How to Make a Camping Reservation

Whether you're new to North Carolina, just visiting the state, or planning your first ever camping excursion, read on to learn how to make a reservation at one of our state parks.

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    Identify the state park where you want to camp and navigate to the ReserveAmerica website.

    North Carolina state parks reservations are processed through ReserveAmerica.

    ReserveAmerica website

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    Devices

    You can use any device to navigate the reservations website. On this page, we will refer to the "desktop view" to mean what you will see when you are on a laptop or desktop computer, and the "mobile view" to mean what you will see on mobile phones or tablets.

    By phone

    If you don't feel comfortable navigating the website, you can always call ReserveAmerca at 1-877-722-6762, and they can assist in finding you an available spot and making your reservation.

    A note on payment

    You must use a debit or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) to book a reservation online. If you want to pay with a money order or a check, you can call ReserveAmerica to book your reservation. You cannot pay with a money order or a check if you are reserving a site for an arrival date within 3 weeks.

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    Screenshots on mobile (left side of image) and laptop (right side of image) of the sign up on ReserveAmerica

    Create a free account if you do not already have one.

    As shown on the right side of the screenshot, on desktop, the Sign Up link is at the top right of the page. Click the Create A New Account button, which will take you to the Create A New Account page.

    As shown on the left side of the screenshot, on mobile, you have to click the menu icon first (next to the N.C. State Parks logo) to show the menu, then click Sign Up. It will also take you to a page where you have to click the Create A New Account button, which will then take you to the form.

    The reservation confirmation and details will be sent to your email, so make sure you use an email address you have access to.

    In the event of a cancellation due to weather or other reasons, you will be contacted via the home phone number listed on your account, so please keep your phone number updated.

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    Screenshots on of the camping section on a park's home page (left) and the Find An Adventure box on the ReserveAmerica website (right)

    If you already know which park you want to visit, you can find the direct link to the park's ReserveAmerica page on the park's Home page (About the Park > Camping and any of the linked bullet points; shown on the screenshot on the left) or on the park's Camping page.

    You can also search for the park from the ReserveAmerica home page by typing it in the "Find an adventure" field, as shown on the screenshot on the right.

    We have a few tools on our website to help you identify where to camp, in the General Camping page.

    We have the map that shows you state parks and camping options by county. We are currently working on our Camping Catalog, but you can use the Find a Park Catalog in the meantime for a general search of camping types.

    If you want to search by zip code or city, the ReserveAmerica website has a Find a Camping Spot page that can help you locate the closest parks. This page also has additional filters if you use the other dropdown "Interested In."

    ReserveAmerica also has a Camping This Weekend page that allows you to see a list of all state parks with available camping facilities for the upcoming weekend. This is a great tool for impromptu planners. You have until 9 p.m. on a given day to book a campsite for that night, but make sure you check the park home page for gate hours to be certain that you can still enter the campground by the time you arrive.

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    Find an available campsite.

    Each park page on the ReserveAmerica website has tools to help narrow down your search for available sites:

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    Screenshots on mobile (left side of image) and laptop (right side of image) of the list view of a park's page on ReserveAmerica

    The easiest view to navigate is the List view. This is the default on desktop view when you open the park page on ReserveAmerica (screenshot on the right). On mobile view, you have to click "Book Now" to show this view (screenshot on the left).

    If you want to narrow down the list, you can use the filtering tools that searches by date, by loop, by type of camping spot, and more. This is on the left column on the desktop view. On mobile view, you have to click "Advanced Search" to pull up these filters.

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    Screenshots on mobile (left side of image) and laptop (right side of image) of the availability view of a park's page on ReserveAmerica

    The other view that might be helpful is the Availability view. This view is helpful if your requirements are simple; for example, if you just want to look at any tent spot. It is also helpful if you are flexible about your camping dates.

    The view shows you the status of each for the next 2 weeks on desktop view (screenshot on the right) and the next week on mobile view (screenshot on the left). This list will only show you the site number, however, so it is best used with the filtering tools to make sure you are seeing the correct types of sites. Click "Advanced Search" on mobile view to pull up the filters.

    Sites and dates marked with "A" mean it is available on that date. "R" means that someone else has reserved it. An "X" means that the site is not available to book online — this would show up if the site has been designated as a walk-up only site, for instance, or if the campsite is closed due to construction or other reasons.

