5 Awesome Lake Camp Spots by U.S. Region

We know that none of you can resist putting your packable kayak at the top of your gear list anytime you plan a camping trip. With colder seasons around the corner it’s important to start getting as much time out camping and on the water as possible. But you’ve already been to the local spots millions of times, and are looking to try somewhere new.

Be it deep south or high north, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite camping spots close to water you need to try in each region of the country. 


Image Credit: Roverpass.com

NORTHEAST - George Washington State Campground - Rhode Island

This relatively hidden gem is located near Glocester, RI - a state known for its captivating coastlines. However, what’s commonly overlooked are the bountiful masses of lush, sprawling evergreen forests and crisp lakes in the northwestern region of the state. Bowdish lake offers amazing opportunities for paddling, fishing and swimming. It features 45 individual campsites and is adjacent to the George Washington Management area, a playground for flourishing plants and wildlife. Have a serene day on the lake and wrap it up with a peaceful sunset walk on the trails.

For booking info, follow this link.


NORTHWEST - Ross & Diablo Lakes - Washington

Ebbing through the mountainous region of the North Cascades, Diablo Lake (and sibling Ross Lakes) has stunning alpine views while coasting along the embankment. If you’re looking to undergo a bit of an expedition, both Ross and Diablo Lakes feature primitive sites. However, for the sake of paddling, you’ll probably want to stick to the car camping sites situated on the shores of Diablo - Colonial Creek North Campground.

Ross Lake features around 50 car camping sites while Diablo Lake has about seven. Bring your poles because there are endless opportunities along the water, even while you float. For a swim, however, those glacial lakes are a bit unforgiving. 


SOUTHEAST - Devils Fork State Park - South Carolina

Featuring some of the clearest lakes in the south, Devils Fork State Park offers some of the best campsites that are right next to water. It has a great selection of campsites based on your ideal destination - with plenty of walk-in sites as well as drive-in. The white sand beaches will take you to a tropical vibe, contrasted by the beautiful lush woodlands of the southeast. After some floating and paddling, comb the nearby trails and see if you can find any of the hidden coves!

See here for reservations.


SOUTHWEST - Patagonia Lake State Park - Arizona

We’ll preface this mention by disclaiming that this park can get pretty crowded, so it’s recommended to go in the off season or middle of the week. That said, paddling along the lake makes for some stunning views of the fluctuating foothills that lump off into the horizon, especially during sunset. This site is truly a car camper’s heaven, featuring a boating ramp, beaches and picnic areas with grills and tables. They even offer watercraft rentals, but we know you’ve already got that covered. 

Click here to look at dates and reserve a site.


MIDWEST - Devil’s Lake State Park - Wisconsin

Despite its name, this Wisconsin treasure boasts a wide range of truly natural wonders. From sandstone bridges, sand beaches, a serene lake to gorges, this park has something for everyone. Floating on the lake makes for great views and fishing, and if you’re feeling adventurous check out the adjacent Ice Age National Scenic Trail, offering divine views of the 360-acre lake. It also features a Nature Center that’s packed full of fun, engaging activities for young ones and adults alike!

There are four campgrounds to choose from that each offer unique scenery, and vary by season. See all of the options for booking here.

Do you have some regional camping spots you want to share? Drop them in the comments or tag us on Instagram @foldingboatco! And whatever you do - don't forget your folding boat!