Four NC Sites to Pitch Camp Near Raleigh This Summer


Set up camp close to home at these four local sites.

Happy National Camping Month to all who celebrate! (Looking at you longtime granola gals and freshman outdoorsmen alike.) While the Triangle is a hotbed of urban infrastructure, academia and festivals, Mother Nature still flexes her natural beauty, beckoning happy campers with awe-inspiring campsites complete with lakes, rivers and rock faces—aka all the terrain and views needed for a summer respite. So, pack your tent and bear barrels (!) and go off the grid at these four stunning NC sites. Alexa, queue “By and By” by Caamp. 

Eno River 

Pitch your tent or hang your Eno (iykyk), then set out to swim or paddle the cascading river, drop a line and try your hand at fly-fishing, or spring for the 30+ miles of trails. Access to the site requires campers to leave their car behind and take a short hike, so lace up your hiking boots and pack lightly for an in-tents stay (!). 

Falls Lake

Fun Fact: Despite the name, there are no longer any waterfalls at Falls Lake. Nevertheless, there are boat ramps; beach access points; and plenty of places to swim, bike and paddle—still more than enough ways to get your fresh-air fix while spending a night or two in the wilderness. Take the fall deep in the woods with nothing but your pack and a flashlight, or stay in style via RV and tent sites. 

Raven Rock 

If you prefer glamping over camping, this state park just outside of Lillington was made for you. Park your car or RV right at your campsite (and avoid hauling your pack!), or opt to paddle in via the Cape Fear River Canoe Trail. No matter how you choose to reach camp, be sure to scale the site’s topography—and burn some cals—on the 135-step climb downward to view the river and rock formations below. 

Pettigrew State Park

Located 75 miles northeast of Greenville, this site requires a longer drive (clocking in at ~2.5 hours), but it’s worth the trek. The surrounding Lake Phelps and Scuppernong River bring a taste of the NC coast to your sleep beneath the stars—NTM the showcase of diverse wildlife and rich history (read: millenniums-old canoes have been pulled from the river). Talk about an adventure! 





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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.