Get away from the city lights without getting too terribly far out of town. In fact, camping at Mecklenburg County’s McDowell Nature Preserve won’t even take you out of the county, but you’ll still get a great outdoor experience that only comes from sleeping under the stars. Or at least away from your own bed.
McDowell’s 56 campsites on over 1,100 acres cater to overnight stays of all kinds, so whether you’re looking for a close by place to park the RV for the weekend, or want to go a bit more rustic in one of the primitive campsites, you’ll find your spot here. No tent? No problem! There are seven sites with tents pitched, ready and waiting. So however close to nature you’d like to be, with just a few minutes drive, camping at McDowell Nature Preserve is as convenient as it gets. RV, drive-up, and rent-a-tent sites at McDowell include fire rings with grills, picnic tables, water spigots, and electricity. Primitive camping sites are just a short walk from the parking lot, and also have fire rings and picnic tables. Finally, a beautiful updated showerhouse with laundry facilities combine to make this camping experience truly memorable!
Want to bring along a few friends or family for a shared experience on your own private outdoor playground? Copperhead Island provides a one-of-a-kind group camping experience on a 14-acre tract adjacent to the nature preserve. With direct boat access to Lake Wylie, fishing piers, trails, sand volleyball and horseshoe pits, and a shelter with restrooms, covered picnic tables, water and electrical … it’s little work to brew up a great group camping experience here.
“We get a really high call volume this time of year,” said Owens. “Your best bet is to plan ahead, and you can always call us to check availability or make a reservation.”
Campers will soon be able to reserve a campsite online, too. That option is expected to be available later this spring. Until then, Owens says Park and Recreation staff is ready to take reservations by phone at 980-314-2267, or answer email inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know before you go:
Yes, there is access to purchase ice and firewood at check in.
Yes, you can fish from Copperhead Island. All state fishing regulations apply.
Yes, you can use the boat launch ramps into Lake Wylie.
No alcohol, drugs, or firearms on the park or camp property, and please collect and dispose of all your trash, and never feed the native wildlife.
Check out the McDowell and Copperhead Island campground website here, or paste this link into your web browser: http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/ParkandRec/StewardshipServices/Outdoors/Pages/Camping.aspx
There you’ll find park and campsite hours, regulations, parking, directions, and maps to plan your “off the grid” overnight stay right here in Mecklenburg County.