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Office Location:

Mecklenburg County
Park and Recreation
5841 Brookshire Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28216



Kevin Metcalf

McDowell Nature Preserve Campground & Copperhead Island

McDowell Campground: 15222 York Road, Charlotte, NC 28278

For reservations call 980-314-2267 (9AM-5PM, daily)

Email us at: McDowellCampground@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov

Use this link to reserve a campsite ONLINE anytime.​​

Would you like to take the "Great Urban Escape?" McDowell Nature Preserve offers 1,116 acres of peace and quiet. Choose from a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities and visit the Nature Center - all while you camp onsite! 

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The main campground at McDowell has 56 campsites ranging from full RV hookup to Primitive sites. Additional amenities include bathhouse, laundry facilities and playground. Group camping is also available at Copperh​ead Island just a few miles up the road. 

Campsites may be reserved seven days a week. Must be made 48 hours in advance online ONLINE or by calling 980-314-2267(CAMP) between the hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday – Sunday.  All reservations made over phone must be paid in full with a Visa or MasterCard.

​ Campground Fees

Rent-a-Tent Sites (T1 -7)

$36/night – County resident
$46/night – Non-County resident

Primitive Sites (P1-10)
$15/night – County resident
$19/night – Non-County resident

Recreation Vehicle (RV) Sites (R1-13):***ALL RV SITES WILL REQUIRE LEVELING MATERIALS***
$26/night – County resident
$33/night – Non-County resident

$19/night – County resident
$28/night – Non-County resident

Extra Fees:
(You may add to your reservation during all over the phone reservations. Bundles will be delivered to site)

Firewood: $5/bundle

Ice: $2/bag

RV  Sites (R)


  • Picnic Table
  • Water (RV = On Site)
  • Electricity (RV = 50amps)
  • RV Sites = R1-R13


Drive-To Sites (D) 

D sites, T sites and P sites are designated TENT sites ONLY. No pop-up campers or RV's are allowed on these sites. If you have a pop-up or RV please reserve one of the R sites or please call 980-314-2267 for assistance to finalize your reservation. Failure to comply with this policy will result in cancellation of your permit and no refund will be issued.

  • Picnic Table
  • Fire Rings with Grills
  • Water (Drive-To = Shared)
  • Electricity  (Drive-To = 30amps)
  •  Drive-To = D1-D26


Rent-a-Tent Sites (T)

  • 12'X12' Tent - Sleeps 5-6 people
  • Fire Ring with Grill
  • Picnic Table
  • Water (Shared)
  • Electricity = 30amps
  • T Sites = T1 - T7


Primitive Sites (P)

  • Fire Ring and Picnic Table
  • P Sites = P1- P10
  • Water Accessible from Primitive Parking Lot


Accessible Camp Sites

  • D14, D15 (Drive To)
  • T1, T4 (Rent-a-Tent)



  • Campground gate is open 7:00AM - 5:00PM


  • Check- in 3:00PM and Check-out 12:00PM




  • NO AMPLIFIED MUSIC ALLOWED (Be respectful of other guests)


  • 14 DAY MAXIMUM PER MONTH (PER FAMILY/CAMPING PARTY) McDowell Campground does not permit extended stay reservations. The maximum stay permitted is 14 days per calendar month or 14 days per visit including ALL members of family or camping party. Please be advised if this policy is abused you will be asked to leave or escorted off the grounds immediately by campground staff, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and/or Park Rangers and will not be issued a refund. Abusing this policy is also an automatic loss of permanent reservation privileges. 


  •  The Campground gate closes at 5pm daily. To access the gate a 4 digit gate code will be given to access the grounds during your stay. If reserving online, an additional permit aside from the original email receipts will be sent to you with the Gate Code. Please allow 24-48 hours after booking. If you have not received your Gate Code, please check your junk mail folder and/or call 980-314-2267. You will need this code to enter the grounds after 5pm.


  • McDowell Nature Preserve is protected land of Mecklenburg County. Please assist in the protection of our wildlife and natural habitats. Disturbing the natural habitat and pulling firewood from the Nature Preserve is not permitted and an ordinance violation. Failure to follow this ordinance could result in a loss of reservation privileges.

