Little Washington campsites go beyond the tent

Posted September 15, 2020 2:12 p.m. EDT

For those seeking a primitive camping experience, Goose Creek State Park has the scenery and space to provide that opportunity. There are miles of beautiful trails to explore that allow visitors to enjoy nature and quiet tranquility. (Photo Courtesy of Dave Hilbert)

This article was written by our sponsor, Washington Tourism Development Authority.

Little Washington is known for its historic waterfront, great food and great people. However, if you didn't know, Washington also offers some of the most unique camping experiences in Eastern North Carolina that go beyond the tent by delivering exceptional scenic views with easy water accessibility.

As always, the Washington Tourism Development Authority recommends calling your destination before you arrive. Things are constantly changing due to COVID-19, so be sure you are traveling with current information on-hand.

Goose Creek State Park

Little Washington : Spotlight : Goose Creek Map

For those seeking a primitive camping experience, Goose Creek State Park has the scenery and space to provide that opportunity. There are miles of beautiful trails to explore that allow visitors to enjoy nature and quiet tranquility. Take a look here to see what the park has to offer.

Currently, all campgrounds are open, with the exception of the two group tent sites, which remain closed until further notice. The open campgrounds can be utilized by tent, trailer and RV campers. Each site can accommodate up to a six-person stay, and feature a tent pad, a fire ring with grill, a picnic table and a lantern hook. For those staying in a trailer or a RV, there are full-hookups (electric, water and sewer) available.

A bathhouse is located near each loop entrance, but they do not have showers, so you may want to bring a hanging shower with you. Water spigots and composting toilets are located nearby. Previous campers recommend bringing bug spray and wearing it day and night to prevent run-ins with pesky insects. Also, for a small fee, parks staff will deliver firewood to your campsite if you’d rather spend time swimming or fishing than hunting for firewood.

If you're looking for a more glamorous camping experience, there are six brand-new cabins near the main entrance available for reservation. Each cabin can accommodate up to six people, with a queen mattress in one room and two sets of bunk beds in the other. There are no bathrooms inside the cabins, but there is a communal bathhouse and water spigots.

Pets are not allowed in the cabins, but they are allowed to camp at the tent, trailer and RV sites.

To camp, you must make a reservation online at Below are the camping rates per night:

Little Washington : Spotlight : Goose Creek Camping

Parks in North Carolina opened additional facilities beginning on Sept. 11 under the new Phase 2.5 guidelines. To stay up-to-date on openings, monitor the website here. All boat ramps and trails are currently open. Goose Creek State Park also has a few wheelchair accessible options, so call the park to check-in and see if they are available.

Call (252) 923-2191 or email to gather the latest information. The staff and park rangers are happy to assist guests with any questions or concerns.

Tar-Pamlico River Camping Platforms

Little Washington : Spotlight : Camping Platform

For those seeking an adventure, follow the Tar-Pamlico River Water Trail by boat or kayak and seek safe harbor at one of the brand-new camping platforms constructed by Sound Rivers, a local non-profit that guards the health and beauty of the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico Rivers.

"The ideal camper for the platforms is someone who is adventurous and comfortable around water. If you are a new paddler, don’t worry because the Tar-Pamlico water trail is beginner friendly," said Clay Barber, environmental projects coordinator for Sound Rivers.

Recreational paddlers can find a variety of paddling opportunities along the trail, such as, white water paddling and sea kayaking through the inner banks.

"You don’t have to go far to feel away from it all," Barber said. "The sights and sounds of nature both day and night are incredible on the Tar-Pamlico River."

If you enjoy fishing, birding or photography, the water trail and camping platforms are the perfect fit for you.

There are 14 camping platforms along the trail located in Washington as well as Greenville, Whitakers and Tarboro. Each platform is approximately eight to 25 miles apart and feature an elevated screened-in enclosure and deck. These facilities are open year-round.

For information about the best practices to keep guest safe during COVID-19, follow this link. Users must make a reservation through Sound Rivers and use is by permit only. Call (252) 946-7211 or visit this link to make a reservation or find out more information.

Tranter's Creek Resort and Campground

Little Washington : Spotlight : Tranter's Creek

For those looking to camp with family, the Tranter's Creek Resort and Campground is the spot for you. This family-friendly and gated community is located right on Tranter's Creek, featuring 3,000 feet of recreation area, which makes it the perfect spot for fishing, kayaking and more. It's also located just minutes from historic downtown Washington.

Tranter's Creek features cozy creekside cabins and RV sites. The cabins include a full bath, a double bed, screened in porch overlooking the creek, heat/AC, refrigerator, microwave, fire pit, picnic table, rocking chairs, and inside and porch ceiling fans.

RV sites are full hook-up with 20/30/50 amp. They also have pull-throughs available, which make parking easy in and easy out. Tent camping is currently unavailable due to concerns about traffic at the communal bathhouse, but hopefully the closure can be lifted soon.

Tranter's Creek does not have hiking trails, but in a normal year, and by that, I mean when there is not a pandemic, they make up for it by offering a large variety of activities for guests.

"We usually have live bands, karaoke, bingo, line dancing, a huge swimming pool, and more available for our guests, but activities are on hold for right now due to COVID-19," said Shirley Simmons, an employee at Tranter's Creek.

Their facilities include a game room, a playground, a swimming pool, a covered pavilion, a camp store, and a boat ramp that offers kayak rentals. Their front-desk staff is extremely helpful, so give them a call for the most up-to-date information as COVID-19 continues to transpire.

There is a two-night minimum stay on weekends and three-night minimum stay on holiday weekends. Contact (252) 948-0850 with questions, and they will assist you in planning your visit.

Come explore the great outdoors and see what Washington has to offer!

This article was written by our sponsor, Washington Tourism Development Authority.

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