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Camping at North Mills River Campground

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North Mills River Campground is a rustic and scenic campground located in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, offering visitors a chance to enjoy the outdoors and various recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, and biking.


North Mills River Campground
North Mills River Recreation Area
5289 N. Mills River Rd.
Mills River, NC 28759

General Information

  • Reservations: Campsites can often be reserved in advance, but there may also be some sites available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Season: The camping season typically varies, but the campground is usually open from spring through late fall. It's essential to check the current operating season before planning a visit.
  • Fees: There is a fee to camp at North Mills River Campground. The rates can vary and should be confirmed through the official forest service or campground reservation website.

Facilities and Amenities

  • Camp Sites: The campground has a number of sites suitable for tents and RVs, but it's important to check the length restrictions for RVs, as not all sites can accommodate large vehicles.
  • Utility Hookups: Generally, there are no electric, water, or sewer hookups available at each campsite.
  • Water Access: Drinking water is typically provided through communal water spigots.
  • Restrooms: Flush toilets or vault toilets are available, but shower facilities are usually not provided.
  • Picnic Tables and Fire Grates: Each campsite is usually equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring or grate.

Activities and Recreation

  • Fishing: North Mills River is popular for trout fishing, and visitors must comply with state fishing regulations.
  • Hiking: The surrounding national forest offers miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging.
  • Mountain Biking: There are numerous trails available for mountain biking.
  • Swimming and Water Activities: Some areas of the river are suitable for swimming and tubing during appropriate seasons.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The area is abundant with wildlife, and birdwatching is a popular activity.

Safety and Regulations

  • Wildlife: As with any camping experience in a natural setting, visitors should be aware of local wildlife and follow guidelines to store food and dispose of waste properly to avoid attracting animals to the campsites.
  • Fires: Campfires are usually permitted within provided fire rings or grates, but fire restrictions may be in place during dry conditions.
  • Leave No Trace: To preserve the environment, campers are encouraged to follow 'Leave No Trace' principles, which include packing out all trash and minimizing impacts on the natural surroundings.
  • Pets: Pets are often allowed but must be kept under control and on a leash.

Getting There and Contact Information

The campground can be accessed via the North Mills River Recreation Area, situated off North Carolina Highway 280. It's important to have detailed directions before traveling as cell service can be unreliable.

For reservations or additional information, visitors can contact the campground directly or use the National Recreation Reservation System. You can typically find current information on the official USDA Forest Service website or by phoning the district ranger's office for the Pisgah National Forest.


Camping at North Mills River Campground offers a back-to-nature experience in one of North Carolina's beautiful national forests. By planning ahead, respecting the natural environment, and adhering to the campground's rules and regulations, visitors can enjoy a memorable and safe outdoor adventure.

Location of North Mills River Campground
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