Open Year-round
Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)



Occasionally full

Parking Pass


Price per night (basic site)

10.00 $ (8.40 €)


Pretty and unpretentious campground. Great hiking. Adjacent to the Santeetlah River.


Can be crowded.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Managed by

Nantahala National Forest


Vault toilet
ADA accessible
Family friendly
Historically significant
Near lake or river
Potable water
Old-growth forest



Total number of sites


Maximum trailer length

25.00 ft (7.62 m)


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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