9 Great Campgrounds and RV Parks in Raleigh, NC

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Raleigh is one of North Carolina’s largest cities, so you may be surprised to learn there are great campgrounds in the area. But you can actually find a wide range of spots, including basic camping areas in the countryside as well as modern RV parks.

In this guide, I’ll introduce you to six great campgrounds in or around Raleigh for your next camping trip, where you can experience the beauty of North Carolina’s landscapes while enjoying the convenience of the city’s amenities. 

Get ready to explore the Tar Heel State’s beauty with our guide to the best campgrounds in Raleigh, NC.

About Raleigh

Raleigh became North Carolina’s capital city in 1792. It got its name from Sir Walter Raleigh, who started a settlement here in the 1580s. Raleigh is also known as the “City of Oaks.”

The downtown area is full of beautiful old buildings, like the stunning Raleigh City Hall from the 1920s and the grand North Carolina State Capitol with its iconic dome. 

People in Raleigh love spending time enjoying the great outdoors. Raleigh is home to more than 200 parks, many of which offer camping opportunities.

There are also amazing parks just outside of Raleigh, too. One of the most popular in the area is the Eno River State Park, which has miles of walking and hiking trails. Throughout the year, there are street festivals and music events to enjoy.

William Umstead State Park

Location: 8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

If you’re looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, go to William B.Umstead Park. The park is about 10 miles away from downtown Raleigh in Wake County, so if gives you easy access to the city while also giving you some quiet and the chance to spend time in nature.

There are camping spots near Crabtree Creek, as well as group camps. The Maple Hill Lodge gives you a more rustic camping experience without all the usual modern amenities.

As far as outdoor activities and amenities, William Umstead you’ll find boat rentals, picnic shelters, bathhouses, and showers in the park. There is a small lake in the southern part of the park where you can go fishing or paddling.

People love this park for its natural beauty and great hiking trails. If you love horseback riding, this park is for you. There are trails for horseback riding and a spot to park your horse trailer. You’ll also find a visitor center and an exhibition center here.

The park is also home to some incredible chainsaw art you have to check out. Make a reservation online for a campsite before you go. The park is pet friendly, so bring your furry friends with you.

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

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Location: 280 State Park Rd, Apex, NC 27523

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is about 30 miles west of downtown Raleigh in Chatham County. It includes seven access sites to the lake, and five of these spots have over 1,000 campsites. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or a large group, you’ll find a campsite right for you.

Jordan Lake has plenty of facilities, including an auditorium, an amphitheater, picnic shelters, bathhouses, a visitor center with exhibits, and beach access points.

There are 15 miles of trails, and of course you can enjoy kayaking, swimming, fishing or picnicking. In the summertime, you can easily spot Bald Eagles from the observation platform.

Boat ramps are only available to registered campers at Crosswinds Campground, Poplar Point Access, and Parker’s Creek Access. Most ramps are open during park hours, but the ones near Robeson Creek and Ebenezer Church are open all day and night. The park is pet-friendly, so you can bring your dog.

I can tell you from experience that Jordan Lake is a great spot. When I was in school at UNC, I often threw my inflatable kayak in the car after class and headed over to Jordan Lake for some time in the water. It’s really nice too because of how convenient it is to both Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area

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Location: 6254 Satterwhite Point Rd, Henderson, North Carolina 27537

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area is another great spot for camping near Raleigh. It is along the shore of the 50,000-acre Kerr Lake Reservoir, stretching from North Carolina to Virginia. The closest town is Williamsboro, Henderson is about 10 miles south, and Raleigh is 52 miles away.

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area has seven campgrounds, so you have many options, from basic sites to those with electric and water hookups. While full hookups are not available everywhere, Bullocksville has campsites with water and electric hookups. 

Henderson Point, County Line, Hibernia, Satterwhite Point, Nutbush, J.C. Cooper, and Kimball Point have RV sites with electric hookups.

Most campgrounds are open from Easter into the fall, but Satterwhite Point, Nutbush, and J.C. Cooper are open year-round. You’ll find bathrooms, showers, and playgrounds wherever you stay. 

Kerr Lake gives you good access to beaches and boat ramps. Every spot has at least one boat ramp. There’s also a community center near the lake for events. Pets are allowed at the campsites.

Lakeside Retreats and Glamping

Location: 4521 Mial Plantation Rd, Raleigh, NC 27610

Lakeside Retreats and Glamping is a family-friendly escape located just 20 minutes from downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. This campsite, situated on 320 acres of farmland, offers a range of amenities such as yurt rentals, group rentals, and bath facilities. It is a luxurious camping location, (as the name suggests) more like glamping than camping! 

