Camping Confidential: Davidson River Campground

Corey Hunt shares her family’s favorite hikes and sights at the Davidson River Campground just inside the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

Camp
By Corey Hunt
Camp Ambassador

As soon as the nightly temperature in the mountains stays above freezing, my family begins making spring camping trips. Last weekend, we traveled to an old favorite, the Davidson River Campground (DRC).

This campground is just inside the Pisgah National Forest, approximately 3 miles outside of Brevard, N.C. Aptly named, the Davidson River runs alongside the campground and boasts some magnificent trout fishing waters.

Photo: Corey Hunt

The DRC has 144 sites for tents and RVs from April to mid-November and 44 sites available in the winter. Each site has its own firepit, tent site marked with gravel and a picnic table. There are also showers and toilets in each loop and multiple water-filling stations. The DRC is pet-friendly, but dogs must remain on a leash at all times. For 2021, there are only online reservations; no walk-ups will be accepted.

Photo: Corey Hunt

Nearby Hiking: The Pisgah National Forest is beautiful year-round. It has hikes for all abilities, and some trails are wheelchair accessible. This weekend, our family hiked up to Moore Cove Falls. The trailhead for this 1.5-mile round-trip hike is located approximately 1 mile from Looking Glass Falls on U.S. 276. The trail is well-marked and has easy terrain that crosses Moore Creek several times before ending at the waterfall. The kids like this hike because they can walk behind the waterfall and explore the rock formations.

Close to the campground there is a trail called the Davidson River Recreation Trail. This trail follows the Davidson River for about a mile and then curves around the campground. If you are looking for an easy, well-maintained trail, then look no further. The trail provides many access points to the river and the campground. There is also a church called the English Chapel that is located along the trail.

Photo: Corey Hunt

What To Do: As previously mentioned, the English Chapel is worth a look. This church was founded in 1860, and some of the rock it took to create it came from the Davidson River. If you look closely, some of the rocks spell out English Chapel on the front of the church. The church still has Sunday services, and campers are encouraged to attend.

Photo: Corey Hunt

Brevard: The city of Brevard, N.C., is known as the “Land of Waterfalls” and is located approximately 15 minutes from the Davidson River Campground. The city hosts several festivals most years and is known for its art. There are also several breweries located in and around Brevard, such as Oskar Blues Brewery and Ecusta Brewing Co., if you want to unwind somewhere other than the campsite.

Photo: Corey Hunt

Summer Activities: The DRC is accessible year-round, but the summer is very busy. Many people congregate to the river for swimming and tubing. Next to the campground is hatchery-supported trout water that is stocked from April through June. Anglers can harvest six trout, which make an excellent campfire dinner. Davidson River Outfitters is a fishing store located just outside the Pisgah Forest entrance on U.S. 276. The store has a great selection of fly-fishing gear and flies and also provides guiding services out of the shop.

Photo: Corey Hunt

Some of the waterfalls around the DRC have enough water at the base to allow for swimming. One such area is Sliding Rock Falls, which can draw enough swimmers to look like a line in an amusement park. If you get there early in the day, the lines are shorter, but the water is colder. Still, the thrill of a natural waterslide is enough to draw the summer crowds.

Photo: Corey Hunt

The Davidson River Campground is family friendly and available for year-round recreation. The Brevard area holds something for everyone, whether it is hiking, fishing, art festivals or camping. With so many different areas to explore, it can be hard to narrow down what to see. I would recommend visiting several times during different seasons to see the beauty and adventure this area of North Carolina has to offer.

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