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    Screenshot of the ReserveAmerica campsite page with site details and photos as an example

    Click into the campsite to see availability, price, site details, notes, and photos, if available. Please note that not every site has the same type of amenities, so make sure you double check that whatever amenity you need — restrooms, a water spigot, RV hookups, a grill, a picnic table, a driveway to park your trailer, etc. — are listed for that site.

    If it is unclear or you are unsure, please contact the park directly to get more information.

    Sites marked with the wheelchair icon are accessible sites. These sites may have lower grills, paved paths, ramps, adapted picnic tables, and other features. We are committed to ensuring people with disabilities or limited mobility have equal opportunity to benefit from and enjoy our camping facilities.

    If there are other sites available and you do not need accommodations for anyone in your party, please choose another site and keep the site free to be reserved by someone who does. If there are no other sites available, accessible sites can be reserved by anyone.

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    Reserve your campsite and check out.

    Double check that your arrival date is correct and the number of nights you are staying is correct.

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    Minimum stay

    On holiday weekends, a two-night minimum stay is required. This requirement is lifted within 7 days of arrival. So, if you want to book a campsite on Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend, you will be able to book that single-night stay beginning on Saturday the weekend prior.

    If the only campsite left available is open only for 1 night on a holiday weekend, please contact the park to see if they can contact ReserveAmerica to lift the hold on that site. We cannot guarantee you will get the spot, but even if the hold remains, remember that you will be able to book that night 7 days prior, and no one else will be able to book it until then either.

    Camper cabins have a minimum stay of 2 nights. Vacation cabins also have a minimum stay of 2 nights, except during the summer, that minimum extends to a full-week rental from Monday to Monday. These minimums cannot be lifted, even if you are booking it within 7 days of arrival.

    Maximum stay

    North Carolina state park campgrounds are designated for recreation only. We have a maximum stay of 14 consecutive nights at a particular park. Upon reaching that limit, the camper must vacate the park for 16 nights before permitted to return.

    We do not rent sites on a monthly basis. If you are looking for long-term stays or RV parking, search for private campgrounds, as they typically have longer reservation terms.

    The only exception to the maximum stay is for volunteers serving as camp hosts. There is an application process to become a camp host, and hosts must enter into a contract agreement with the park before starting camp hosting duties.

    Click "Book Now." This will take you to a sign-in page if you have not already signed in to your ReserveAmerica account. If you are signed in, you will be taken to an Order Details page. Fill out the Order Details form.

    Discount

    Campsite discounts are available if the primary occupant of the campsite is either: 62 years old or older; active-duty military; or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. You can check either of those two boxes to receive a $6 discount off your campsite. The discount cannot be applied to primitive sites, certain cabin types, and group campsites. When you check in for the campsite at the park, you will be asked for an ID or proof of military/veteran status in order to confirm the discounted rate.

    Alerts and Important Information

    Please review the Alerts and Important Information. This varies from park to park, so make sure you read through the specific procedures, information, and circumstances for the park you are visiting. Click the box to indicate you have read it, and then go on to the next page.

    The next page is your Shopping Cart. You may add additional reservation if you would like; you can make as many reservations as you want. However, please note that a timer starts counting down once you have a reservation in your cart. The timer restarts to 15 minutes whenever you move to a new page. If you are inactive for 15 minutes on a single page, the reservation will be removed from your cart.

    The next page is where you enter your payment details. You must use a debit or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) to book a site online. If you want to use a money order or a check, you must make the reservation at least 3 weeks ahead of your arrival date, and you must book the site through the ReserveAmerica call center at 1-877-722-6762.

    Payment for your reservation will appear on your statement as "N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation," and may include "Raleigh" or the ReserveAmerica phone number.

    Make sure to read the rules, restrictions, and cancellation policy. Click the box to acknowledge you read the information. You may be asked to fill out a CAPTCHA; this is for preventing spam submissions. Click "Complete This Purchase" and then you're done!

    You should receive a confirmation email at the email address associated with your ReserveAmerica account. If it doesn't arrive, check the Junk or Spam folder first. If it isn't there, call or email the park where you made the reservation and give them as many details as you can remember. They can resend the confirmation email to you once they located the reservation.

    If your confirmation email shows the wrong number of occupants or wrong type of equipment, that is fine. Your reservation confirmation does not have to reflect that information, but make sure you are following the maximum capacity for that site (six people for most campsites) and that your equipment will fit or work with the campsite you selected.

    Your confirmation email will also list the number of pets as 0. There is no input for number of pets when you check out, and you can bring your pet even if they're not listed on the reservation. However, please make sure you follow our pet etiquette rules to avoid being asked to leave the state park.

