Mortimer Campground is a small campground nestled within the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Corridor south of Grandfather Mountain. Located at the site of an old Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, the 19-site campground is surrounded by lush forests, gentle streams, and a large scenic river popular for swimming, fishing, and kayaking.
Visitors to the campground can enjoy a variety of activities including fishing, swimming, day hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, picnicking, and scenic driving. Swimming holes along Thorps Creek provide wading opportunities on hot summer days. Nearby Wilson Creek, designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 2000, is well known for its excellent trout fishing, swimming, kayaking, and rugged features. History buffs will enjoy exploring the remnants of the once booming timber town of Mortimer as well as an old CCC work center. Two Forest Service trails depart from the campground. The Thorps Creek trail provides a short (approx. 1/4 mile) hike to Thorps Creek Falls. The more strenuous Schoolhouse Ridge Trail connects to the campground via the .2 mile Bill Vines trail and provides a 3 mile ridgeline excursion with beautiful views before connecting to the Wilson Ridge Trail. Many other Forest Service trails are within a short drive of the Campground, including Hunt Fish Falls, North Harper Creek Falls, and Little Lost Cove Cliffs. The area also boasts a network of scenic mountain biking trails.
The campground provides a variety of campsites. There is an upper and lower loop. The lower loop features 5 tent-only walk-in sites with a central parking lot. The upper loop includes 14 fully accessible, barrier free sites which can accommodate small RVs up to 35ft. Most sites include a tent pad, picnic table, lantern post, and fire ring. Flush toilets, hot showers, running water, and bear-proof trash and recycling receptacles are provided. A Campground host is on site to provide visitor assistance.
Located in a rich mountain hardwood forest at an elevation of 1,400 ft., Mortimer Campground provides a secluded streamside setting shaded by large hemlocks and pine trees. Thorps Creek runs along the east side of the campground before feeding into the Wild and Scenic Wilson Creek, a popular destination for a variety of activities. Hardwood forests cover the mountain peaks on either side of the valley and multiple mountain feeder creeks can be found nearby. The Mortimer area provides beautiful scenery year-round, from stunning fall foliage displays to abundant spring and summer wildflowers.
The Wilson Creek Visitor Center is 3.2 miles from the Mortimer Campground and provides information on the Wilson Creek area and has a photograph and artifact collection that tells the history of the area. The towns of Blowing Rock and Morganton are located within an hour’s drive of the campground, to the north and south respectively. Both towns offer a variety of restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and medical facilities. The Julian Price Memorial Park and Campground is located 24 miles north of Mortimer Campground and is a well-known destination for hiking, canoeing, fishing, and camping. Mortimer Campground is 21 miles away from Linville Falls, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. The Gorge offers breathtaking views and numerous hiking trails. The Campground is 17 miles from the popular Grandfather Mountain State Park, the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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