  • Only guests and members of thier camping group with date specific reservations are allowed in Campground after 5:00pm. Entering the grounds after 5:00PM after gates close is not permitted and considered trespassing.


  • The Nature Preserve is not accessible after sunset.


  • All Pets MUST remain on leash at ALL times. Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6ft at all times. Pet owners must have updated proof of rabies (paperwork and tag), and you must be with your pets at all times. No pets are allowed in Rent-a-Tents.

  • Patrons using Rent-a-Tent and RV sites may set up 1 additional 2-person tent (space-permitting). Drive-To sites are limited to a 6 person capacity. This may include combinations of 2, 3, or 4 person tents.

  • No swimming or wading is allowed within preserve boundaries.​

  • Campfires are permitted only in designated fire rings. Do not leave fires unattended. Mecklenburg County Park  and Recreation Department reserves the right to ban campfires in unsafe conditions.
  • Only one vehicle (separate or towed by an R.V.) is allowed at each site. There is overflow parking across from the Information Booth at the entrance of the campground.  All vehicles and bikes must stay on paved roads and parking lots at all times. Trails are for foot traffic only.
  • Quiet Hours are from 10 p.m. - 7 a.m. daily.
  • Sites must be maintained in an orderly manner. Please dispose of trash and recyclable materials in their proper receptacles or dumpsters. Please be responsible and "pack out what you have packed in." To discourage raccoons and other animals, please store food inside vehicles, RV's or a secure container. Please do not feed any wild animals.

Refund Policy

  1. Refunds will be given (minus a 10% administrative fee) if cancellation notice is given at least thirty (30) days in advance for Facility, Field and Shelter rentals OR at least ten (10) days in advance for Campground rentals and Activities.
  2. There will be NO REFUND if less than thirty (30) days' notice is given for Facility, Field and Shelter rentals.
  3. There will be NO REFUND if less than ten (10) days' notice is given for Campground rentals and Activities.
  4. NO REFUNDS will be given in the event of inclement weather.
  5. In the case of inclement weather, Facility, Field and Shelter reschedules may be given for another time or location (of equal or lesser value), but must be requested within seven (7) business days after the event.
  6. Campground reschedules must be made at least three (3) days prior to the rental camping date.
  7. Only one (1) Camping reschedule is allowed per reservation.
  8. All refunds must be submitted via the Refund Request Form provided by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.
  9. Customers should be aware that refunds take twenty-one (21) days to process.

In the event of a State of Emergency or Natural Disaster for non-departmental activities, athletic field reservations, facility rentals, etc., the department or patron may initiate a request for full refund. In lieu of a refund due to a State of Emergency or Natural Disaster, the department/patron reserves the right to issue a credit for a future reservation for the same type of facility at a later date, up to 11 months in the future.


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Copperhead Island
15200 Soldier Road
Charlotte, NC 28278

Park Hours:
7 a.m. - Sunset (Daily)

4 Boat Ramps, Fishing Piers, Picnic Area, Restrooms, Trails, Group Camping


Large Shelter Rental: 8:00AM-8:00PM (80 Capacity)
Large Shelter rental includes Picnic Shelter (80 person capacity),  Volleyball Court, and Horseshoe Pits

Entire Island Rental:  Overnight 3PM-12PM (40 Capacity)
Entire Island rental includes Picnic Shelter, 6 primitive sites, Volleyball Court, and Horseshoe Pits

All McDowell Campground Rules & Regulations Apply to Copperhead Island Rentals

(Please see above for Rules and Refund Policy)

Additional Island Rules

No Amplified Music  Allowed (No DJ's, Bands, Microphones)

Beer and Wine Allowed within Shelter Area with Permit ONLY

Bounce Houses Allowed with Permit ONLY

All Permits MUST be obtained at Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Main Office

Address: 5841 Brookshire Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28216  Phone: (980) 314-1000

All pets MUST remain on-leash at ALL times

No more than 3 vehicles allowed in parking area at shelter

Gate code will be given for reservation at the time of booking. Guests must use code after hours to access the island. 

  • All N.C. state regulations apply.
  • No bank fishing is permitted after the Preserve is closed.

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Office Location:

Mecklenburg County
Park and Recreation
5841 Brookshire Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28216



Kevin Metcalf