Tucked away on the shores of serene Lake Santeetlah, our mountain oasis draws outdoor enthusiasts from across the country. Surrounded by stunning natural amenities and located within national forests and parks, our community celebrates all the beauty that Western North Carolina has to offer. With limited real estate available, plus views of over 90% protected shorelines, it’s truly like living in your own private national forest.
This month, we’re celebrating the great outdoors with our favorite camping spots for daytime adventures and sleeping under the stars in the Santeetlah Lakeside area.
Day Hikes and Campgrounds Abound
Start your camping adventure with a day hike at the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area, where camping is permitted anywhere other than at trailheads. With hiking options of all levels of difficulty, this area just about a 20-minute drive from our community is perfectly suited for daytime adventures and nights relaxing under the stars.
Near the entrance of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, you’ll find Horse Cove Campground, featuring 18 campsites located along Santeetlah Creek, one of the most beautiful of Western NC. Unwind and reconnect with nature as you enjoy the rushing sounds of the cool creek near your campsite.
Right on the shores of Lake Santeetlah, within a mile of our mountain paradise, you’ll find Cheoah Point Campground, known for its unobstructed views and true tranquility. From just $20-25 per night, this site offers an affordable way to enjoy all the beauty the area has to offer. Discover over 40 lakeshore campsites (some only accessible via boat for the ultimate getaway), plus fun fishing, picnicking and water activities here.
Just a short drive from Santeetlah Lakeside is Rattler Ford Campground, the ideal site for families and facilities for group camping for up to 25 guests. Near the fast-moving Santeetlah Creek, this site is known for fly fishing, and offers an abundance of family-friendly recreational activities from volleyball and horseshoe to hiking.
The conserved shorelines and ideal location of our mountain escape means you never even have to leave the area to experience everything that Mother Nature has to offer. Camp right along Lake Santeetlah and take in the surrounding Smoky Mountain views. Rent a boat at the local Santeetlah Boat Rentals or Santeetlah Marina right in Robbinsville, and boat in to your camping destination for a secluded, peaceful getaway right in your own backyard.
National Forest Nights
Feeling a little more adventurous? Sleep in the wild with an array of gorgeous national parks and forests in the area.
Conservationists and outdoor lovers will especially appreciate the fact that the forest surrounding Lake Santeetlah is owned and protected by the Federal Government, shielding it from future development that will disturb its natural beauty and majestic views.
The stunning Nantahala National Forest, the largest of North Carolina’s National Forests, surrounds our community. With over 600 miles of trails and an array of camping sites equipped with the staples, plus boating, fishing, hiking, and more, it’s the ideal place to play, explore, and sleep under the stars. Best of all, Nantahala National Forest camping offers options for every outdoor enthusiast, from campsites and cabins to RV camping. Plus, it shares a border with the famous Great Smoky Mountains, which offers an array of exciting camping options.
Abutting the Nantahala National Forest sits the Cherokee National Forest, another premier destination for outdoor recreation. Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee, more than 30 scenic campgrounds await. Most campsites in developed campgrounds are expansive and feature a table, fire ring, and lantern post, so the staples will be there to greet you. You’ll love the option to totally disconnect from your day-to-day with ultra-tranquil sites on this conserved forest land.
If you’re looking for breathtaking peaks, cascading waterfalls, and whitewater rivers, Pisgah National Forest is the place. Just a little over a 50-mile drive from Santeetlah Lakeside, Pisgah is the home of the first school of forestry in the U.S. and its heavily forested views and stunning slopes can’t be beat. Navigate available campsites and all the forest has to offer here.
Situated in the middle of a vast network of famous national forests and pristine parks, our community is enveloped by wilderness everywhere you look. Thanks to its thoughtful design policies and protected land around us, our private mountain haven is not subject to new development that could disrupt the surrounding views and atmosphere. Nature lovers will enjoy ultimate peace of mind knowing that the land surrounding them is protected, celebrated, and will only change as Mother Nature evolves naturally.
With mild temperatures all year round, and autumn leaves peaking in mid-late October, it’s the perfect time to plan a visit to Santeetlah Lakeside and experience its natural beauty for yourself.