Exploring the Mt Pisgah Campground in Canton NC

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If you’re eager to spend time at one of the best campgrounds near Canton NC, look no further than the ever-popular Mt Pisgah Campground.

Located at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 408.8, at an impressive elevation of 4,980 feet, this particular Pisgah campground is in a perfect spot for exploring the surrounding areas.

Camping in the Pisgah National Forest offers endless opportunities for adventure, exploration, and even a little rest and relaxation.

With epic scenic views, excellent trails, and blankets of colorful North Carolina wildflowers, spending a few nights camping in this part of the Blue Ridge Parkway won’t disappoint.

There are number of nearby hiking trails, with options that include climbing to the top of Mount Pisgah NC or scaling the steps of the Fire Tower at Frying Pan Mountain.

If you’re looking for a more leisurely afternoon, leave the campgrounds and wander over to the Pisgah Inn for some fantastic food and spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Camping in Pisgah in Spring or early Summer will provide you with colorful wildflowers ranging from flame azaleas to bee balm.

Pisgah camping in Autumn allows you to see the best of Fall in North Carolina, with the leaves at their most colorful.

We recently spent a couple of nights at the Mt Pisgah Campground and were able to fit in a good few hikes before heading down to the Davidson River Campground to explore some amazing waterfalls near Brevard.

Read on for our in-depth guide to the Mt Pisgah Campground in Canton NC, including details on campground amenities, camping fees, and the best things to do in the Mount Pisgah area.

Pisgah National Forest Hiking Trails
Pisgah National Forest in Autumn, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

Mount Pisgah Campground Info 

ADDRESS: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 408.8

PHONE: 828-648-2644


SEASON: End of May to end of October

CAMPING FEES: $20 per night

RESERVATIONS: Recreation.gov

Directions from Canton NC

From downtown Canton, follow US-19 N/US-23 N to Old U.S. 19-23 N for 4.4 miles, then turn right onto Church St. After 0.2 miles continue straight onto US-19 N/US-23 N/W Park St. Stay on this road for 4.1 miles before continuing onto Old U.S. 19/Old U.S. 19-23 N to NC-151 S.

In 4.2 miles, continue on NC-151 S to Haywood County. After 13.5 miles, turn right onto NC-151 S. Go 10.3 miles, then turn right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel the BRP for 3.1 miles, then turn right into the Mt Pisgah Campground.

Directions from Brevard NC

Head northeast out of Downtown Brevard on US-64 E/S Broad St toward E Main St. Go 2.9 miles, then continue straight at the traffic circle onto US-276 N/US-64 E. In 0.5 miles, turn left onto US-276 N.

In 15.1 miles, turn right, then make a quick right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Mt. Pisgah Campground is another 3.1 miles on your left. 

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Brevard NC & Transylvania County

Mount Pisgah Campground Canton NC
Steps to our secluded campsite, photo by Emma Gallagher

Mount Pisgah Campground

The Mount Pisgah campground is arguably one of the most popular Blue Ridge Parkway campgrounds for RV and tent campers alike.

It has a total of 125 campsites (64 of which are tent-only, and 50 of which are RV-only), all of which are non-electric. Note that generators are prohibited nightly from 9PM to 8AM to ensure quiet for other guests. 

There are four different loops in the campgrounds, each with flushable toilet blocks and 2 to 3 potable water faucets. Loops B and C also have hot showers.

Each camping site has a tent pad, picnic table, bear-proof food storage locker, lantern post, and fire pit.

The Pisgah campground map will show you that loop A is for RVs, Loop B is for vans and trailers, and Loops C and D are for tents.

All Mt Pisgah Campground reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance at Recreation.gov.

READ MORE: The 13 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Campgrounds to Visit

Mt Pisgah Campground sites
Mt Pisgah Campground sites by NPS, photo via nps.gov

Mt. Pisgah Campground Sites

There are 53 Mount Pisgah campsites available for advance reservations, with 71 campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Showing up on a summer weekend without a reservation will likely leave you sorely disappointed!

