This East Coast camping roundup is brought to you by our friends at Roanline. Whether you want to mountain bike, hike, or simply camp, outdoor apparel from Roanline will keep you comfortable throughout your adventure.
The East Coast is home to nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. But look beyond the bustling metropolitan hubs, and you’ll also find 16 National Parks, seemingly endless historical sites, and plenty of wilderness to explore. You’ll find Acadia National Park (our oldest national park), the Great Smoky Mountains (our most visited National Park), and the Blue Ridge Parkway (our most visited National Parkway).
You can visit the beach for a weekend trip or head to the mountains for a refreshing week-long summer vacation. From Maine to Florida, the East Coast offers a variety of camping opportunities. The tough part will be deciding where you want to go first.
Here are five our favorite east coast camping destinations:
1. Cape Cod National Seashore and Nickerson State Park, MA
Visitors can take in 40 miles of sandy beaches, marshes, ponds, and uplands, all of which offer wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. You can also explore iconic New England lighthouses, historical and cultural sites, and even wild cranberry bogs.
A Cape Cod favorite and centrally located, Nickerson State Park offers a whopping 418 campsites in a serene pine and oak forest. Along with plenty of space, the campground also features hot showers and close proximity to several freshwater swimming ponds.
2. Acadia National Park, ME
As the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River, Acadia National Park sees over 3.3 million people annually. The park features over 158 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding, and lots of incredible scenery. Enjoy bike rides along tree-lined carriage roads, gentle walks along rugged and rocky coastlines, and kayaking in nearby lakes.
We recommend finding East Coast camping in the Blackwoods Campground, where all campsites are within a 10-minute walk of the ocean. Here, you can take in views of Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and Cadillac Mountain. Visitors here have access to historical sites and hiking as well.
Prepare for your next adventure by downloading maps. The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. “My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service”.
3. Fort Clinch State Park on Amelia Island, FL
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Home to Kelly Slater and NASA, Cocoa Beach in Florida is one of the best East Coast surf spots. With all of the beach access, you can indulge in some surfing. Set up camp and then surf at Fort Clinch State Park, located on the northern tip of Amelia Island. If you don’t feel like surfing this area has many other activities to offer. You can explore the 3 miles of shoreline, or go fishing, swimming, biking, hiking, or sunbathing. Fort Clinch State Park is also a prime spot for East Coast wildlife viewing. You might see alligators, tortoises, deer, bobcats, or raccoons, and you will definitely see a variety of birds.
4. Little River State Park, VT
Little River State Park is located in central Vermont. This historical East Coast camping destination has a little something for everyone. Visitors can enjoy swimming, play areas, boat rentals, volleyball, mountain biking, and self-guided history and nature trails in the nearby Mt. Mansfield State Forest. Some of the historical sites include, an old sawmill, a cemetery, bridges, and cellar holes from communities long gone.
At Little River State Park, visitors also have access to a variety of camping. You can choose between a tent site, lean-to, cabin, or a remote, boat-accessible site.
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Last but not least, is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This area offers boundless views of forested ridge lines, and a wide range of plant an animal diversity from the East Coast region of Southern Appalachia. Iconic vistas and the biodiversity are just two reasons that Great Smoky Mountains is America’s most visited national park and a top camping destination.
The Mount LeConte campground may have some the best views in the area. You can take in views of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the park, or challenging your hiking and balancing skills by following the Alum Cave Trail. On your descent you will make your way through unique rock formations and caves.
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- Assateague Camping, Assateague, MD
- Boston Minuteman Campground, Littleton, MA
- Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury, MA