10 Favorite County Park Campgrounds for RVers in the U.S.

What Are County Park Campgrounds?

County park campgrounds can range in size from a handful of campsites to a massive complex with hundreds of camping spots. Some of them are in sprawling county parks with thousands of acres while others are tucked in tiny parks on a small town’s Main Street. That’s part of the fun of a county park campground—they come in different shapes and sizes.

The cost to stay at a county park campground is often less than a nearby state park or private RV park, though not always. Because county parks are often partially funded with local tax dollars, it’s not unusual to see two separate rates—a reduced fee for county residents and a higher fee for nonresidents. You may also notice that some reservable parks allow residents to reserve in advance of nonresidents.

Many county park campgrounds offer partial hookups, while others are primitive camping only. While it’s not unusual to come across full hookups at county park campsites, you’re more likely to find partial hookup sites with only electric or water, or both.

Aerial view of desert RV park.
Gilbert Ray Campground | Tucson, AZ – Photo by: Trekerboy

Special Considerations for County Park Campgrounds

Due in part to the close relationship with the communities that county parks have, you’re likely to find more regulations and rules than you may be used to if you mainly camp in state or national park campgrounds.

It’s relatively common for county park campgrounds to restrict the consumption of alcohol (in or outside your camper) and to not allow any smoking. You also might find that the park has a locked gate after certain hours, or that you cannot get a campsite if you pull in after the office closes. Campgrounds may also restrict which loops are pet-friendly, or don’t allow pets at all.

Be sure to look through the campground’s listing and reviews on Campendium to get a better feel for a park and its rules and regulations before you reserve or try for a day-of campsite.

County Campgrounds RVers Love

Here are 10 spectacular county parks to check out on your next trip.

RV parked next to picnic table in the forest at county park.
McDowell Nature Preserve | Charlotte, NC – Photo by: vinny the van

McDowell Nature Preserve Campground, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Number of Sites: 56
  • Pad Type: Mixed
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 30 feet

Tuck into the shady tree canopy at McDowell Nature Preserve Campground, run by North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County. This 56-site campground is nestled into a 1,116-acre nature park full of hiking trails, fishing spots, and a nature center. Note that the campground is gated and reservations are recommended (no walk-ins accepted after business hours). The Campendium community recommends that big rig owners call the campground office before reserving to make sure they get a spot that’ll fit their camper.

Woman with two kids sitting at a picnic table next to their Airstream in the woods.
James Island County Park & Campground | Charleston, SC – Photo by: Adventures of Dave and Ann

James Island County Park & Campground, Charleston, South Carolina

  • Number of Sites: 124
  • Pad Type: Dirt/Gravel
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 42 feet

Five-star reviewed James Island County Park & Campground, located in Charleston County, South Carolina, offers 124 campsites and 10 vacation cottages alongside the Stono River marsh. When you’re not enjoying your large and private-feeling campsite, you can explore the park’s 18-hole disc golf course, hiking trails, dog park, and saltwater fishing access. Vibrant downtown Charleston is nearby, too.

Class A parked on a concrete pad in the woods at an RV park.
Spring Creek Park Campground | Tomball, TX – Photo by: Liz & Jake

Spring Creek Park Campground, Tomball, Texas

  • Number of Sites: 8
  • Pad Type: Concrete
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 40 feet

Spring Creek Park Campground in Harris County, Texas, may be on the smaller end with only eight campsites, but we think this detail will catch your attention: It’s free. The county allows campers to stay for up to 7 contiguous nights per month at one of the full hookup sites for no charge. Outside of the campground, the park has game fields, barbecue pavilions, a playground, an archery range, and fishing along Spring Creek.

Van parked on blacktop in a county park.
Mahlon Dickerson Reservation | Jefferson, NJ – Photo by: Anne H

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, Jefferson, New Jersey

  • Number of Sites: 18
  • Pad Type: Asphalt
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 36 feet

Sprawling Mahlon Dickerson Reservation is the largest county park in Morris County, New Jersey, and features a near-wilderness setting with miles of dog-friendly, multiuse trails and a fishing pond. The campground has 18 wooded campsites with electric and water hookups. If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing experience, this county campground is for you.

