Located in Henderson, NC, the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area offers a vast amount of outdoor recreational opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. This recreation area is a collective of seven access areas that are scattered around the shoreline of the 50,000-acre Kerr Lake Reservoir that begins in North Carolina and stretches all the way up into the state of Virginia. Because of the vastness of this recreation area, guests can find a wide range of camping experiences from RV hookups to group camping. There's space for RVs up to 123 feet in length, and you may choose from partial to full shade spaces with several sites only feet from the water’s edge.
The state maintains several beaches for swimming in the recreation area and multiple boating ramps with some boat ramps offering 24-hour access. Also, the recreation area maintains two private marinas that serve boaters. Best of all, the lake is excellent for fishing, and there is an extensive boat ramp facility at the Nutbush Access that is suitable for fishing tournaments. Plus, there is a community building that can accommodate family or community gatherings near the lake where guests will find a wide variety of trees and native wildlife flourishing in this area.
Historically, the Kerr Lake Recreation Area was once occupied by the Occoneechee Indians. The natural ebb and flow of the Roanoke River produced highly productive farmland in this area, but the area was also prone to periodic flooding. In 1946, construction began on the reservoir to control flooding, and in 1975 the Kerr Reservoir Area was then transformed into a North Carolina state park.
The park can be found quickly and easily because the main office at the park is only a short 15 minute drive from Henderson, NC. Travelling in this region is very easy for RVs and visitors new to the area because many of the parks are signposted for those without maps or a GPS. The roads are smaller, local highways, and they only have a few winding turns as well as little to no incline while driving. Henderson is in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, so expect to see very small rolling hills, well paved roads, and lots of Loblolly Pine Trees.
Because this region does not get a lot of snow, winter conditions will mostly entail a chilly breeze or some cold rain, so be sure to pack the appropriate attire. However, in recent years, the region has seen a small amount of unusual snow, so make sure to stay abreast of the current weather conditions. Henderson and the state of North Carolina have limited access to winter resources, and it might take some time before salt trucks or workers are out clearing the roads.
Also, North Carolina, including the Piedmont region, has seen an increase in tropical storms, hurricanes, and severe weather during the hurricane season running from June to November. Make sure that you prepare ahead of time for this weather if visiting during the summer season, and be prepared for summer storms that can flood the roads periodically.
There is parking available in each of the nine recreation areas that make up this park.
There is no access to public transportation available within the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area.
Guests to Kerr Lake State Recreation Area will find 138 campsites available to them in the forested Hibernia Campground area. This area offers both RV, tent, and trailer camping. Of the 138 campsites available here, 46 sites have electric hookups. Camp sites in this area can accommodate RVs up to 104 feet in length.
Guests choosing to stay in this area will find most sites equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and a grill. Pets are welcome in this campground, but they must be maintained on a leash.This campground is open from the week before Easter through the end of October.
Hibernia Campground also maintains areas for group camping. Guests to this area will find that the group campsites provide privacy, drinking water, and restrooms. However, electricity is not available at the group campsites, so make sure to bring flashlights and batteries.
Many of the campsites in the Hibernia Campground area are lake front. Guests will find a playground, boat ramp, dump station, and hot showers provided in this area. The Hibernia Campground area also offers ample parking and several picnic spaces, as well as more accessible spaces. The Plantation trail resides in this area of the Kerr Lake Recreation Area as well.
Guests to lovely Kerr Lake State Recreation Area will find 67 campsites available in the County Line Campground, and 36 of these sites have electric hookups. The state maintains sites in this area for RV, tent, and trailer camping. Sites here have a gravel surface, but all sites offer a fire pit and a picnic table. These sites can accommodate RV’s up to 85 feet in length in partially to fully shaded spaces beneath a combined mature pine and hardwood forest.
All camping sites in this area are within feet of the lake shore and offer lovely views of the massive Kerr Lake Reservoir. Guests choosing to make the County Line Campground their stopping point at Kerr Lake will find a playground, dump station, restrooms, accessible spaces, and hot showers available to them here. Guests interested in spending their days boating or fishing will also appreciate the boat launch maintained within this area for their use.
Guests choosing the Bullocksville Campground area will find 59 tent and trailer campsites to choose from. The Bullocskville Campground area can accommodate RVs up to 85 feet in length, and 28 of these sites offer water and electric hookups. This campground is open the week before Easter through early September. The campground maintains a softball field nearby, and guests will find picnic tables and grills at all sites. The campground has toilets, hot showers, a playground, and a boat launch for campers on site.
Guests visiting Kerr Lake State Recreation Area will find plenty of space for RVs and tents alike. There are 79 total campsites, and 60 of these sites have hookups and electricity for RVs. Nutbush Campground is open year round, so make sure that you prepare appropriately for the season you choose to visit the area.