Lakeside has seven cozy yurts you can rent, and they come with kitchens. Some even have a vinyl record player for extra fun. Activities include walking and biking trails, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or relaxing in the sauna. But unlike the state parks on this list, there is also a disc golf course. 

If you have pets, you can bring two dogs (up to 100 lbs) with a $20 fee per pet. Just make sure your pet stays in control during your whole visit. Lakeside Retreats is a peaceful and fun place for a family vacation.

Falls Lake State Recreation Area

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Location: 13300 Creedmoor Rd, Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

Falls Lake State Recreation Area which spans over 12,000 acres, is a local favorite in Durham and Wake counties, about 15 miles east of downtown Durham and 17 miles from downtown Raleigh. 

There are more than 300 places where you can camp overnight, with a variety of overnight camping options, from traditional tent sites to RV-friendly hookups.

Note that the Rolling View campsites are open now. But all Holly Point campsites will be closed until January 25, 2024. Check their website for updates before you go.

There are 25 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails at Falls Lake, and the Beaverdam access has one of the best mountain bike trail systems in the entire Triangle area.

There are a total of Beaverdam Mountain Biking Trails that cover 14 miles:

  • Inner Loop – 1.1 Miles
  • Outer Loop – 2.2 Miles
  • West Loop – 2.3 Miles
  • South Loop – 7.3 Miles
  • Drop Zone (located off of South Loop) – 0.9 Miles

Both bikers and hikers can both use these trails.

Pets are allowed on the trails, so you can bring your four-legged companion! There’s even a part of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail.

You can also enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply lounging on the shore by the lake. To fish, you’ll need a fishing permit from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. 

Before you visit, be sure to download the Falls Lake Park map so you can save time at the site and get right to the fun.

Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages

Location: 527 US Highway 701 South Four Oaks, North Carolina 27524

If you’re looking for a more resort-style camping experience, Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor adventure while having a comfortable stay. This family-friendly resort is located 42 miles from Raleigh, NC. 

Raleigh Oaks has 150 spacious RV sites with full hookups and large yards. If you don’t have an RV, they have 35 cottages that are fully equipped. These include studio and 2-bedroom options.

At Raleigh Oaks, there’s a lot to do. You can play pickleball and billiards, and enjoy two swimming pools. There’s also a heated spa with chairs to relax in the warm sun. If you have kids, they can have fun in the game area and playground.

If you have a pet, bring them along! Raleigh Oaks RV Resort has 3 dog parks where you can have a fun time with your four-legged friend. It is a great place for everyone to have fun.

Cotten’s Campground

Location: 390 Cotten Acres, Moncure, North Carolina 27559

If you’re looking for a cozy RV campground near Raleigh, NC, Cotten’s Campground is another good choice. It is a small, family-owned campground with 25 sites located near Jordan Lake in Chatham County. You’ll find it close to towns like Raleigh (30 miles), Chapel Hill (25 miles), and Durham (37 miles).

If you love fishing, the campground is an ideal location – just 6 miles from boating access on Harris Lake and 1 mile from the Jordan Lake boat ramp.

North Carolina State Fairgrounds Campground

Location: 801 Youth Center Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

If you’re traveling in your RV, the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Campground is a convenient and accessible place to park in Raleigh.

This campground offers over 300 sites with full water, power, and sewer hookups, making it a perfect spot for your stay in North Carolina. Tent camping is not allowed, but the campground is dog-friendly.

You can’t book a spot in advance; it is first-come, first-served. So, plan accordingly. Camping for one night costs $35, and there might be extra charges. It is a cost-effective alternative to hotel stays during your visit to Raleigh.

While you’re there, you may want to check out the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, Dorton Arena, Kerr Scott Building, and Jim Graham Building.

Coopers RV Park

Location: Business West, 13528 US Highway 70 E, Clayton, NC 27520

Coopers RV Park has paved streets, well-kept gardens, driveways, and spacious patios, creating a beautiful and cozy atmosphere. All campsites have full hookups and 30/50 amp service. 

Coopers RV Park is in Clayton, NC, providing quick access to Raleigh’s attractions. Conveniently located near shopping centers and restaurants in Raleigh, it provides both comfort and accessibility for your stay.

Plus, it’s pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along as long as they’re on a leash and the owners must clean up waste.

The Bottom Line

While Raleigh is not really known for camping, there are actually plenty of choices in the surrounding area.

If you’re bringing your RV, you may want to check out some of the RV parks with full amenities, or for a cheaper and more rustic stay head over to one of the several North Carolina State Parks. If you’re planning on tent camping, you’ve got some options too, mostly at the state parks.



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