Loops C and D are hugged by the Blue Ridge Parkway and offer a hiking trail through the woods along the curvature of the parkway.

One of the trails leads you across the Parkway to the Mt. Pisgah Country Store, where you can buy snacks, souvenirs,  and basic camping and hiking essentials

Note that bears do frequent this Mt Pisgah camping area. Use great caution to store your food and any scented toiletries carefully, either in your locked car or in the bear-proof lockers provided.

On our recent visit to the campgrounds, we saw enormous portable bear traps in use, so overly friendly bears could be captured and relocated. It was a humbling reminder that these bear warnings are very real. 

Our Mount Pisgah campsite was in a great location, completely private from other campers. Stone steps led through a break in the trees to our site, which was surrounded by a dense thicket of rhododendron. 

Due to the altitude (4,980 feet), Mt Pisgah NC weather stays cool even during the summer. So if you’re tent camping or planning on spending a lot of time outside, bring extra layers of clothing. 

Mount Pigah Camping Fees

Whether you’re looking for standard non-electric, tent-only non-electric, or RV non-electric campsites, the price of camping at the Mt Pisgah campground is $20 per night. 

READ MORE: Camping in Asheville NC: The 15 Best Campgrounds to Visit


Best Mt Pisgah Trails Nearby

View Behind Pisgah Inn in Peak Fall Colors
Pisgah in Peak Fall Colors, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

1. Mount Pisgah Trail

Distance to Trailhead from Mount Pisgah Campground: 1.4 miles

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Length: 2.4 miles round-trip

This sweet 2.4-mile round-trip hike is deemed moderate in difficulty due to a rather steep climb just before reaching the summit.

But in our experience, hiking the Mount Pisgah Trail is less strenuous than hiking Mt Mitchell (unless you just do the 0.3-mile Mt Mitchell Summit Trail), and well worth the effort. 

Visible from Asheville on a clear day, Mount Pisgah towers at 5,721 feet in elevation. And on a good day, Asheville can be spotted 16 miles away once you reach the Pisgah summit.

After hiking through hardwood forest, tangled rhododendron thickets, and gorgeous wildflowers, we finally reached the summit, with its wooden observation deck and conspicuous TV tower.

There’s an incredible view of the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as neighboring mountains such as Cold Mountain and the Frying Pan Mountain Look Out Tower. 

The Mount Pisgah trailhead is located 1.4 miles from the Mount Pisgah Campgrounds, with a parking lot at BRP milepost 407.6.

READ MORE: The 35 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

Frying Pan Mountain Lookout Tower
Top of Frying Pan Mountain Tower photo by Emma Gallagher

2. Frying Pan Mountain Lookout Tower Trail

Distance to Trailhead from Mount Pisgah Campground: 1 mile

Level of Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Trail Length: 1.5 miles round-trip

Located just one mile from our Pisgah National Forest campground, this relatively short hike follows a wide gravel trail lined with rows of wildflowers in the summer.

Although this hiking trail is easy, what lies at the end of it might pose an issue for some folks with limited mobility (or creaky knees).

The trail leads you to a historic, 70-foot-tall lookout tower that you are permitted to climb. The process can be breathtaking, both literally and metaphorically. 

From the top of the Frying Pan Mountain Tower, we were rewarded with 360° views and some of the most spectacular vistas we’d ever seen of the Blue Ridge Mountains

There’s a parking lot at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 409.6, where you’ll find the trailhead. 

READ MORE: The 15 Best Pisgah National Forest Waterfalls to Explore

View from Buck Spring Gap Overlook
View from the Buck Spring Gap Overlook, NPS Photo by CM Garrison

3. Buck Spring Trail

Distance to Trailhead from Mount Pisgah Campground: 5.4 miles

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Trail Length: 2.5 miles round-trip

This trail should be high on your list of things to do near the Mount Pisgah National Forest campground.

