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In the serene mountains of western North Carolina, the Winngray Campground is a picturesque RV park in Haywood County. It lies along the banks of Jonathan Creek, which can be heard from many of the campsites while offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
RV camping at the Winngray Campground includes access to around 100 sites, including full hookups with water, electric, and sewer connections. Campers can utilize the on-site dump station and laundry facilities to catch up on washing, as well as the Wi-Fi that’s available at each site. Pets are welcome to stay with you at the campground, and there are designated dog walking areas.
Campsites at the Winngray Campground provide a good base for exploring the Harmon Den Wildlife Management Area, which is a haven for hikers and horseback riders in the Appalachian Mountains. It lies just to the east of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which encompasses 500,000 acres along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. It’s been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is traversed by hiking trails that include part of the legendary Appalachian Trail. At its highest point is Clingmans Dome (6,643 feet), which is topped by a 45-foot concrete observation tower that offers incredible views across the surrounding peaks. Also of note are the historic buildings at Cades Cove where you can learn about pioneer life in 19th-century Appalachia.
Adjacent to the Smoky Mountains National Park is the Nantahala National Forest, which is the largest of North Carolina’s four forests. Its name translates from Cherokee as the “Land of the Noonday Sun,” as in some areas, the sun only penetrates to the gorge floors when it’s immediately overhead at midday. The Nantahala National Forest comprises several wilderness areas that include the Southern Nantahala Wilderness and the Joyce-Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. It’s a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, and trout fishing, as well as being traversed by the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.
Drive in the other direction from the Winngray Campground, and you’ll arrive at the Pisgah National Forest, which sprawls across more than 500,000 acres of the southern Appalachian Mountains. It’s home to some of the highest mountains in the eastern United States, including Mount Hardy, Cold Mountain, and the 6,214-foot-high Black Balsam Knob. Three long-distance trails traverse the forest, including the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the Shut-In Trail, and the Art Loeb Trail, which extends for 30 miles from the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp to the Davidson River Campground.
The campsites at the Winngray Campground are 15 minutes’ drive from the center of Waynesville, where you’ll find several supermarkets for stocking up on grocery supplies. There are also gas stations here if you need to fill up your motorhome rental and a wide choice of dining establishments that include pizzerias, Mexican restaurants, and breweries.
Waynesville serves as the seat of Haywood County and is home to Shelton House, a historic residence that was constructed in 1875 and now serves as a heritage museum. Wander through its period-furnished rooms that are decorated with regional arts and crafts, then explore the antique farm tools and agricultural exhibits in the early 20th-century barn.
If you’re a fan of motorbikes, make the ten-minute drive from the Winngray Campground to the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. It lies just east of Maggie Valley and houses one of the United States’ most impressive collections of rare motorcycles. Historical memorabilia and motorcycle art decorates the garage-inspired space, with highlights including a pair of 1932 roadsters, classic Lincolns, and a 1915 Locomobile.
The Winngray Campground campsites also make a good base for visiting Asheville, which lies 40 minutes’ drive to the east. It’s renowned for its art galleries and cultural attractions, including the 19th-century Biltmore Estate - America’s largest home. Join a guided tour to explore some of the 250 rooms of this French Renaissance castle before strolling through the landscaped gardens or along one of the forested trails. Other highlights of Asheville include the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, which is topped by the largest free-standing dome in North America, and the River Arts District that’s clustered with artists’ studios.
Asheville also serves as a gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile scenic drive that winds its way through Virginia and North Carolina. It follows the spine of the Blue Ridge and offers spectacular views across the region while accessing several hiking trails, historical landmarks, and state parks.
Whether you want to hit the hiking trails of the Great Smoky Mountains or discover the cultural sights along the Blue Ridge Parkway, book an RV rental in Haywood County and start planning your next vacation.