The best DISPERSED camping near
Hale , TENNESSEE

257 Reviews41 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Hale Camping Reviews
one of the best

great location with great hiking trails and place to kayak

Closed for the season

Closed for the season as of January 6, 2021.

Tucked away fun family campsite

Great campground! The prices are reasonable, the campground was very clean, the people were friendly, and the bathhouses were some of the cleanest I’ve seen. It was also very close to Mount Mitchell so we could go on long hikes. Loved our time there!

Creekside Camping

At the intersection of the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia state lines, sits this national forest which offers multiple dispersed camping areas along Bear Creek. Opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing, and paddling are abundant.  The Appalachian Trail and Virginia Creeper Trail are just minutes away, as well as some easy whitewater paddling fun on the White Top Laurel Creek.

Most of campsites are large, very shaded, along a beautiful treelined road, and surrounded by mountains. There is no drinking water, picnic tables, or even pit toilet, so come prepared. The only major problem is that folks tend to leave a ton of trash around, so we often spend about 20-30 minutes cleaning these sites upon arrival. Please Leave No Trace! 

Our site had a good fire ring, and was on the edge of a creek that we could filter water from with ease. We stayed at this camp for 3 weeks during the pandemic shutdown and it was a perfect place to ride out this crazy storm and decompress from some anxiety. 

The closest town is Damascus, VA, about 12 miles away. The town is small, but draws thousands of tourists each year who are either hiking the Appalachian Trail or cycling the famous Virginia Creeper bike path. It is equipped with a decent sized grocery store, gas, and couple of restaurants, and a cute downtown area. There is absolutely no cell service at this camp, you have to go into town or hike a local mountain to get service up high.

Beautiful & Free but Lots of Road Noise

Just on the edge of Watauga Lake sits this free dispersed camping area that is perfect for tent camping only. This is a park outside the gate and walk your gear in type of place, some bring your IKEA bags or a wagon. Opportunities for fishing and boating are abundant. Most of campsites are large, very shaded, and have at least one fire ring. A handful of sites have direct water access, and are more private. 

There is no drinking water, picnic tables, or even pit toilet, so come prepared. The only major problem is that folks tend to leave a ton of trash around, so we spent about an hour cleaning the entire campground. Please Leave No Trace! Also, we would not recommend camping here on a busy weekend because the road is very close and the trucks are very loud! 

The nearest town is Butler, which is small but offers the basics such as groceries and gas.

Nice spot off a dirt road

Lots of pull offs off a dirt road. Beware if you’re coming from the south google tries to take you through private property. Take 221 to linville falls, right on 183, and right onto kistler memorial highway. It’s a dirt road but no issues with my Subaru Forester. I camped here in December 2020 and didn’t see anyone else. Plenty of wood, but not much of a view from my camp anyway. Lots of camps.

Curtis Creek

We went to the non-reservable spots and we loved it. 4 is probably the only one you can car camp at. The other sites are small walk-in. I mainly wanted to write a review because the campground host was so nice to us. He helped drive us up the hill and even brought us a map of the hiking near by. You will not regret a weekend trip to this spot.

River, Rafts & Beer ‘nuf said .....

Great sites right by the river for tents, various unique styles of “cabin camping” along the river and off the river, great staff (brings wood to you!) and if you have family members who don’t wanna rough it they have a great bar(beer, food, music)by the river with WIFI. Everybody wins. Launch your raft or theirs and enjoy the outdoors.

Nice

Very nice setting. Beautiful camp spots in an open area on top of a mountain. Clean bath house. Great hiking trails. Friendly staff.

Fabulous

This amazing campsite it at the base of Big Tom. It’s a moderate hike to and from the campsite with great views. There’s fire rings and lots of sites to choose from. I recommend packing in enough water for your stay because there is not a water source at the site. Also no cell service.