You probably received a super cute camping mug for Christmas, so now it’s time get outdoors. Whether you’re into hiking or just the opportunity for an Instagram post, here are a few spots worth visiting in a short drive.
1. Morrow Mountain State Park
Located a little more than an hour away near Lake Tillary, Morrow Mountain State Park boasts more than 15 miles of hiking trails and 106 spots for tents, trailers and RVs. While it’s not so much a mountain as the remnant of an ancient volcano, you’ll still find some sweet “mountain” views.
2. Raven Rock State Park
Raven Rock gives off some serious Blue Ridge Mountain vibes, but it’s fairly close to home in Lillington. Raven Rock has a little bit of everything, including family, backpacking and canoe campsites, waterfalls and an equestrian area.
3. Hanging Rock State Park
Located about 30 miles north of Winston Salem, Hanging Rock has pretty much everything you need to get the full camping experience. You can find 73 campsites, more than 30 miles of trails, a lake with canoes for rent and views worth braving the outdoors.
4. Julian Price Memorial Park
Okay, so this one is a little further out, but the views of Price Lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains are 100 percent worth the drive. Julian Price Memorial Park has 128 tent campsites, 67 RV sites, lake access, canoes for rent and a scenic trail. Oh, and it’s also right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, so you’ll be in close to hikes like Linville Falls and Beacon Heights.
5. Pilot Mountain State Park
If you’re into rock climbing, parts of Pilot Mountain’s 2,000-foot peak are right up your alley. If you’re just into the hiking to a nice view, you can find those trails, too. Pilot Mountain is located northwest of Winston Salem and offers a 42-site campground, a canoe trail and more.
6. Stone Mountain State Park
This giant granite dome at Stone Mountain has 90 campsites and pretty much every outdoor activity you can imagine — from camping and fishing to horseback riding. You’ll need a permit to climb the rock face, but a 4.5 mile trail will take you by an old homestead and a 200-foot waterfall.