The morning begins even before the sun has had a chance to rise over the Blue Ridge mountain tops at Morganton Point Recreational Area.
5 A.M, a rooster crows in the distance. 5:15 A.M. high in their nests’ birds begin to chirp. By 5:20 A.M. there is a large crow overhead screaming at another bird nearby. Both you and your mate’s eyes open simultaneously and you stare into each other’s eyes. Neither of you speaks but you know what they are thinking, “….. really Birds, REALLY?!!!“
It is far too early and there is a chill in the autumn morning air so you snuggle deeper inside your sleeping bag. Nature won’t have this, it is calling – literally calling loudly through chirps and caws – *sigh* you gotta pee. As you unzip the tent door, the natural light comes in, and you can tell that the sun still hasn’t quite made its appearance above the mountain line. You slide the tent flap back and are honored to see one of Blue Ridge’s most delightful sites. Lake Blueridge shines blue in the early morning light as the sky takes on a light pink hue.
Maybe you aren’t so grumpy that those birds woke you up before six o’clock after all.
The sunrises and sunsets on Lake Blue Ridge are wondrous. The fog rolls in at night and until the sun is high in the sky, they linger along the mountain tops and along the cove.
The recreational area has 43 RV and tent sites that are open only from April-November so book in advance. The spaces are not right on top of each other so you feel like you have some privacy. We opted to stay at the tents only walk-in campsite so that our tent was pitched just a few yards from the edge of the lake and offered the best views of the area. The walk-in campsite is only several yards from the parking area, but that means you have to carry everything from your vehicle to your site. Get those steps in! After a few trips back and forth for us, I thought, “we really should buy a wagon for these trips.”
The walk-in sites are pretty secluded, right on the tip of a peninsula within the park. Our campsite “F” was on the West side of the lake. The view is just unbelievable. The Blue Ridge mountains with their hazy blue hue adorn the background. The sun rippling off the water sparkles like electricity and as boats pass small waves lap against the rocky shore. Utterly relaxing. You can feel the stress of the “always-on-the-go life dissipate as you unwind in camp along these shores.
We visited the area during the 3rd weekend in September so it was relatively quiet. An occasional boat came by and one morning at 6am two professional swimmers swam across the bay from the beach. There is more activity on the west which means a tiny bit more noise. Boats toodle by and the day-use beach is right across the cove, so you may hear them laughing and having fun in the sun. We hung our hammocks from trees near the water to enjoy view. Even in September, as the sun dips toward the horizon it gets pretty bright and warm for about 2 hours in the late afternoon. I can imagine that in late summer it swelters out here as the sun directly hits your campsite. If boats, people, and afternoon sun bother you, you may want to (
not camp) opt for camp “C” instead. Camp C is on the East side of the peninsula and has the morning sunrise which is nice and is in the cove where boats don’t come by often, it feels quieter even though it is only a few yards from campsite “F”. There is plenty of shade from trees so afternoon sun shouldn’t be quite as hot. No matter which side of the peninsula you choose, you will see both the sunrise and sunset. These sites really are the best that this campground has to offer.
During the summer, if you are looking for activities during the day you can rent canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, and paddleboards from the day-use beach concessions. You can hike the trail or along the beach. The shore is littered with thousands of rocks. You are in the mountains not the white sands of the gulf coast, so it is rocky and without shoes, it does hurt your feet to walk along the shore. Protip: bring some swim shoes because even wading into the water is painful barefooted, the rocks hide under the sand on the bottom. The shoreline has a fine sandy dirt and pyrite is in large abundance making the dirt sparkle as the sun shines upon it, making the shore look as if it is encrusted with diamonds.
Julia and I spent afternoons cooling off in the cold crystal clear water of the lake. This is not like the lakes I have been in, you can see through the water at the little fishies coming up to nibble your toes. We also relaxed at the campground, painting and conversing.
As the sun set, there was a drastic change in the temperature. During the day it was in the high 80’s but as soon as the sunset it dropped 20 degrees into the mid 60’s. This provided us with the opportunity sit around the campfire. We kept warm by the fire and enjoyed the hum of the bugs and the croaking of bullfrogs. We cooked hamburgers in an iron skillet and roasted hotdogs and s’mores over the fire. The last night in camp we had a big pot of chili. In the south, cooking over a campfire is not always enjoyable. During the summer here, it is hotter than a “June bride in July”, and camping can be harsh but in the fall it ain’t too bad at all.
By far Morganton Point has been our favorite place to camp. It is a small campground with large sites so you feel like you have some seclusion. The camp hosts were fun and you could purchase firewood and ice from them. The restroom and showers were spotless with fresh flowers in a vase on the counter every morning. One note: The walk-ins are pretty secluded, this means if you are staying at the walk-in sites, it is quite a trek uphill to the facilities. As a woman, these trips made me uncomfortable. I swear by the time I closed the stall, I was doin the “pee-pee” dance in the mornings. Shane, of course, got up went to a tree and peed on it, oh to be a man.
The tree foliage was starting to change color and the view of the lake and mountains were absolutely spectacular. Want to see more photos? Visit my Blue Ridge, GA Pinterest Page or Facebook Album. Want to camp here? Visit Morganton Point Recreation Area & Campground to book your stay!
Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all
Shane & Fran