Though it’s a little rocky in parts, the relatively level Buck Spring Trail is an easy hike that can be accessed from the Pisgah Inn or the Buck Spring Gap Overlook (BRP MP 407.6).

So you can either start or end your hike with a meal and/or beverage from the Pisgah Inn’s restaurant.

You’ll find the Pisgah Inn trailhead at the north (left) side of the parking lot, with a large information board to mark the spot.

Hiking this trail also means that you get to claim having hiked a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail!

READ MORE: The 20 Best Pisgah National Forest Hiking Trails in North Carolina

Things to Do in Canton NC & Nearby

Exploring the Mt Pisgah Campground in Canton NC- Pisgah Mountain campground
Steps to the site of Buck Spring Lodge, photo by Emma Gallagher

1. The Buck Spring Overlook

Distance from Mt. Pisgah Campground: 1 mile

Before you head along the trail to climb Mount Pisgah, cross to the other side of the parking lot, past the Buck Spring Gap Overlook sign, and look for a set of stone steps.  

Climb them and you’ll find the site where George Vanderbilt (of Biltmore Estate fame) built the Buck Spring Lodge in 1896.

The historic lodge was designed and constructed by architect Richard Howland Hunt, the son of the man who supervised the construction of Biltmore House.

Though the Buck Spring Lodge buildings may be gone today, it’s cool to wander the site where Vanderbilt’s Adirondack-style summer retreat once stood. 

READ MORE: The 25 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls in North Carolina

Exploring the Mt Pisgah Campground in Canton NC- Mount Pisgah camping
View from The Pisgah Inn, photo by Emma Gallagher

The Pisgah Inn

Distance from Mt. Pisgah Campground: 0.2 miles

This iconic Blue Ridge Parkway inn was opened in 1919, so it has been delighting guests with its incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for more than a century now.

Each of their rooms has a balcony and rocking chairs, so you can embrace the beauty of the Appalachians at their most unspoiled.

If you’re staying at the Pisgah Campground, the Pisgah Inn also has a restaurant that you can visit as a non-staying guest.

You can enjoy a mountain-top fine dining experience, pick up some grab-and-go sandwiches that can be enjoyed as a picnic while you’re exploring the nearby hiking trails

It’s also a great place to stop for a refreshing beverage after your Mount Pisgah hike, before making your way back to your campsite for the night. 

READ MORE: The 15 Best Campgrounds in the North Carolina Mountains

Things to do in Canton NC - Canton Area Historical Museum
Canton Area Historical Museum, photo by Nathan Ingle via Facebook

Canton Area Historical Museum

Distance from Mt. Pisgah Campground: 23.4 miles

If the weather isn’t on your side for a long day of hiking, don’t worry.

One of our favorite things to do in Canton NC, visiting the Canton Area Historical Museum, makes a perfect rainy day activity!

The museum‘s building formerly housed the Canton Library, but now it exhibits historical artifacts from the surrounding area.

There’s a large collection of photographs and memorabilia depicting Canton’s Champion Paper industry. This exhibit gained new relevance when the paper mill was closed in May 2023, after 115 years. 

There are also a number of WWI and WWII uniforms, and cannonballs from the Civil War. –by Emma Gallagher; featured image of Mount Pisgah by Bret Love and Mary Gabbett


Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

Born in Britain, writer/photographer Emma Gallagher lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC on a permaculture homestead with her husband, Jonathon. While traveling the world for 13 years, she fell in love with the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge region when she lived at an artist retreat in Burnsville NC before moving to Brevard. Today Emma lives near Stone Mountain State Park and Doughton Park volunteers at the Surry County Fiddlers Convention, and cares for the gardens at the Reeves Downtown School of Music in Elkin. She's also a volunteer for the Elkin Valley Trails Association, which maintains segment 6 of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.