Myron C.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2019

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.

  • This is the namesake cliff at the park--Raven Rock.
  • You can canoe in to camp here.
  • There are several displays at the visitors center.
  • I chose this campsite because of its remoteness.
  • There is one pit toilet for the camping area.
  • Inside the Pit Toilet
  • This is campsite 3, which is closer to the toilet.
  • This is the entrance from the Cape Fear River, in case you are canoeing in.
  • There is an exhibit hall at the visitors center, which details the geological and historical aspects of the area.
  • I guess I was a little particular about where I set up my tent.  I was happy on my third attempt.
  • There are only two ways to get to the campsites--canoe in or hike in.
  • When hiking through the park, you will want to be careful around the cliffs.
  • To get to the "raven rock," you have to climb down these stairs.
  • This is the trail between campsite 1 and the pit toilet.
  • There is an overlook to view the Cape Fear River.  The drop to the river, if I remember correctly, is over 100 feet.
  • Once you get down the stairs, there is a one of the many trails that run beside the river.
  • This is just one trail in a series of trails within the park.
  • There are a few plaques like this one, which demonstrates the love that people have for this park.  This one is close to the overlook.