Date of Stay: July, 2015
Locally, this is known as Flanners Beach Campground in the Neuse River Recreation Area. We stayed here for four night in the middle of July with another family. They had a driving RV and we were in our pop-up. The campground is small, 40 sites, but has quite a lot to offer. The sites are spacious and mostly private. They are clean and most are wooded. The small rest room on the north side is older and while it needs some attention, it is clean. The large restroom is clean, well maintained, and accessible. Water spigots are located throughout the loop. There is a dump station available for campers. The south end bathhouse is much nicer than the north end. The park is very nice. There are hiking and biking trails surrounding the park. A picnic area adjacent to the campground. There is also a beach with swimming/fishing access on the Neuse River. Be warned, the river is very shallow at the beach. We needed to walk out over 1/4 mile to get to water waist deep. The campground is located off Hwy 70 between New Bern and Havelock. There are many attractions and activities within a 45 minute drive, we enjoyed seeing New Bern, Fort Macon, the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, some time at the beach, and Beaufort. Overall, a nice campground for a reasonable rate.
Date of Stay: April, 2014
We stayed at Cross Winds for Easter Weekend with five other families. We enjoyed camping on the lake with a small beach within walking distance. The kids enjoyed the water, kayaking, and riding their bikes around the campground. The sites are spacious, with plenty of room and trees between them. The sites are gravel and have a large pad with light post, fire ring/grill, and picnic table. The sites were clear of debris when we arrived. Water and electric we easily accessible. Trash cans were located every few sites and emptied twice each day. The roads through all three loops were well paved and a boat launch is available near the campground. The bath house was close to our sites and well lit. They were cleaned daily, but got messy toward the evening with heavy use. The showers were warm, with a push button access. We enjoyed our stay at Cross Winds and will return. It was convenient, clean, and fun for the entire family.
Date of Stay: January, 2014
A MLK Weekend Camping trip with two families and a near empty campground. Arrowhead was clean and well maintained. The electrical service was adequate for our heat and other needs. The restrooms were clean with some heat and hot showers. The sites are of varying sizes, most back-in and some pull- throughs. All are fine for our pop-up, but larger units will need to select carefully. Each site has a table, grill, fire pit, and lantern post. Wood was scarce, but available from local vendors. The paved path around the campsite was nice for walking and would be good for bicycles. The Badin Lake trail is easily accessible and well maintained. We also enjoyed geocaching, finding 6 cages during the weekend. Overall we enjoyed the campground and will return.
Date of Stay: August, 2013
We make an annual visit to Shellbay Campground and are never disappointed. The bathrooms and showers ($.25/4 min) were clean and uncrowded. The pool and hot tub were clean and refreshing. This is truly a family friendly campground. My children always meet new friends at the pool. They enjoy biking around the paved roads. They also enjoy the activities offered at the campground: Bingo Night, Sunday Church Services, the Cancer Fair (raise money for research), etc. I have been coming every summer for 40+ years and it gets better each year.
Date of Stay: July, 2013
I must preface my comments with the fact that we used the campground solely for lodging as we visited family living nearby. That said, we were quite pleased with the campground and probably would have enjoyed it more if we had time to. First, we made our reservations online without a problem. We requested a group of sites that were not available and was assigned a different site with apologies. However, we received an e-mail before we arrived saying that there was a cancellation and they could honor our original request. Great customer service! Upon our arrival, we were given a list of the week's events and activities. It was super hero weekend and our kids wished they could participate in the festivities. The facilities were nice. The bathrooms and showers were clean and not crowded. The laundry facilities were easily accessible and also clean. Access to the lake was easy and the pool was very inviting. The people in the well stocked store were very helpful and friendly. We would definitely return again.
Date of Stay: July, 2013
Our stay at Smuggler's Den Campground was very nice. The people working there were very friendly and informative. I reserved online and received two e-mails within a day. One confirming our reservation and a more personal response. Our site was wooded and near the bathhouse. It was a small site and many in that area were placed very close together. That being said, it was quite and easy to get in and out of. The pool was very nice, but not heated. The bathhouse was clean and well stocked. Even with a large group of teen girls, my wife noted that the showers were well kept. The laundry facilities were also clean and convenient. The office has some basic essentials and lobsters. Yes, they had live lobsters for sale for a fair price and loan out pots for cooking. Probably the best feature of the campground for us is their hosting a stop for the Island Loop right at the office. Once we parked our car and trailer, we were able to use the FREE bus system to visit the island. This was a very nice addition. My family agreed that we would come back and use the campground again. Hopefully, the weather would be kinder and allow us to use more the campground amenities.
Date of Stay: July, 2013
Tucked in Crawford Notch State Park, Dry River Campground is a rustic campground centrally located to Bartlett, Mt. Washington, Bretton Woods, Attitach, North Conway, and many other White Mountain activities. The campground is rustic, with no water or electric at the sites. There are pit toilets throughout the facility and a modern bath house with water, showers ($.25/ 3 minutes), laundry, and diswashing facilities. The bathhouse was very clean, even in rainy conditions. The campground was well kept with spacious, private sites. The attendents/rangers were available with wood to sell and change for showers. There was also a small information center as you enter. The dry river is small and fun to wade into, but do not be fooled by the "swimming hole" listed on the map. There was no depth for swimming and the water was quite cold. Overall, our family enjoyed the peace and solitude of Dry River Campground and would return.
