7 of the Best Boondocking Destinations in the South

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Boondocking has become increasingly popular as an escape from the business of life. Driving off-grid and immersing yourself in the tranquility of Mother Nature is a great way to decompress and restore some balance. ‘Wild camping’ is more than an excursion, it is a way of living simply in your RV and the natural elements surrounding you without access to hookups. Remember to leave no trace when boondocking with your 4×4 campervan or other RV.

America has amazing off-grid destinations all over the country for you to relax and decompress in. Today, RVT examines a few of the best destinations for boondocking while traveling south. Get ready to add some to your camping bucket list

1. Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina

Photo of the trail behind Dry Falls, in Nantahala National Forest, NC
Trail behind Dry Falls, in Nantahala National Forest, NC

Nantahala National Forest offers various amenities for all types of boondocking adventures. Park near Whiteside Mountain to experience scenic, breathtaking views of the forest from the comfort of your Class C motorhome or other RV. Additionally, the Highlands provides beautiful wildlife to explore. The Ammons Branch campsite is equipped with an outhouse; however, clean water is only accessible from the nearby stream, so make sure to have enough purified water while boondocking here. Nearby are several waterfalls, including Bust Your Butt Falls, Dry Falls, and Whitewater Falls. Travel over to Harkers Island at Cape Lookout National Seashore – this remote beach island provides a paradise you won’t want to miss. From hearing the Atlantic Ocean to stargazing with minimal light pollution, you will become one with nature during your stay.

2. Natchez Trace, Tennessee

Natchez Trace Parkway, TN

The Meriwether Lewis Campground at Natchez Trace operates as a first-come, first-serve area. Equipped with various amenities, including drinkable water, toilets, trash, and recycling, it comes as a surprise that this campground is free. While here, enjoy the beautiful and peaceful aspects of the forest while hiking the various trails scattered throughout the area.

3. Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas

Photo of Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, seen from Blakely Dam
Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, seen from Blakely Dam

Known for its scenic beauty, Ouachita National Forest offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching. There are several sites for boondocking available in the forest, including Buckhorn Mountain. If you enjoy swimming or fishing, you can also camp near the river. After you have dried off and are seeking more adventure, check out hiking a few of the trails nearby.

4. Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia

Photo of Trahlyta Falls, Chattahoochee National Forest
Trahlyta Falls, Chattahoochee National Forest

The Chattahoochee National Forest is home to some of the best natural scenery in Georgia. With thousands of miles of streams and numerous waterfalls, this national forest is a must-see for the aquatic boondocker. Park your camper at Dicks Creek Falls and experience a breathtaking waterfall while enjoying the natural elements. A Class B motorhome or a truck with truck camper may be the most ideal RV for accessing Dicks Creek Falls. This area is only accessible by a small, gravel road, making it unsuitable for larger rigs. Potholes and a wet creek crossing may also be encountered. Once there, enjoy the various amenities the forest has to offer, including hiking trails and a swimming hole. Other waterfalls in the area include DeSoto Falls, Helton Creek Falls, and Trahlyta Falls.

5. Tate’s Hell State Forest, Florida

Photo of Apalachicola National Forest, Tate's Hell State Park, Florida
Apalachicola National Forest, Tate’s Hell State Park, Florida

For the boondocker who enjoys recreational activities, Tate’s Hell State Forest provides plenty of casual, relaxing amenities. With over 35 miles of rivers, creeks, and streams, park your campervan or other RV and canoe, boat, or fish along these waterways. Primitive campsites are dispersed throughout the forest, and most sites are located on river banks for easy water access.

6. Magnolia Beach, Texas

Photo of waves rolling in on a Texas beach.
Waves rolling in on a Texas beach

If you want to do nothing but relax, Magnolia Beach is the perfect haven. As a popular boondocking destination in Texas, you can avoid the crowds by driving further down the beach. Once you have parked your RV, take a bike ride along the coast, and enjoy the serene beach wildlife surrounding you.

7. Brazoria County Public Beach, Texas

Photo of a truck and trailer camping on a Texas beach
Beach camping, Texas beach

If the beach life calls to you, but you also desire a relaxing, off-grid experience, Brazoria County Public Beach is a perfect getaway for you and your companions. Park your RV directly on the sand overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy the lengthy beach that stretches for miles. Be aware of tides and the high tide line when choosing a spot to camp. You may hear some intermittent road noise from the nearby highway. However, once you are settled in, the sound of cars is drowned out by the relaxing ocean waves hitting the shore. If you are up for an adventure, drive your RV along the 7-mile Brazoria Wildlife driving tour. Be on the lookout for alligators!

Boondocking is a great way to experience the great outdoors. These southern states have many hidden off-the-grid gems that are worth considering. For your next boondocking excursion, consider checking out one of these beautiful destinations for a relaxing, tranquil experience. 

If you are interested in purchasing a new or used RV specifically for boondocking, check out the marketplace on RVT.com. If you aren’t sure which RVs are suitable, check out these RV models that are optimum for boondocking

By Alex Hoyes