New for 2009, the North Carolina State Parks System (includes Mt. Mitchell State Park Asheville) has launched a full-service reservations system for campsites, vacation cabins, picnic shelters, community buildings and other facilities at its 37 state parks and state recreation areas. You have the option of reserving campsites and facilities online, or by calling a toll-free 800 number or by visiting a state park office or visitor center. It's a new way to explore and enjoy the 'Naturally Wonderful' state parks and state recreation areas.
Beginning April 22, 2009, you'll be able to make reservations for state park visits on July 15 and thereafter. Reservations made prior to April 22 for weeklong stays at state recreation areas, for vacation cabins, shelters and other facilities will not be affected.
The new system will allow you to reserve a campsite at most state parks for a visit of a single night or more. And, available campsites, picnic shelters and other facilities can be reserved as quickly as 48 hours beforehand.
Important Facts About Reservations
• Beginning April 22, you'll be able to visit a new Web site (www.ncparks.gov) to view a listing of available campsites and facilities at each state park. You can pay for reservations quickly and easily online with your credit card information.
• You can also call a toll-free number to ask questions and make reservations with your credit card information. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekends.
• Or, you can make reservations in person by visiting most state park offices/visitor centers during regular hours. You can make reservations for a stay at that park or any other in the system and pay with cash or credit card.
• Reservations aren't required for a campsite or picnic shelter at a state park if a campsite or facility is available. Without a reservation, campsites and facilities are on a first come, first served basis as in the past. (NOTE: An exception is Jordan Lake SRA, where only sites at the Parkers Creek campground will be available on a first come, first served basis.)
• You'll be able to purchase gift cards for future trips to state parks.
• There will be a $3 surcharge per night's stay to support the reservations system.
• A reservation must be made and confirmed at least 48 hours prior to the planned visit.
• A 14-day maximum stay at state parks and state recreation areas remains in effect.
Frequently Asked Questions: Camping in North Carolina State Parks
How can I pay for a reservation and how is a reservation confirmed?
On our Internet site, payment for reservations must be made with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or debit card. If a reservation is made through the call center, payment can be made with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard), debit card, money order or check. Any reservation made less than 21 days prior to arrival must be paid by credit card or debit card. If the reservation is made by money order or check, Infospherix must receive payment within 10 days or the reservation will be canceled. If a reservation is made at a state park office/visitor center, payment can be made with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard), debit card, money order, check or cash. Full payment is required when the reservation is made. Internet reservations will be confirmed immediately by email. Visitors making reservations at least seven days in advance through the call center will receive a confirmation letter by mail. Visitors making reservations at a state park office/visitor center will immediately be given a confirmation letter. Confirmation letters and emails will contain a specific reservation number and customer ID number.
What facilities are available?
The state parks system has more than 3,000 campsites and the majority of these are available for reservations including some group sites, hike-in group sites, backpacking sites and equestrian sites at South Mountains State Park. Also available are more than 100 picnic shelters, nine community buildings, family cabins at Hanging Rock and Morrow Mountain state parks and some classrooms and teaching auditoriums at those parks with full-service visitor centers.
How far ahead of time MUST I make a reservation? How far ahead of time CAN I make a reservation?
Reservations must be made through the Internet site, call center or park office/visitor center at least 48 hours prior to arrival. You can make reservations up to 11 months prior to arrival. For example: if the date is Sept. 1, 2009, you can reserve a campsite or facility through Aug. 31, 2010.
What other limitations are there on reservations for campsites?
Any campsite can be reserved for a minimum of one night except on holiday weekends - Memorial Day through Labor Day - when a two-night minimum (Friday and Saturday) is enforced. This doesn't apply to group campsites. A single campsite can be reserved for a maximum of 14 consecutive nights within any 30-day period. An unlimited number of sites can be reserved in one call or Internet session, but each site is considered a separate reservation.
What happens if I arrive late or have to cancel?
If a camper cannot occupy a site on the first reservation night by the time that park gates are closed, they must contact the park or call center by 3 p.m. the following day to inform about arrival time. If this notification is not made, the reservation will be considered a 'no show' and the site will be made available to other campers. Any change of arrival date or cancellations made by check-in time 48 hours prior to the scheduled arrival date will result in a $10 cancellation fee. Cancellations made on the scheduled arrival date will be charged a one-night camping fee as well as a $10 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for no-shows, cancellations or early departures after the arrival date.
Can I still camp at a state park if I don't have a reservation?
Campsites are by reservation only. However, campers are welcome for on-site registration if a site is available (has not been reserved). At some parks, a number of campsites are set aside for on-site registration on a first come, first served basis. (NOTE: An exception is Jordan Lake SRA, where only sites at the Parkers Creek campground will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.) Be aware that without advance reservations, you cannot be guaranteed a site for more than one night unless you're using a site specifically set aside for on-site registration. Each state park posts a list of sites available for on-site registration and updates the list at least once daily. The lists are posted on a campground information sign that also gives instructions on how to complete on-site registration. Specific registration procedures may vary from park to park.
What if I want to change sites after I arrive at the park?
Campers can sometimes change sites after arrival. You must first check with park staff before moving to check on the new site's availability. There is no additional fee.
How about using picnic shelters without a reservation?
Rules for day use of picnic shelters haven't changed. If a shelter has not been reserved at least 48 hours in advance, the shelter may be used by anyone on a first-come, first-served basis. However, large organized events beyond a family picnic or group outing may require a special activity permit. It's a good idea to check with the park staff.
What are the check in/check out times for campsites?
Check in time is 4 p.m. and campers can set up earlier if the site is vacant. Check out time is 3 p.m.
Will gift cards be available for future visits to state parks and other purchases?
Gift cards will be available at state park offices and visitor centers. However, gift cards initially can be redeemed only through the toll-free reservations call center and at a park office/visitor center or other official point-of-sale location for certain fees and some merchandise. Gift cards cannot be redeemed online. (At some visitor centers, merchandise is offered by park volunteer support groups and cannot be purchased with gift cards.)
Who can I ask if I have other questions?
Call 1-877-7-CAMP-NC (1-877-722-6762) or email email@example.com.