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    If your plans change...

    Don't worry! Click the scenarios listed to learn how to navigate any changes to your plans:

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    You can cancel your reservation, but please note that you will have to pay the $6 cancellation fee. The only time you will receive a full refund due to weather is if the park or campground closes.

    We recommend checking the forecast days ahead of your reservation. If you cancel your reservation on the same day of your arrival date, you will be charged with one night’s camping fees, in addition to the $6 cancellation fee. If your reservation is for a single night, you will not receive any refunds.

    Your best bet for bad weather is to reschedule your reservation for a later date. There is no cost to moving your reservation dates if it is done prior to your arrival date.

    Please note: group campsites and cabins require cancellations to be at least 14 days ahead of your arrival date. There is no refunds given if you cancel within 2 weeks of your arrival date. Consider rescheduling your reservation for a later date instead, so that you do not lose all of the camping fees. Rescheduling your reservation for group campsites and cabins within the 2-week mark will result only in a $6 transfer fee, as long as the cost of the site is the same for your new date.

    You can cancel your reservation online. Log back in to your ReserveAmerica account. On mobile view, you will have to pull up the menu using the icon to the left of the N.C. State Parks logo to see the sign in link.

    Once you are logged in, it should open up to your Account Overview page. If it does not, use the menu again and click “My Reservations & Account,” then click “Active Purchases.”

    Your upcoming reservations will be listed on the page. Click into the reservation, scroll down, and you should see a link to cancel the reservation. On the cancellation page, it will show you the refund you should receive, with the cancellation fee of $6 per night deducted from your refund.

    If you do not see a link, call ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762 to cancel your reservation. We do not process cancellation requests via email.

    If you need to cancel a group campsite or cabin, you must cancel at least 14 days before your arrival date. If your plans change within the 2-week mark, you can opt to move your reservation to a later date so that you do not lose your whole payment. You will only need to pay the $6 per night transfer fee if you reschedule your reservation to a same-priced site.

    Please allow 7 to 10 business days for the refund to appear on your bank or card account. If you need to check on the status of a refund, please contact the park.

    Same-day cancellations cannot be cancelled online. Please call ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762 to cancel your reservation.

    To cancel a reservation on the same day, the cost of one night’s stay, in addition to the $6 cancellation fee, will be deducted from your refund.

    If you are only staying one night, you will not receive any refund if you cancel. If you cancel a group campsite or a cabin on the same day as your arrival date, you will not receive any refunds.

    Please call ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762 to change your reservation. Do not cancel your reservation entirely, because you will be charged the $6 cancellation fee, even if you rebook the site again.

    There is no cost to change the dates of your reservation (as long as the campsite is the same cost), unless you are making the change the same day as your arrival date. If you change the date of your reservation on your arrival date, you will be charged a $6 transfer fee.

    If you need to shorten your reservation, you will receive a refund, but a $3 per night fee will be deducted from it. This is the $3 nonrefundable service fee to process reservations that you paid when you made your reservation.

    If you need to leave early after you have already checked in, you will not receive any refunds.

    If you need to add a night to your reservation, you may do so if the site is available after your stay. If it’s already booked after your scheduled stay, you will need to find a new site to accommodate your new dates. There is no fee to add a night to your reservation; you will just have to pay for the new nights you added.

    Please note that changes to cabin and group campsite reservations must be done at least 14 days prior to your arrival date. If you need to make changes after the 2-week mark has passed, you will need to pay the $6 transfer fee.

    We do not process reservation change requests via email.

    Do not cancel your reservation entirely, because you will be charged the $6 cancellation fee, even if you book a different site after. Please call ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762 to switch your campsite.

    There is no cost to change your campsite to a new one if they are the same cost. But you must do so prior to your arrival date. If done on your arrival date, you will need to pay a $6 transfer fee.

    If you need to change the site on your cabin or your group campsite reservation, you have until 2 weeks prior to your arrival date to make that change, without incurring a fee. If you make the change within 2 weeks of your arrival date, you will need to pay the $6 transfer fee.

    Some parks can accommodate early check-in or late check-out. You can only check in early or check out late if your site is not reserved before or after your reservation. Please contact the park to make such arrangements.

    If the park does not 24-hour gate access, you unfortunately cannot arrive after the park gates close for the night.

    You have until 3 p.m. the following day to call the park or ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762 to notify them of your new arrival time. If you do not call by that time, the reservation will be considered a “no-show,” and the site will be made available to other campers.