A sad thing about car camping in the high country of the Carolinas: come mid to late fall the campgrounds all go into hibernation. Well, not all of them, exactly. We’ve come up with a list of 15 places to camp year-round — 15 legal places, where you won’t have to worry about the county sheriff rousting you in the middle of the night.

In the uplands of South Carolina we didn’t have to look hard: every state park campground we checked remains open year round — we included four in our list. North Carolina is more inclined to close its campgrounds in the winter, but we did find two (South Mountains and New River State parks). Ditto the National Forest Service campgrounds (we’ve got two: Davidson River and nearby N. Mills River). The rest are what are known as “dispersed campsites,” those found along certain remote gravel roads in our National Forests. Thought you had to take a break from car camping come winter? Think again.

Ammons Branch
Big Ivy Area
Blue Valley
Burrells Ford
Davidson River
Devils Fork State Park
Fires Creek
Hot Springs Area
Kings Mtn State Park
New River State Park
North Mills River
Oconee State Park
South Mtns State Park
Table Rock State Park

Wine Spring