We camped here in the winter a few years ago and finally got back out there this last weekend. We brought a kayak and fishing gear this time and stayed 3 days.
The water is amazing! The deepest part of the lake is 9’ so you are able to walk around most of the lake. My kids loved this. The lake is the second largest in NC, so we spent about 6 hours just swimming, fishing and kayaking within eyesight of the dock. If you want to explore more, you need a boat.
I caught 7 large mouth bass and saw a lot of perch. 2 of them were keepers so I want to come back out again just to fish.
The campsite was pretty empty probably because of the heat, but site number 3 was large and had plenty of shade the whole day. The bath house was decent. Very clean and warm showers. The have a sink outside to wash dishes. Fires were allowed and the have cheap firewood on site. The office isn’t far and I had the kids take a wagon to grab ice twice.
Columbia is the closest town that has groceries or anything to eat. There is a back route to the campground from there along the refuge called Newlands Road. We traveled through there on the way back from a grocery run and saw a lot of wildlife including a baby black bear.
There are lots of trails and a boardwalk that is fun. Bring bikes and boats for the real experience. Also, bring bug spray. We had some citronella and mosquito coils but we still had to spray some off.
The campground is in an awesome location. Walking distance from the beach or accessible by vehicle. If you have a four wheel drive, you can drive right into the beach. There is also a boardwalk that spans a lowland area and takes you to the dunes from the campground.
We had two sites. P57 and P62. 57 was barely usable. We were able to put stuff on the picnic table, but there wasn’t even room for the tent. 62 made up for it though. A little trail led from the parking spot into a massive area that had room for a large tent, picnic table, 5 chairs, and four hammocks. All of this was in a shaded area.
The shower/ bathroom facilities were great and the sites seemed secluded because of the trees that separated them.
We stayed in the Avon, Buxton, and Frisco area the entire time for surfing, paddle boarding, and just time at the beach.
The mosquitos were bad. Bring spray and candles for your campsite. Once we had citronella candles we were pretty good.
Shout out to Fox Watersports in Buxton for boards and lessons!!
Plan your next trip here!! I grew up a few miles away. it has always been great, it is better now. The campgrounds are spread all throughout the lake which reaches from Northern New Mexico into Colorado.
The Marina is newly remodeled and expansive. There are bass fishing tournaments, every type of boat rental, lake houses, a fishing area for kids, and much more.
The fishing at this lake and the San Juan river are world renowned. The river has a few guided tour companies, but Abe’s is the best. They have a store, gas, restaurant, and hotel.
The area is great whether you are in CO or NM. Durango, CO is a short drive away on the edge of the mountains. Ignacio houses a Casino and hotel nearby as well.
Bear den was a perfect location for the Blue ridge parkway. We stayed at a two cabin lot that had a hot tub. Bear den has everything from RV camp sites to a game room. There are private cabins a short walk from the camp sites. Lots of hiking trails, a fishing pond and a real bear den on site off one of the waterfall trails. The closest large city is Marion, but there are plenty of towns close by. The turn into the privately owned campground is off the Blue ridge parkway and there are multiple waterfalls, rivers, and viewpoints within 15 miles. A must see and stay!!
My kids and I had a blast here for three days. It is a very old site that surrounds an amazing lake.
The history being preserved is spectacular. Lots of hiking biking and only about 12 sites. There are boardwalks that meander through the swampy forest.
The water in Lake Phelps is perfectly clear. We didn’t get to explore it much without a boat but there are fish. Also, this lake is close to the outer banks so you can plan to go there as well.
We will definitely go here again and bring kayaks next time.