Sunday, November 14, 2010

Free boondocking in your RV in the Carolinas

I love the Appalachian area and this is a short trip headed to the coast after spending some time there. It will take you through the Carolinas. In this series of free camping spots, I selected 4 places you can stay for 14 days each. After each 14 day stay, visit a low cost campground with full services to take that long hot shower and recharge your batteries. After your water tank is full, you can travel along to the next boondocking adventure. Two months and you only have to pay for for those 4 nights camping.

There is a complete trip across the southern states and one across the southwestern states if you are a full timer and want to enjoy these area for a few months.

A: Franklin, NC
Franklin is a small mountain town surrounded by beautiful streams, waterfalls, mountains, hills and valleys. The Franklin area is the Gem Capitol of the World, so if you try your hand at mining you are bound to find many beautiful and sometimes very valuable stones. The forest is the Natahala and Franklin is 11 miles away from the Appalachian Trail. It is a popular stop for hikers. The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is a 61.3-mile drive that winds through southern Appalachian hardwood forest, two river gorges, and rural countryside. Traveling from Highlands to Almond the byway follows U.S. 64, old U.S. 64, SR 1310 (Wayah Road), and U.S. 19.

In Franklin, NC, at the intersection of US Routes 23/441/64, take US Route 64 west for 12 miles to Wallace Gap/campground sign (Old Murphy Road. Old 64). Turn left onto Old Murphy Road and proceed 1.9 miles to the sign for the campground. (Forest Route 67) Turn right onto Route 67 and drive 1.8 miles to the "Y" intersection. Just pass the campground is forest service road. There are some decent spots where you can park a travel trailer along the Forest Service Road. You just have to search for suitable locations.

B: Mills River, NC
This is a popular spot for fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are several popular starting points for trails along both the North and South Mills Rivers. The South Mills River is rugged and wild, with many excellent trails criss-crossing the gorge and mountains through which it runs. Several of these trails can be accessed from the Turkeypen trailhead. Don't forget tubing or floating on the river. It is a popular past time in the area.

Public campsites in the Pisgah National Forest along a gravel road in the mountains. From Asheville, follow Interstate 26 East to Exit 9 (Asheville Regional Airport). At Exit 9, follow SR 1419 past the airport, to the intersection with Highway 191. Turn left onto Highway 191, and then turn right onto SR 1345. Follow signs to the North Mills Recreation Area. Following FS 479 from the recreation area to the first Forest Service road on the left accesses the upper North Mills River, Big Creek, and Fletcher Creek. Primitive camping is allowed on forest Service lands throughout the North Mills River area, except where signed: no camping.

C: Whitmire, SC
The Sumter National Forest and its diverse resources provide a full range of active outdoor recreation activities. These include hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, photography, scenic viewing, etc. The Tyger, Enoree, and Broad Rivers flow through the Enoree Ranger District. All three rivers, along with several of their major tributaries, offer good fishing for catfish, bream, and bass and have several good access points along their lengths. Don't forget to check out the Woods Ferry Recreation Area.

Check with the local rangers in Whitmire for a primitive camping pass.

D: Congaree National Park Hopkins, SC
This is an old growth forest with hiking, canoeing, fishing, and just general enjoyment of large shade trees. There are numerous hiking trails here with the Oakridge trail being a moderate one. It passes through a rich stretch of old-growth forest and is a good choice. Traveling by canoe or kayak is a great way to enjoy this primeval wilderness while floating past some of the tallest trees in eastern North America. Paddling is also a thrilling way to encounter the diverse wildlife of the park. Deer, river otters, turtles, snakes, raccoons, and wild pigs are a few of the animals that may be seen. The Congaree River Blue Trail is a 50-mile designated recreational paddling trail, extending from the state capital of Columbia, downstream to Congaree National Park. Paddlers begin with an urban adventure experience, with quick access to the Three Rivers Greenway hiking trails, as well as opportunities to learn about the historic significance of the capital city, including prehistoric Native American sites on the river's tributaries

You must enter from the North, off Hwy 48. Look for bluff road, then Old Bluff Rd. Stop off at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center for a camping pass.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, this a very informative site. I'm adding you to my favorites so I can continue exploring.


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