Backcountry camping in North Carolina

6:46 p.m. on July 30, 2009 (EDT)
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Anyone have any favorite spots in North Carolina? I prefer backpacking in the Adirondacks, but would like to have some places closer to home. It irks me a bit that NC regulations state you cannot camp unless in a designated campground. I was wondering, however, if anyone knew of some good, perhaps single, designated campsites along some nice trails? I would also be interested in some areas in surrounding states if anyone has a favorite. I've been reading these posts for a while and decided to join, glad I did.

3:47 p.m. on July 31, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm a big fan of Linville Gorge. You can camp along Kistler Memorial Highway if you don't like to get too far away from car. If you really want to get into the backcountry, you can hike down into the Gorge for more of a backcountry experience. Trails aren't always well marked so be sure to have the forest service map and compass. GPS helps too.

12:36 p.m. on August 1, 2009 (EDT)
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If you get out into any of the national forests you can camp pretty much anywhere, with very few restrictions. You don't say what part of the state you live in, but there is the Nantahala in the west, the Uwharrie in the Piedmont, and the Croatan in the east. Just for starters. I live near the Croatan and enjoy camping there frequently. There is even a nice trail, the Neusiok. Google it and you will find quite a bit of information. I took some Scouts to the Uwharrie in the spring for a weekend backpacking trip and it is delightful.

Alan DeHart has a great book called "North Carolina Hiking Trails." It gives all the info about virtually all the trails, from little old dayhike trails in city parks to the Mountain-to-Sea Trail. Worth checking into. There are a lot of really good places to go in NC. DeHart knows them all.

He has a similar book on West Virginia Hiking Trails that I have nearlly worn out. If you live out in the Mt. Airy area, a lot of those trails are closer than some in NC.

And then there's Virginia ... and Tennessee ...

REI stores in NC carry his books, as does the Great Outdoors Provision Co. and stores like Borders or Barnes and Nobles.

5:16 p.m. on August 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks! I'll have to pick up that book, sounds like a great resource

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