As a cyclist, choosing a great campsite can be tricky. If you're on your road bike you want tranquil roads with low traffic and great views; if you're on a mountain bike you want easy access to well-built trails without having to go far from your campsite. And if you're in the heat of summer in the south, lakes and swimming holes are a huge bonus for the beloved post-ride dip. Here is a roundup of 5 great campsites in the south you'll want to check out if you're a cyclist, whether on-road or off.
Colorado Bend State Park, Texas
Natural beauty and outdoor adventure abound at this oasis in the Lone Star State. There are 35 miles of biking trails that all levels of riders will enjoy. Back at camp, jump in at Spicewood Springs and marvel at the beauty of Gorman Falls.
The campsite itself has drive-up sites, walk-in tent sites, and primitive backcountry sites.
Doll Mountain Campground, Georgia
Near Ellijay, GA, this campsite is in the North Georgia mountains near Carter Lake. Doll Mountain is a mountain biker's paradise, as the extensive Pinhoti trail system nearby boasts the best and most beautiful riding in the southeast. If you're not into trail riding, bring your road bike with gravel tires and explore the network of quiet gravel and forest service roads that snake through the area.
The heavily wooded campground contains both RV and tent-only sites, and there is a children's playground, dump station, and laundry facilities.
Davidson River Campground, North Carolina
This campground near Brevard, NC, sits right at the gateway to the stunning Pisgah National Forest. One could easily spend a month here, as there are countless mountain biking trails that contour up mile-high peaks and road rides on beautiful, flawless pavement around the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.
Campsites at Davidson River have picnic tables, lantern posts, tent pads, and campfire rings with grills. The campground has hot showers and you can rent bicycles nearby.
BONUS: After your hot, sweaty bike ride hit up Sliding Rock, a 60 foot natural waterslide that ends in an 8-foot-deep pool, which provides hours of fun for the whole family.
Chilhowee Campground, Tennessee
The Blue Ridge Mountains that run through Kentucky and Tennessee boast some of the most beautiful secluded spots in the entire USA.
Chilhowee Campground, a great spot to use as home base for your cycling adventures, has many tent and RV sites around McKamy Lake, which has a swim area with a sand beach. Miles of trails and peaceful winding back roads, long climbs and endless flowy descents, and the lush earthy smell that can only be found in deeply wooded areas await you.
Monte Sano State Park, Alabama
This park in Alabama has it all: miles of gently rolling, winding roads and thrilling singletrack lined with native azaleas. It's easy to find spectacular vistas atop the mountain, especially in the fall.
The park also features 14 rustic cabins, 89 improved campsites, a primitive campground, a camp store, and showers for your post-ride rinse.