South Mountains State Park Campgrounds
How’s 40 miles of hiking trail, for starters? And some of the hiker-friendliest trail around, much of it being on old roadbeds that cross the forested park. Three-quarters of that trail is open to horseback (but again, there’s plenty of room to share on these generous trails), and the 18-mile mountain bike trail system is the largest in the North Carolina State Parks system. Scenery junkies should check out the 80-foot High Shoals Falls.
A good cold-weather destination: with elevations topping out at just over 3,000 feet, you get a taste of winter weather, not a mouthful.
More info: 828.433.4772, or here
Photo: High Shoals Falls
City: Connelly Springs
No. of campsites: 11
No. with hookups: none
No. without hookups: 11
Primitive sites: 11
Reservations? 877.722.6762, www.nc.reserveworld.com
Gate hours: Opens daily at 8 a.m., closes Nov.-Feb., 6 p.m.; March, April, Sept., Oct., 8 p.m.; May-Aug., 9 p.m.
Quiet hours: yes.
Stuff to do nearby: hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing