Standard (tent/RV)
Tent Cabin
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About McDowell Nature Preserve
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
Boat In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Trash Available
Water Hookups
McDowell Nature Preserve is located in North Carolina
35.101 N
-81.023 W
Get Directions
13 Reviews of McDowell Nature Preserve
Beautiful campground close to home!

Beautiful campground and clean facilities! The sites were nice and spacious. 

The lake is so pretty and we caught a huge catfish!

You can kind of hear the cars at night but it wasn’t too bad. Very friendly park rangers too. Would love to go back!

Close to the city but a world away from the bustle

We stayed at Mcdowell Park Campground over a long weekend and really enjoyed it. The park is located southwest of Charlotte off of hwy 49 near Lake Wylie, SC. The hwy is busy and neighboring Lake Wylie is also busy. however, once you pull off the road and back into the nature preserve, all of the noise (except for airplanes) falls away. 

Our camp spot was level and plenty big enough to accommodate our 12x17 tent. We had our own power and shared water with the next campers. We were close to the bathhouse which was really clean. We loved the laid back atmosphere. We even had a couple of families in a group camping next to us and across from us. And while their kids were "active" it didn't affect our easy weekend. 

We were able to buy ice and firewood at the camp office. The staff were very nice and accommodating. 

Others mention that there is not much to do. In the campground, there is a playground and not much more. However, the overall Mcdowell nature preserve has plenty to do with Lake Wylie, playgrounds, nature trails, fishing, and more. You can be as busy or as chill as you choose.

We are headed back in March 2020 to kick off our camping season.

Clean, open spots, NO FRILLS

Very nice staff. We stayed a weekend. The RV spots were nice with easy access. The bathrooms and showers were AMAZINGLY clean! However, other than a playground there is nothing for kids to really do. The staff at the nature center were very polite and the trails were nice, but again not for tiny kids. If you were taking older kids it would be perfect.

Great staff.

Enjoy alot. No problem at all.

Clean, lovely conveniently located

I camped here with a women’s hiking group and was impressed.

There are lovely trails, a large playground, nature center, the beautiful lake Wylie {no swimming, NC fishing license required}, geocaching, clean bathrooms and shower rooms, electric sites with large tent pads, good sized fire pit area, picnic table.. there’s even a loving gate with a code for a more secure camping experience..

We could fit 3 tents in one pad AND had a hammocker camper too.

If you are wanting some nature near the city, this is a good option - especially if you are checking out city things in Charlotte.

You can hear traffic at night when camping here so bring ear plugs, headphones or a white noise fan if that bothers you.

Pet friendly 🐾

I saw both dogs and camping kitties

There’s 56 camp sites: these include tent, RV hook ups and some primitive.

There’s group camping at Copperhead Island.

I highly recommend, especially for families with children, lots to do and a safe, secure feeling.

Nice campground

Nice little campground with good flat sites. Can hike to the river for fishing. Nice bath house.

Nice County Pk., no frills

Very nice County Pk. with many hiking trails and a lake area for fishing. Boating off site. No Frills. Electric & water site. Clean, private lockable bathroom/shower

Clean and quiet

We live about half hour or so from this campground and have wanted to check it out for some time. The sites are very well taken care of. We chose to camp on one of the hotter days of the year so the tree shade came in handy to help keep us cool. It stormed the second night we were there and we tried to make the best of the situation without having to pack up and just go home.

We have been to this park before for fishing in different areas and have really enjoyed ourselves. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The bathhouses for the most part are well maintained and cleaned.

I think my only complaint would be is the pads for the tens. When I got home I was patching holes in the floor of my tent from where the stone pad had caused damage. I know a seasoned camper would’ve put down a tarp but we didn’t have one and thought that we might be ok this trip with out one.

Had it not been for the monsoon rain storms we would’ve loved our trip but that is in the hands of Mother Nature no one else’s and that isn’t figured into my star rating. The reason I didn’t give it all fives is because of the stone pad that and you could hear traffic and air planes flying over.

Small but clean, close to everything.

This campground is just minutes from Charlotte, but secluded from the city noise. Nice open spaces with shade. No views to speak of but several short trails and nice areas around Lake Wylie. Clean facilities and secured gate with easy access after hours for paid campers. Spaces have offerings and picnic tables. RV and tent sites with water and electric.

Served its purpose

Stayed at this campground to visit the Whitewater Center. Spots were tight. Read more of a review and photos on the link.