Many travelers heading west in North Carolina will be making a beeline for the beautiful forest-covered mountains that lie on the border of Tennessee. Few will take the time to stop at the gateway town of Morganton. Little do they know that this plentiful town, lying at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is perfect for a few days of respite and adventure before they head deep into the forest!
Surrounded on three sides by several different State Forests, Morganton, NC really is the perfect base camp for exploring the surrounding areas. This is the ideal town to restock and recoup for anyone hoping to visit Cherokee National Forest, Nantahala National Forest or even the mystical Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
As well as an abundance of natural beauty in the area, Morganton is the most prominent town in Burke County. Established in 1784, Morganton has a rich history, one that is celebrated in museums and historical buildings scattered around town.
If you are hoping to add a little bit of culture to your adventurous week away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, consider a camper rental in Morganton. Book an RV in Burke County today and get set off on an amazing adventure exploring one of the most beautiful regions the Carolina's have to offer!
The Great Outdoors
It is easy to get swept away by the magnificence of the cities backdrop and forgo exploring some of the scenic locations that are closer to home. Luckily your RV rental from Morganton will put you in good stead to explore both!
Lake James is one of the biggest pulls to the area, and it is not hard to understand why. This lake has over 6000 acres of surface area and over 120 miles of shoreline to explore by foot, on bike, or even in a kayak. Fed by three crystal clear rivers and surrounded on all sides by ancient forest, you will feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Before you head into the infamous Blue Ridge Mountains, make sure to stop at the lesser-visited South Mountains State Park. Although this is one of the biggest parks in the area, visitors in the area often overlook it. This means you will have a large portion of the 18,000 acres of forest and 45 miles of trails to yourself! Climbing Burkemont Mountain is a must do for every visitor. While a challenging hike, walkers will be rewarded with sweeping views over the neighboring national parks.
As you could imagine, being in close proximity to so many national forests, means you are never too far away from somewhere to park your Morganton motorhome rental.
Most of the state parks will have campgrounds within in them, although what they may offer will be relatively primitive. South Mountains State Park, for example, allows visitors to camp in several different locations around the park, including both riverside and forest canopy pitches. These beautifully serene spots do come with their own compromise in that there are basic toilet facilities and limited signal. If you are happy with a bit of simple living, head deeper into the mountains, and you will come across incredible isolated camping spots all for you.
For a more comfortable stay, consider Steele Creek Park, a twenty-minute drive away from town. Although the location is not quite as beautiful as the state parks, it does provide full washroom facilities and every single hookup your luxury motorhome rental from Morganton could ever need!
Being the gateway town into the State Forests, Morganton offers a wide variety of shops and services for travelers. These range from repair shops to just your general grocery stores. It is possible to stock up on probably everything you could need here, including another tank of gas.
If you find yourself suddenly in need of a quick overnight stay, consider Walmarts and larger grocery stores. There is a Walmart in town and camping may be an option. Just step in and speak with the manager before bunking down for the evening.
Exploring the City
With all of these beautiful landscapes to explore, don’t forget to spend a few hours wandering around town to brush up on the area’s history.
Morganton is home to the best museum in the region – The History Museum of Burke County. On a mission to preserve and educate both current and future generations on the area’s heritage, the museum houses rotating interactive exhibits. Entrance is free, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by visiting!
A deeper delve into the towns history can be discovered at the Quaker Meadows Cemetery. Here you will find a number of gravestones dates between 1767 and 1879, including the grave of the first settler in the area, David McDowell.
To experience some of this history in real time, visit the Historic Burke County Courthouse, found just a few minutes walk away from the museum. Built in 1833, this is one of the oldest buildings in Morganton and has been on the National Register of historic places for nearly 50 years! The central square that it occupies is integral to the towns community events, so keep a lookout for any events whilst you are there!
If you are planning to visit the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, consider a travel trailer rental in Morganton. With a deep-rooted history, family-run restaurants and plenty of choice in accommodations, you will not be disappointed. Rent an RV in Morganton, NC and discover a world beyond the mountains!