Springtime is one of the best times of the year to go camping. You’ve been cooped up all winter and ready to get outside and enjoy nature! Then comes the task of finding a place to go. There are so many amazing places to camp across the United States and you could spend hours researching places to go. If you’re looking to go camping somewhere in the southeast, I have found some of the most amazing places for you to check out!
What’s the criteria for picking a great campground in the spring?
The first and most obvious would be the wildlife. Spring is the time of year the wildlife comes to life and starts moving again. The birds are out and flowers are blooming, which makes for a beautiful backdrop for camping. Next would be proximity to water. Camping next to water is so calming and relaxing. With the rivers moving and the lakes warming, the fish are starting to bite as well. Many people enjoy fishing while camping this time of year. Now that I have talked about the criteria, let’s get to the list!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located along the borders of both North Carolina and Tennessee. With it being America’s most visited national park, you could see why it would make the list. The park consists of over 500,000 acres and offers plenty of outdoor activities that include hiking, fishing, biking and boating. During the spring, you can enjoy the wildflowers that grow throughout the park. The waterfalls are usually pretty spectacular this time as well due to the melting snow. Also, around late spring there are Synchronous Fireflies that live within the park. There are several campgrounds you can stay in, with Elkmont campground being the largest and another popular campground in the area is Cades Cove.
Hanging Rock State Park is about 30 miles north of Winston-Salem in North Carolina. This park has plenty of trails for hiking and mountain bike riding along with breathtaking views and waterfalls. There is also a 12 acre lake for swimming, boating and fishing. With everything offered at this park, it makes it a great place to camp in the spring time.
Cape Lookout National Seashore is located on the east coast of North Carolina and offers miles of undeveloped barrier islands. There are no designated campgrounds, so you can pitch a tent right on the beach! Along with the natural beauty of camping on the beach, you can enjoy birdwatching and surf fishing in the spring. These beaches are also known for being home to wild horses.
Cloudland Canyon State Park is one of Georgia’s largest state parks located 26 miles south of Chattanooga TN. This park has thousand foot deep canyons, sandstone cliffs and wild caves. It also has waterfalls and abundant wildlife. Cloudland Canyon State Park has around 30 miles of mountain biking trails and over 60 miles of hiking trails. This park also offers horseback riding, canyon climbing, disc golf and geocaching. With so many ways to enjoy nature, spring is one of the best times to try this park.
Tallulah Gorge State Park is located about 65 miles north of Athens GA. Tallulah Gorge is about 2 miles long and is one of the most picturesque canyons in the eastern U.S. There are trails all around the gorge and it even has a suspension bridge providing breathtaking views of the river and waterfalls. There are other activities such as biking, paddling and rock climbing here as well. The abundant wildlife makes this a spectacular spring camping destination.
Skidaway Island State Park is located near Savannah Georgia This park is on the border of Skidaway Narrows which is a part of Georgia’s intracoastal waterways. This park has a picturesque campground with live oaks and Spanish moss. The scenic hiking trails lead to a boardwalk and observation tower. Skidaway Island State Park is part of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail and a great place for birdwatching. Along with being close to historic downtown Savannah, Tybee Island’s beaches are less than an hour away.
Table Rock State Park is 28 miles northwest of Greenville SC. It is one of sixteen state parks made by the civilian conservation corps. There are several hiking trails with scenic views and waterfalls. One trail even takes you to the top of Table Rock Mountain for breathtaking views. This park has two lakes that make it a great place for fishing in the spring. Other activities include paddling, bird watching, swimming and geocaching.
Devils Fork State Park is located about 40 miles northwest of Greenville SC. This park is also located on Lake Jocassee. Lake Jocassee is a spring fed lake that is encompassed by gorges and waterfalls. The only access to the lake is by Devils Fork State Park. One of the unique features of this lake is the clarity, which makes it popular by scuba divers. During the spring, the rare Oconee Bell wildflower can be seen along the trails. This park also has campsites only accessible by boat. Lake Jocassee boasts some of the best trout fishing in South Carolina.
Hunting Island State Park is located 18 miles outside of Beaufort SC. This scenic park has 5 miles of beach and a beautiful saltwater lagoon. It also has a publicly accessible lighthouse that can be climbed to take in some of the best views. The park has bike and hiking trails throughout. Spring is a great time to check out the wildlife and to do some surf fishing.
Blue spring state park is about 34 miles north of Orlando FL. As you can guess by the name, the park is home to Blue Spring, a first magnitude spring on the St. Johns River. It remains at a refreshing 72 degrees all year round. This spring is also home to manatees, which is why this campground is so popular. There are boat tours, fishing, paddling, hiking, bird watching and fishing
to do here.
Ichetucknee spring state park is located 37 miles north of Gainesville FL. This park has eight major crystalline springs that come together to form the Ichetucknee River. The park is most known for its tubing during the warm months, but it is also home to wildlife such as beaver, otter, softshell turtle, wild turkey, wood duck and limpkin. The bird watching is great here as well as it is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.
So next time you’re looking for somewhere to go camping, why don’t you give one of these great parks a try! Then stop back in and let me know how it went.