Hiking the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina is one of the most popular activities in the Great Smoky Mountains region of the United States. It is often referred to as the "Hiking the Blue Ridge" pilgrimage, and several hundred thousand visitors each year visit the park to hike its forty miles of trails. Most visitors are attracted to the hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is located in Gatlinburg. There are other nearby attractions, including the historic Black Mountain College and Pigeon Forge, a local mountain community. This article will provide some information on tent camping in North Carolina at the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a lot of overnight accommodations, many of which are located at sites that are within a short driving distance from the park itself. Two popular tent camping locations are the Topsail and Little Rock State Recreation Area, about 45 minutes east of Gatlinburg. Another popular option is Black Mountain, a charming mountain community about two hours north of Pigeon Forge, about a three hour drive from the Great Smoky Mountains. The access areas for camping in North Carolina can be accessed by several different highways. These include the exit for Interstate 95 south out of Atlanta, the exit for Highway 41 east of Charlotte, and a gravel access road just west of the Great Smoky Mountains town of Blairsville.
Another popular campground is within the boundaries of the Carolina Beach State Park, also about two hours from the city of Charlotte. About seven miles of sandy beaches are accessible from the site, which is about half a mile from the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Parking can be found right off the beach. At the campground, there are several tent options as well as a variety of trailers to rent. Within the campground, there are a couple of beaches to choose from and fishing is on a daily basis.