The Davidson River Campground is a beautiful destination located just inside the boundaries of North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest and just outside the charming town of Brevard. Locals and not-so-locals flock to this area for its world-class mountain biking trails, hiking opportunities, secret summertime swimming holes, and convenient location to both Brevard and Asheville.

Settled beneath shady trees next to the lovely Davidson River, campers have easy access to tubing, swimming, and fishing–the Davidson River is considered one of the best trout fishing spots in the southeast.

7 Things You Should Know About Camping at Davidson River Campground

green tent rests in the middle of wooded campsite with picnic table and fire rings

Image from The Dyrt camper Savannah G.

The 144-site Davidson River Campground is open year-round and can accommodate both tents and RVs. One full loop has electric hook-ups, hot showers, and flush toilets available at a central bathhouse.

If you’re planning a trip to the Davidson River area, you might be looking for information beyond the basics. And who better to offer that than all of the campers who have already been? We turned to campground reviewers on The Dyrt for the inside scoop on Davidson River Campground.

1. Plan Ahead and Book Early

Davidson River Campground is a popular camping destination, especially on the weekends. To ensure you’ll have a spot to set up camp, reserve your campsite early. There are a limited number of first-come, first-served campsites at Davidson River, meaning they’re extremely hard to snag during the spring, summer, and fall. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

“The campground has a great river to swim in and is close to Brevard and Asheville but reservations are recommended. This place is packed most all of the summer now so you don’t want to show up without a spot.” —The Dyrt camper Anna R.

2. You Can Chase Waterfalls

a waterfall flows on the Davidson river which runs through the campground

Image from The Dyrt camper Dave V.

Brevard, North Carolina and the Davidson River Campground area are home to more than 250 waterfalls. While it would be hard to see them all, don’t miss out on Sliding Rock, a natural waterfall that hikers can slide down into a plunge pool below, and Looking Glass Falls, one of the most scenic and easily accessible waterfalls in North Carolina. Both falls are a short drive or hike from the campground.

“The location in Transylvania County is great because of the proximity to a ton of waterfalls.” —The Dyrt camper Jennifer W.

3. Make Use of the Best Trout Fishing in the Southeast

The Davidson River is well-known for its excellent trout fishing and there a number of fishing holes that can be accessed right from the campground. For beginners looking for an entry into the sport, Davidson River Outfitters offers guide tours and lessons along the river’s finest fishing holes. As well, they operate a bait and tackle shop for those looking to gear up before their trip just a mile before the campground on the Pisgah Highway. Make sure to purchase a North Carolina fishing license online before you cast your reel, required for anyone over the age of 16.

“Great camping spot! We were camping close to the large swimming area so you could swim, fish, or just put your feet in.” —The Dyrt camper Ross B.

4. There’s Small Town Charm Nearby

Brevard, North Carolina is a charming small town brimming with restaurants, breweries and art galleries—nearly mirroring the burgeoning hip town of Asheville an hour north. Less than a 10-minute drive from the campground, Brevard makes it easy for campers to pop into town to restock on camping gear at Next Venture Outdoors, try a local microbrew from the Brevard Brewing Company, or just window shop along Main Street.

“What a beautiful and peaceful area. Amazing hiking, biking and what a gorgeous river! Brevard is close by and has great walking for restaurant, shops, coffee, etc.” —The Dyrt campers Swanson and Lisa H. 

5. Hike Right From the Campground

a hilltop hiking trail in north carolina with grey skies above

Image from The Dyrt camper Savanna G.

There’s an endless number of hiking trails near Davidson River campground and some of the best can be accessed directly from camp. The 12.3-mile Art Loeb Trail is a scenic and challenging trail that leads to some of the best views in all of Western North Carolina, reaching peaks and balds across the hilly Pisgah National Forest. For a shorter hike, the 3.7-mile North Slope Trail is also accessible right from camp. Families with young kids will enjoy the 1.5-mile walking trail that loops throughout the campground.

“The campground has the start of the Art Loeb trail which is in my opinion one of the most beautiful trails in the area.” —The Dyrt camper Savannah G.

6. Easy Access to World-Class Mountain Biking Trails

Pisgah National Forest and nearby DuPont State Forest, a short drive from the campground, are well-known for their world-renowned mountain biking trails. There are trails suitable for all ages and abilities, so bring your bike and find out what all the fuss is about. Bike-loving campers at Davidson River Campground are especially lucky, as the Estatoe, Exercise, North Slope and Andy Cove bike trails all pass through or start at the campground. Afterwards, grab a beer at The HUB, a popular local bike shop that serves up brews.

“If you’re thinking of riding the mountain biking trails you’re in luck. They start literally across the Davidson River from the campground.” —The Dyrt camper Travis S.

7. It Rains, But That Doesn’t Stop Anyone

There’s a reason why Davidson River Campground is so lush and green—it averages over 60 inches of rain a year! Since there’s a good chance that some of those inches will fall while you’re there, it’s important to plan for the rain. Pack your raincoats and rain boots and make sure your rain fly is rolled up with your tent. Rain won’t ruin your trip as long as you’re prepared.

“It rained every afternoon but you just have to plan for it.” —The Dyrt camper Sandy O.

Kim Dinan

Kim Dinan

Kim Dinan is an author and adventurer. Endlessly curious about the world, she has backpacked to over twenty-five countries on five continents and has called India, Mexico and numerous campgrounds around the USA home. Her love of the outdoors landed her a coveted job on Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour and has compelled her to climb mountains in the Himalayas, raft frigid rivers in Patagonia, and walk five hundred and fifty miles across Spain on her own. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her family.