Airstream parked in the desert at sunset.
Gilbert Ray Campground | Tucson, AZ – Photo by: Talison01

Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Arizona

  • Number of Sites: 130
  • Pad Type: Gravel
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 40 feet

It’s hard to overstate how much the Campendium community loves Gilbert Ray Campground. Managed by Arizona’s Pima County, this beloved 130-site campground is located in Tucson Mountain Park, just south of Saguaro National Park and west of Tucson. Enjoy desert hiking, easy city access, and stunning sunsets at this five-star reviewed campground. Reservations are highly recommended in the peak season (January to March), and the 7-day stay limit is strictly enforced.

Van parked in the forest overlooking the ocean.
Big Lagoon County Park | Trinidad, CA

Big Lagoon County Park, Trinidad, California

  • Number of Sites: 25
  • Pad Type: Dirt/Gravel
  • Reservations: No
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 45 feet

Explore the charming fishing village of Trinidad, California, with a stay at Humboldt County’s Big Lagoon County Park campground. This first-come, first-served campground has 25 sites (two with water/electric, the others for dry camping) right along Big Lagoon. The lagoon is great for paddling, and reviewers report that on-leash dogs are welcome. Enjoy Pacific Ocean beach access from the park, too.

Large fifth wheel and truck parked on a paved site in a big grass field.
Scott County Park Campground | Eldridge, IA – Photo by: OurWanderfulLife

Scott County Park Campground, Elridge, Iowa

  • Number of Sites: 400
  • Pad Type: Asphalt
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 39 feet

Campsite options abound at Scott County Park Campground in Elridge, Iowa. Six different loops offer a mix of primitive, partial hookup, and full hookup sites to meet every need. Scott County Park has game fields, nature trails, a playground, and an Olympic-sized heated swimming pool that’s open in the summer. The campground offers a mix of reservable and first-come, first-served sites.

Man sitting outside his RV by a picnic table.
Estes Park Campground at East Portal | Estes Park, CO – Photo by: Justchillin

Estes Park Campground at East Portal, Estes Park, Colorado

  • Number of Sites: 68
  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 30 feet

Soak in beautiful views of Rocky Mountain National Park at Estes Park Campground at East Portal in Estes Park, Colorado. Perched at 8,300 feet elevation, this county park is best suited for small RVs and travel trailers under 22 feet. Most of the sites have water and electric hookups, with a few full hookup sites. Keep an eye out for elk, deer, black bears, and foxes. This park also has access to the East Portal Reservoir, which is great for fishing.

Camp chairs and campfire set up on a sandy area by an RV.
Fort De Soto Park Campground | Saint Petersburg, FL – Photo by: Cboy

Fort De Soto Park Campground, Saint Petersburg, Florida

  • Number of Sites: 238
  • Pad Type: Gravel
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 40 feet

Florida’s Pinellas County is home to Fort De Soto Park in Saint Petersburg. This Gulf Coast park is made up of five interconnected islands and features miles of sandy beaches, a boat launch, playgrounds, a multiuse trail, fishing piers, a waterfront dog park, and a 238-site campground. Reservations are hard to snag at this popular park, so reviewers recommend checking regularly for cancellations.

Several RVs parked at a county park.
Paul Wolff Campground | Elgin, IL – Photo by: Noetic Nomads

Paul Wolff Campground, Elgin, Illinois

  • Number of Sites: 89
  • Pad Type: Asphalt
  • Reservations: No
  • Tent Camping: Yes
  • Longest RV Reported: 38 feet

Stay close to the city yet worlds away at Paul Wolff Campground in Kane County, Illinois. Located on the western outskirts of Chicago, this park-like campground in the Burnidge Forest Preserve has 89 first-come, first-served campsites with electric and water hookups. The Campendium community enjoys this campground for its proximity to Chicago (a train station near the campground can whisk you into the city), nice hiking trails, friendly camp hosts, and strong cell phone service.

On your next camping trip, chart a course through a county park campground to experience the local, hometown vibe of these hidden gems. Do you have a favorite county park? Share it with us in the comments.