Falls Lake: Shinleaf
Maybe it’s because you have to hike in a ways to the camp sites (up to a quarter of a mile). Maybe it’s because it’s a hike (again, up to a quarter mile) to the restroom and showers. Whatever the reason, the Shinleaf campground is rarely crowded, even on busy Memorial and Labor day weekends, when seemingly everyone in the Triangle goes camping. Solitude, plus proximity to great hiking (the Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs through the parking lot) and paddling on Falls Lake make Shinleaf a diamond in the Triangle’s urban camping rough.
Getting to the Shinleaf trailhead from downtown Raleigh
City: Wake Forest
Distance: 40 minutes from downtown Raleigh
No. of campsites: 47
No. with hookups: None
No. without hookups: 47
Primitive sites: None
Reservations? Yes. 877.722.6762
Gate hours: Open daily at 8 a.m., closes at 6 p.m. November-February; 8 p.m. March, April, September and October; 9 p.m. May-August.
Stuff to do nearby: Hiking, paddling, fishing