Want to try camping before you make a full-scale (read: financial) commitment? At McDowell Nature Preserve you can rent a tent site that comes with a tent! Once you’re settled in, check out the park’s 7 miles of hiking trail, the playgrounds, the paddling opportunities on Lake Wylie and the overall beauty of this 1,107-acre preserve.

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Getting there from downtown Charlotte
Address: 15222 York Road
City: Charlotte
State: N.C.
Zip: 28278
Distance: 25 minutes from downtown Charlotte
Latitude: 35.0561
Longitude: 81.0149
No. of campsites: 56
No. with hookups: 13 (does not include an additional 7 sites that come with tents)
No. without hookups: 26
Primitive sites: 10
Reservations? Yes. 704.583.1284.
Cost: $15 ($19 non Mecklenburg County residents) for primitive sites, $19 ($28) drive-to sites, $26 ($33) RV sites, $36 ($46) rent-a-tent sites
Year-round? Yes
Gate hours: 7 a.m. to sunset
Quiet hours: 11 p.m.-7 a.m.
Stuff to do nearby: Hiking, paddling, playgrounds, nature