was a fair number of recently felled trees lying about.  The host said the forest service came in and cut them down because they were too close to the campsites.  Huh?  Regardless, they did not clear the trees away, so one has to clamber over them going from site to site.

We had planned a 4-day stay with a 15-person group spread over 5 sites.  Unfortunately, what seemed like the first hurricane of the season parked itself over the NC mountains and dumped at least 6 inches of rain in 48 hours and, since there was no improvement in the forecast and we couldn't do any of our planned activities, we made for home early.

The reservable Pavilion is beautifully situated and was a nice respite from the rain for our group one evening.  

We did visit the Penland School and had lunch at DT's in Spruce Pine -- both highly recommended.  

I plan to return at the first opportunity to enjoy Carolina Hemlocks and the surrounding area in better weather.

Great vibes, super clean. Leave no trace y'all! C: great job!

Super clean, respect it just as others have. Plenty of space, bring the family. Dog friendly!!!!

Family fun, friendly, great camping experience

This campground is an awesome place beside a river. Great camping sites. Tubing, swimming and fishing. Family friendly. No electricity. Cool at night. Just a wonderful place to get away. We have been going for over 30 years. We still love it.

First come, first serve Campground and day use area next to river.

This campground has spacious sites that are on a first come basis. There is also a day use area with spots along the river. In the summer you can swim and tube down the river. There’s also a beautiful 1 mile river walk. The bathrooms aren’t always the best hence the reason for 4-stars.

First to Review
Tucked in by a beautiful river

This campground is small and comfortable. It is tucked in next to the South Toe River with an excellent swimming hole, rapids for tubing, great trout fishing, and a good launching off point for hikes into the Black Mountains and Mt Mitchell.