A view of the Appalachian Trail

Trip Planning

Explore the Appalachian Trail Campgrounds

Check out these campgrounds along the famous Appalachian Trail!

Layne Jenkins loves to hike. His wife simply enjoys relaxing in bucolic settings and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. But when they park their fifth wheel at Hidden Waters RV Park in Robbinsville, in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, the Florida couple have the best of both worlds.

Layne can take their tow vehicle to do day hikes along the Appalachian Trail, which is just a few miles away, while his wife can enjoy quiet time in nature.

“It’s so serene there,” Layne said of Hidden Waters, which is forested with beautiful maple and gum trees. “It’s quiet. It’s a place where you can just gather your thoughts. We stay at a campsite with a creek on both sides, and we sit around the campfire at night and have a cocktail. At nighttime, we leave the windows open so we can hear the creek.”

While many people set out to hike lengthy sections of the 2,190-mile-long Appalachian Trail, or even the whole trail if time and budget permit, many RV enthusiasts simply enjoy camping near the famous trail, which winds its way from Georgia to Maine.

Several websites provide information about hiking different sections of the trail, including AppalachianTrail.org, which has interactive maps and other informational resources. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, an advocacy group that protects and manages the trail, is headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the mid-point of the trail where nearby campgrounds include the Harpers Ferry / Civil War Battlefields KOA Holiday.

A visitors center for the Appalachian Trail is located in Damascus, Virginia, which calls itself “Trail Town USA” because three major trails intersect there, including the Appalachian Trail, the Virginia Creeper Trail and the Trans America Bicycle Trail, which goes from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia. RV campgrounds in the Damascus area include Damascus Creekside RV Park.

Virginia is a popular destination for Appalachian Trail hikers because many scenic points along the trail are accessible from roadways, particularly the Blue Ridge Parkway in Shenandoah National Park. Nearby campgrounds include the Lynchburg / Blue Ridge Parkway KOA in Monroe and the Harrisonburg / Shenandoah Valley KOA Holiday in Broadway.

Further to the north, in Hanover, New Hampshire, the Appalachian Trail literally runs through the center of town. Nearby RV campgrounds include Mascoma Lake Campground in Lebanon and Jacob's Brook Campground in Orford

Of course, there are some RV-friendly campgrounds that are very close to the Appalachian Trail. Pine Ridge Campground in Biglerville, Pennsylvania is only 1,500 feet from the trail. Most campgrounds, however, are much further away from it, but still close enough for easy accessibility. In fact, there are many places where RVers can access the trail for day hikes and longer excursions. Here’s a sampling of several additional campgrounds from Georgia to Maine that RVers are known to use as base camps for their Appalachian Trail adventures:

Shenandoah Views Airstream
(Photo courtesy of Spacious Skies Shenandoah Views)

RV park in the mountains
(Photo courtesy of Spacious Skies Woodland Hills)

Balsam Woods fall
(Photo courtesy of Spacious Skies Balsam Woods)

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.