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Author Topic: NC - Western part of the state - sites?  (Read 1787 times)

Lust4Life

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NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« on: October 22, 2019, 10:48:36 am »

Thought I have lived in NC for 6+ years, I have spent no time in the are of the state north or west of Asheville.
Time to change that but would like some guidance about best locations to scout for a great shot.

Now, I have a limit on my hiking abilities so that is a consideration, no long trail hikes or steep climbs.

Have an Airstream Basecamp X that I just purchased and will want to be camping.
I just got back from the maiden trip to the very north of PA and got a couple of shots worth the time and expense.
Copy of my favorite is attached.

Now to a location closer to home in Chapel Hill, NC.

Thus, locations that are accessible and campgrounds would be appreciated.

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Jack

Lust4Life

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2019, 07:54:35 am »

Thought I have lived in NC for 6+ years, I have spent no time in the are of the state north or west of Asheville.
Time to change that but would like some guidance about best locations to scout for a great shot.

Now, I have a limit on my hiking abilities so that is a consideration, no long trail hikes or steep climbs.

Have an Airstream Basecamp X that I just purchased and will want to be camping.
I just got back from the maiden trip to the very north of PA and got a couple of shots worth the time and expense.
Copy of my favorite is attached.

Now to a location closer to home in Chapel Hill, NC.

Thus, locations that are accessible and campgrounds would be appreciated.

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Not one campsite and photography suggestion from this forum????
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Jack

PeterAit

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 04:34:23 pm »

Hi from a fellow Chapel Hillian!

I have not spent much time in the western part of NC and I know nothing about campgrounds. But the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is worth seeing. You won't get wide vistas, but it is the only remaining large section of virgin forest in the state, with some impressive trees. There's a 2 mile trail thru the forest, not too difficult. Hope you have fun!
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Lust4Life

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 04:42:35 pm »

That is one of the few parks I've been to and I found it great!  Thanks for that input and reminding me to return.

I'm now at the point of looking in to WV or Virginia with a starting point north of Asheville.
Need to get some miles on my new Airstream Basecamp X!!
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Les Sparks

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 03:17:39 pm »

Most of our trips in Western NC have been in our kayak so  don't know much about hiking options. But we have visited various state parks and done some hiking. Here are a few suggestions.

NC state parks don't have much in the way of RV hookups so you need to be pretty much self contained. Here are some state parks that you might find interesting.
Elk Know State park-relatively new park still under development. Last time we were there no camping. Some easy hikes.
Mount Jefferson Natural Area No camping has picnic area. Couple easy short hikes. Great for fall colors  Rhododendron Trail  pretty especially when Rhododendron in bloom Nice views of area
New River State Park. Has RV camp sites 10 electric only and 10 with water and electric. We were there a few years ago and enjoyed some of the short hikes.
Really best bet is to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and take any of the short hikes you find. Campgrounds along the Parkway don't have RV hookups.
You say north of Asheville so I assume you've driven the Blueridge Parkway South. However, I recommend you at least visit Graveyard Fields. We find that that Graveyard Fields is of one of the best places along the parkway for pictures regardless of season. Hike down to the falls is not difficult and the hike along the Yellowstone Prong to the upper falls is well worth it.  Other places south of Ashville you need to consider.
Whitewater Falls.
Nantahala National Forest South of Asheville is great forest service campgrounds.
Gorges State Park is mostly undeveloped. Great for waterfalls but when we were there few yeas ago tails were not well developed. Probably rated moderate.
Dupont Forest main attraction is waterfalls. Mostly easy hikes. No camping.
Actually I think that you best bet is to drive north or south along the parkway and stop at all the overlooks and look for interesting hikes. We've done that several times and still find something new.
If you need more that the campgrounds along the parkway offer, you can find RV campgrounds in many of the cities of  the parkway.

Hope this helps.
Les


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rdonson

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 08:00:26 pm »

https://www.ncparks.gov/find-a-park

https://www.nps.gov/state/nc/index.htm

I'm from Davidson, NC north of Charlotte and I spend a fair amount of time the Blue Ridge each year.  I don't camp and I don't have a camper though.  Perhaps the links above will be helpful.

I've covered the BRP in NC from end to end many, many times.  I've also covered the BRP in VA many times.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 08:08:18 pm by rdonson »
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Regards,
Ron

Ken Bennett

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 12:33:58 pm »

There's an open bald known as Max Patch, south of Hot Springs, NC. It's accessible from a parking lot and a gravel road. Nice views and mostly easy to walk around. The Appalachian Trail goes right across the top. Slightly hard to find, but worth it. (Link to Google Maps.)

Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is very well known and can be way too crowded. But the loop road is well worth finding a time of year when the crowds aren't there. They have a campground, too.

Pisgah campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville is a personal favorite. Your Airstream will be fine there. No hookups, of course, but they have showers (unusual for a Park Service campground.) Plenty of good views along the Parkway there.
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rdonson

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 04:44:34 pm »

I can recommend a couple of very useful books for you.

"Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas" by Tim Barnwell  - a very detailed description of BRP overlooks

'Parkway Byways' by James Hinkel
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Regards,
Ron

rdonson

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 04:50:38 pm »

I've just started to organize some of my photos from the Blue Ridge in NC.  There are some locations that can provide some amazing sunrises. 

https://www.donsonphoto.com/Folio/The-Blue-Ridge
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Regards,
Ron

Lust4Life

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Re: NC - Western part of the state - sites?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2019, 06:45:33 am »

Most of our trips in Western NC have been in our kayak so  don't know much about hiking options. But we have visited various state parks and done some hiking. Here are a few suggestions.

NC state parks don't have much in the way of RV hookups so you need to be pretty much self contained. Here are some state parks that you might find interesting.
Elk Know State park-relatively new park still under development. Last time we were there no camping. Some easy hikes.
Mount Jefferson Natural Area No camping has picnic area. Couple easy short hikes. Great for fall colors  Rhododendron Trail  pretty especially when Rhododendron in bloom Nice views of area
New River State Park. Has RV camp sites 10 electric only and 10 with water and electric. We were there a few years ago and enjoyed some of the short hikes.
Really best bet is to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and take any of the short hikes you find. Campgrounds along the Parkway don't have RV hookups.
You say north of Asheville so I assume you've driven the Blueridge Parkway South. However, I recommend you at least visit Graveyard Fields. We find that that Graveyard Fields is of one of the best places along the parkway for pictures regardless of season. Hike down to the falls is not difficult and the hike along the Yellowstone Prong to the upper falls is well worth it.  Other places south of Ashville you need to consider.
Whitewater Falls.
Nantahala National Forest South of Asheville is great forest service campgrounds.
Gorges State Park is mostly undeveloped. Great for waterfalls but when we were there few yeas ago tails were not well developed. Probably rated moderate.
Dupont Forest main attraction is waterfalls. Mostly easy hikes. No camping.
Actually I think that you best bet is to drive north or south along the parkway and stop at all the overlooks and look for interesting hikes. We've done that several times and still find something new.
If you need more that the campgrounds along the parkway offer, you can find RV campgrounds in many of the cities of  the parkway.

Hope this helps.
Les

Hi Les,
Quite a complete and helpful review.  Looks like you have covered the area extensively and I appreciate your sharing what you have learned!

Jack
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