Horse Cove Campground

Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina

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Horse Cove Campground


  • Horse Cove Campground.- Horse Cove Campground
  • Registration sign and pay station.- Horse Cove Campground
  • A typical upper section site.- Horse Cove Campground
  • Typical site on the upper section of the campground.- Horse Cove Campground
  • Typical site on the upper section of the campground.- Horse Cove Campground
  • One of the two vault toilets.- Horse Cove Campground
  • Typical site on the lower section of the campground, along the river, that is open year round.- Horse Cove Campground
  • Some sites are close together on the lower section of the campground.- Horse Cove Campground
  • Site 13, probably the best site due to additional privacy. - Horse Cove Campground
  • One of the better riverside sites due it its privacy.- Horse Cove Campground
Overview + Weather
Pretty and unpretentious campground. Great hiking. Adjacent to the Santeetlah River.
Can be crowded.
Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
Managed by: 
Nantahala National Forest
Price per night (basic site): 
10.00 $ (8.40 €)
Occasionally full
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Maximum trailer length: 
25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Reservations possible: 
Total number of sites: 
Current Local Weather:
Campground Description

Campground Description

Pro Contributor

Horse Cove Campground is a small unpretentious campground with 18 sites. Less than 0.8 mile from the popular and beautiful Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness and its 3,800 acres of old growth forest, Horse Cove is an ideal staging point for hikes in the area. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Loop Trail showcases old-growth, and the trailhead is less than a mile away. Beyond, nearby hikes include Huckleberry Knob, Naked Ground, Haoe Lead, Jenkins Meadow, and numerous others throughout the wilderness. In addition to hiking, Horse Cove Creek drains from the campground into the Santeetlah River, offering opportunities to fish from the campground. Keep this in mind—the Santeetlah River is close enough to be noisy.

Each site has a parking pad, picnic table, fire ring, and tent area. The campground is separated into two loops. The lower six sites along Joyce Kilmer Road are open year round. The remaining upper sites are laid out along the small Horse Cove Creek. They can handle tents and mid-size trailers and are open only from March 31 to October 31. The basic fee as of late 2018 is $10/night. The toilets are vault toilets. Water is available from spigots when the main campground is open. There is no trailer dump or trailer hookups.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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(22 within a 30 mile radius)

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