The Nutbush Campground has three boat ramps for guests to access, and the area includes a centrally located playground for guests. Also, guests will find an easily accessible dump station, multiple parking locations, two shower sites, and a picnic shelter that can be reserved in advance.
If you are visiting the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, another available campsite is the Satterwhite Point Campground. This area has 110 total sites, and electricity is provided at 63 of these sites. Satterwhite Point Campground is open year round for all visitors.
Campsites at the Satterwhite Point Campground are found at the J.C. Cooper Campground. At this site, guests will find showers, accessible spaces, and a centrally located dump site for RVs. Also, there is a play ground and a boat ramp access for all visitors to access.
Visitors can enjoy boating year-round as each of the seven recreation areas that make up the Kerr Lake Recreation Area has one or more concrete boat-launching ramps. County Line, Henderson Point, Hibernia, and Nutbush, with two ramps, offer 24-hour access to the water. Also, the state maintains boating facilities with courtesy docks, open during park hours, at Bullocksville, Henderson Point, Hibernia, and Kimball Point areas.
Many visitors to the massive Kerr Lake Reservoir enjoy sailing on the lake. County Line, Henderson Point, and Kimball Point areas have expansive bodies of water making these areas well-suited for sailing. Guests should be mindful that sudden wind changes and large waves are not unusual, so it might be best to sail with someone with some experience while on your first sailing excursion. Guests can contact the US Army Corp of Engineers to check lake water levels.
Guests to Kerr Lake State Recreation Area that have caught the geocaching bug will be happy to hear they can hunt for a nearby cache when taking a break from the lakeside fun. Those new to this modern twist on treasure hunting will quickly find that geocaching is a cheap and easy way to engage the entire family in outdoor activity.
You can use your cell phone or GPS system and follow the map and clues to the caches in the park. The official John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir geocache is located in fairly easy terrain and is an easy cache to locate. Guests will be looking for a medium Sterilite container in Staunton View Park near Clarksville, VA. Make sure to bring a pen to sign the log book and a small treasure to hide in the container for future explorers. Also, guests can expand the search on the application's map, you'll find that there are a couple at the lake itself, both on the North Carolina and Virginia sides of the park, as well as more in the surrounding areas.
Before embarking on your Geocaching adventure, make sure to prepare a safety or first aid kit. While this is a fun and safe activity to participate in, it is important to prepare for hazards in the area, no matter the season. Items to include should be bug spray, sunscreen, band aids, and plenty of water; the Southern summers can get incredibly hot and humid.
Make sure you bring your fishing gear! Kerr Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in the eastern United States. This massive reservoir features striped bass, largemouth bass, white perch, crappie, and catfish. Guests are welcome to fish from a boat, the shoreline, or from the piers at Bullocksville area and Henderson Point area. Note that the pier at Henderson Point is open 24 hours per day. This is a great opportunity for families to learn more about the lake's wildlife and environment, including the vibrant mammalian, amphibious, and reptilian species that live in the park.
Pack your hiking shoes in your campervan, as there are many trails to choose from at the park. The trails allow guests to explore the serene views of the lakeshore, as well as wander through the hardwood forests of the park. Some of the hiking options you'll find at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area are:
Big Poplar Trail:
This easy 0.75-mile trail is located in the Satterwhite Point/JC Cooper Campground area. It's an easy walk on natural packed ground starting near the campground showers and lakeside while wandering further inland on towards the RV sites.
Kerr Lake Track Trail:
This 0.75-mile trail leads guests through a mix of mature pine and hardwood forest. The trail meanders along the edge of Kerr Lake offering guests lovely lake views. Guests will find interpretive signs along this trail as well. Please note that this trail is a one-way trail, and if you want to return on this trail it will make your hike closer to 1.5 miles in length.
This 0.7-mile loop trail is located in the Hibernia Access Area in Kerr Lake. This easy trail offers a view of stunning wildflowers in spring along with the beautiful lake shores. This trail has a moderate amount of traffic as it is good for wildlife viewing and bird watching. Pets are welcome along this trail, but they must be maintained on a leash.
Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen, because time at Kerr Lake State Recreational Area means time in the sun. With nine separate recreation areas, the Kerr Lake recreation area offers ample opportunity to enjoy the lake culture. The recreation area maintains many popular swimming locations along the lake shore. Satterwhite Point maintains a defined swimming area with accessible change rooms and restrooms. However, be mindful that there are no lifeguards on duty at the lake. If you find you have forgotten your personal flotation devices, there are some available for loan at Satterwhite Point, Henderson Point, Hibernia, and Kimball Point.