Basecamp at Black Mountain Campground

Nestled at the base of Mount Mitchell and close to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Black Mountain Campground in Pisgah National Forest serves as a great basecamp to explore the area with plenty of on-site adventures.

Black Mountain Campground
GPS:
35.7527, -82.2211
CATEGORY:
National Forests

Black Mountain Campground: Pisgah National Forest

When the sweltering heat of summer in the city has taken its toll on the family, then head up past 3,000ft where the nights dip down into the 50's and the mild, much less humid days are built for exploring the Appalachians.

Setting up a basecamp at Black Mountain Campground will give you access to a lot of adventure without ever having to get back in the rig again until you break camp. After a 4pm check-in, a great post-ride hike is the short 1/2-mile round trip up to Setrock Creek Falls. The Setrock Creek Falls trail picks up near Campsite #15 (which is without a doubt the jewel of the 41 available) and then brushes again by the South Toe River.

Campsite at Black Mountain in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Black Mountain Campground Trailheads

Setrock Creek Falls itself is a charming location with some big boulders, nooks, and crannies to explore. In the summer months you can still make it back to camp to prepare dinner and get a campfire started before the sun dips behind Mt. Mitchell.

With trailheads right from Black Mountain Campground, there is a hike for all levels – difficult to easy:

  • Mt Mitchell: 11.2 miles RT to Mt Mitchell (6684 ft) - strenuous
  • Green Knob: 6.4 miles RT -difficult
  • Higgins Bald Trail: 2.6 miles RT - moderate
  • River Loop, upper: 3.7 miles moderate
  • River Loop, lower: 2.5 miles- easy
  • Devil’s Den Nature Trail: 1.4 miles RT - easy
  • Setrock Creek Falls Trail:  0.4 mile RT - easy

Maps are available at the camp office and the friendly camp hosts are happy to point you in the right direction.

The South Toe River

The Toe River near Black Mountain Campground

Spend any time at Black Mountain Campground and the one thing you'll be pleasantly surprised by is the constant babble of the South Toe River. Renowned for its fly fishing, the South Toe River is also great for tubing, swimming, and a whole of host of water play activities. Three designated picnic tables are located along the bank, all with easy water access.

Photo of Black Mountain Campground Pisgah National Forest entrance signage next to rhododendron bush in North Carolina
Image of teen girl reading her book under a tree next to a fire pit along the South Toe River in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Image of Black Mountain Campground campsite with two girls relaxing in chairs while one girl enters the tent near Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Image of Black Mountain Campground campsite with two girls relaxing in chairs while one girl enters the tent near Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Photo of mother and four daughters building an evening fire at Black Mountain Campground campsite in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Bald Knob Ridge Trail

In addition to the variety of excellent on-site fun, there is much to do within a few hours drive. Thirty minutes will get you to an excellent hike on the Bald Knob Ridge off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP355. If there is a birder in the group, keep an eye and ear out for hermit thrush along the mossy 5.6-mile round trip hike. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the bottom trailhead where a forest service road crosses the east fork of the South Toe River. Steep in places, the hike is well designed with switchbacks.

"We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." ~Theodore Roosevelt

Highland Brewing Company Tour

Highland Brewing Company tour in Asheville, North Carolina

If Asheville is on your list of places, save a little time for a tour (free) of the Highland Brewing Company. A family-owned-and-operated regional brewery, Highland Brewing only distributes its handcrafted creations in the Southeast.

The Blue Ridge Parkway Trifecta: Crabtree Falls, Museum of North Carolina Minerals, Historic Orchard at Altapass

1. Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina

Looking for a full day away from Black Mountain Campground? Start the day early with an invigorating 2-mile round trip hike to the gorgeous 60-foot Crabtree Falls located at milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. To avoid the crowds on this popular Blue Ridge Parkway hike, get there early as trailhead parking is limited.

2. Museum of North Carolina Minerals

Museum of North Carolina Minerals on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Black Mountain

We suggest the second stop at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals, just a stones throw away near milepost 331 on Blue Ridge Parkway. Junior Ranger booklets and engaging interactive displays are all part of the museum's offerings. Plan 45 min to one hour to take everything in.

3. Historic Orchard at Altapass

Historic Orchard at Altapass on the Blue Ridge Parkway

To complete the trifecta, don’t miss the Historic Orchard at Altapass just down the road near Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 328. Enjoy spectacular Blue Ridge Mountain views off the back deck, live local music and dancing, and storytelling hayrides (May-Oct on Sat/Sun). If you are lucky enough to meet the property owner Bill Carson, he'll give you an unhurried history of the property and a humble self-deprecating dance lesson. The band's sound and groove falls somewhere between the Grateful Dead and Jimmy Buffet, so musically you'll find something to love. Learn more about the orchard and their activities here.

Off site activities

Crabtree Falls Trailhead (near MP339)
Moderate hike 3-mile loop or 2-mile out-and-back.
Map

Bald Knob Ridge Trail: (near MP355)
5.6-mile RT moderate
Map

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Two girls resting under a tree while hiking
Curtis Valley Overlook sign on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Girl with binoculars looking up on a mountain trail
Family resting on a bridge while hiking
Girl drinking water and resting on a hike
Family resting at Crabtree Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Three girls playing with stones in the Toe River in North Carolina
Setrock Creek Falls near Black Mountain Campground in North Carolina
Two girls playing on the trail to Setrock Creek Falls in North Carolina
Elevation
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3040
Check-in/out
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4:00p / 2:00p
Cost/Night*
icon cost per night to camp
$22.00
Showers
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Hot
Restroom
campsite telephone number icon
Flush
Max People / Vehicles
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8 / 2
Visitors Center
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No
Camp Hosts
icon for camp hosts
Yes
Best Site
icon for best camp site
#15
# Sites
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44
Open Year Round
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No
Laundry
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No
*Tent campsites only; accurate at time of publication
50 Black Mountain Campground Rd
Burnsville
NC
28714
Contact:
/
(828) 675-5616
Bear country - keep food locked up.
12 Old Charlotte Highway
Asheville
NC
28803
Free Tours: 45min; offered daily; reserve online
Phone: 828.299.3370
Family owned - Beer tasting bar for some of their experimental brews
Learn More
1025 Orchard Road (near MP 328)
Spruce Pine
NC
28777
Hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
Story-telling hayrides: May-Oct Sat & Sun 1:00, 2:30, 4:00pm $5/person
Free live music Wed-Sun May-Sept; weekends only Oct
Apple orchard trail, grill, and gift store
Learn More
79 Parkway Maintenance Road
Spruce Pine
NC
28777
Junction BRP MP 331 and NC Hwy 226
Visitor Center hours: 9am-5pm daily
Hands-on exhibits, BRP Junior Ranger booklet
Free!
Learn More
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