Date of Stay: March, 2013
Nice North Carolina State Park Campground, clearly designed for lake access and use. We enjoyed the clean sites and grounds. The beach was open and well maintained. Each site had a fire pit with grill, picnic table, and light post. The sites were level and easy to navigate. The restrooms needed some attention. The hot showers were lukewarm and needed some cleaning. They were push button and needed constant pressure for water. This caused us to mark down an otherwise nice campground.
Date of Stay: December, 2012
With another family, we decided to take a weekend camping trip for the start of winter. Hagan-Stone Park was relatively close and seemed to have many amenities for the family. We were not disappointed. We were the only two camping in the wooded area. While the sites were small, we did not mind as we were alone. The playground in the campground was a nice size with a big field beside it (the playground on the other side of the park was wonderful and completely accessible). There was firewood available at the campground, and was needed with the cold nights. We enjoyed the many hiking trails and numerous geocaches in the park. The rangers were very nice and allowed us to have after hours access to the campground. Our only negative was the bath house. While clean and well stocked, the hot water was limited. Overall, it was a fun weekend and nice campground.
Date of Stay: October, 2012
We returned to Zooland Family Campground for our annual Halloween Camping Trip. The Campground was completely full, so we camped in the tenting area (with water and electricity). The campground activities for the weekend were enjoyable: pumpkin carving, costume contest, trailer trick-or-treating, haunted hayride, and a dance. The hayride did leave something to be desires and the DJ needed more diversity in the music. The new owners have really made some improvements over the past year. The bathrooms were redone and very clean (we marked down our rating because the women's shower did not have hot water). The putt-putt was nicely refurbished, as were the playground and jump pillow. The kids truly enjoyed the activities and play time. Again, I highly recommend Zooland for people looking for a weekend get away, a visit to the NC Zoo, or for a Holiday Activity weekend.
Date of Stay: August, 2012
We camped here with two other families, one in a tent and two of us in pop-ups. Let me start off with the friendliness of the office staff. They were very helpful by e-mail and on the phone in arranging our visit. We could not have been more pleased. Our sites were right on the lake, allowing us to bring a canoe and keep it on the bank. The lake is 12 acres and beautiful. Our only concern was the hill between our sites and the bank. It was steep and the stairs were in disrepair. We were a little nervous with the kids going up and down. The sites were gravel and elongated. This was fine with the pop-ups, but the gravel was rough for the tenters. Between the three sites, there was only one picnic table. When sharing this with the office, they brought another table to the site. Water and electric were fine. The pool was small, but ample. The kids enjoyed playing in it and it never seemed crowded. The office had food, tables, and games available. The pool table and air hockey were rustic, but free. The kids really enjoyed playing them. The weekend had numerous scheduled activities, but they were not posted, so participation was hit or miss. Overall, we had a wonderful time and would return.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
Mortimer Campground has changed a lot in the past year. Eight sites were closed due to flash flood danger, leaving just 11 sites open for the public. While this limits the use, the facility continues to offer wonderful, semi-rustic mountain camping. We stayed in the upper loop this year in a partially shaded site. The site was clean and offered a short trail to the creek. The restrooms and showers were very clean. They were well attended to by the campground hosts. Other campers told us about a swimming hole below a waterfall 500 yards up the creek and a great sandy beach swimming hole within walking distance. Both were enjoyed by our family. Again, we enjoyed the cool mountain nights and our camping adventure. Just a reminder, that Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River is located nearby and the visitor center there is worth a relaxing visit.
Date of Stay: June, 2012
This is the way to truly experience the beach and ocean. Hammocks Beach State Park has a welcome center on the mainland near Swansboro, but most of the park is on Bear Island. You must take a ferry or a personal boat to reach the island. Once on the island, you must hike 1/2 mile across the island and at least 1/8 mile up the beach to reach the first campsite. Eleven individual and two group sites are located in the dunes and three additional sites are only accessible by boat. Site 2 was located right over the primary dune on the beach. It was large enough for two small tents and a tarp to cover the picnic table and very private. There are no fires allowed, so stoves are needed. The restrooms, picnic shelters, and a snack bar are 1/8 mile down the beach. The restrooms and showers were clean for beach use (i.e., some sand on the floor). The showers are turned off during the day while day users are on the island and left something to be desired in terms of heat and pressure. There are also 4 outdoor showers available. The snack bar has cold drinks, ice cream, and snack food. There is also a guarded beach during the summer, but the rest of the beach is open for use. Camping here is not for the casual camper and takes planning, but the nights on the beaches are magical. Watching the moon-rise over the beach was incredible. Swimming on what feels like a private beach was wonderful. Shelling, fishing, and hiking made the trip memorable. If you are looking for a chance to reconnect with nature and to experience the beach in a pristine setting, this is the place for you.
Date of Stay: April, 2012
This was our first time camping at Morrow Mountain and we enjoyed a fun Easter Weekend with two other families. The sites were spacious with nice pads, fire grates, lamp posts, and picnic tables. We were close enough together to share meals, but far enough apart not to hear conversations. One of the sites was difficult to navigate due to trees, so I needed to move my pop-up to allow our friends with a 32' TT to back in to the site. Power was adequate for our needs and provided multiple plug-ins. The bath house was clean and stocked, but a walk from our sites. Water spigots were located throughout the campground. The state park has a beautiful pool (built by the CCC) available in the summer, a lake front with boat rentals and concessions, and great hiking. The deer made daily visits and were enjoyed by all.
Date of Stay: October, 2011
We came for the Halloween weekend with two other families and had a wet, but enjoyable weekend. We camped in the upper loop by the fishing pond and enjoyed a beautiful view from our site. The activities were family-oriented and we all had a great time. We do try other campgrounds, but keep coming back to Zooland because it is so nice.