Riverside Retreat in Saluda, NC: Easy and Fun Family Getaway

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Only an hour from the Upstate, Wilderness Cove Campground in Saluda, NC feels a lot further away. Let the river soothe you to sleep, hike the Green River Gamelands, or go tubing over the summer at this fun campground. 

Thank you to Wilderness Cove Campground for inviting us out to do this review. 

I have tubed down the Green River a few times and have always loved it. Staying on the Green River is just as much an adventure and one you can do right at Wilderness Cove Campground all year long. 

We’ll tell you what they offer, things to do in the area, and how to book your trip. 

About Wilderness Cove Campground 

You may already know about this place because it’s one of the big tubing outfitters on the Green River. But maybe you didn’t know they offer riverfront cabins, bigger family cabins, tent sites, and glamping tents. Wilderness Cove Campground is owned by Outdoor Adventure Retreats, a family of campgrounds throughout the Southeast offering unique access to outdoor recreation, led by Andrew Garcia and Ben Cohen.

They offer tubing over the summer and the campground is open all year. They also offer some neat classes like fly fishing.

Accommodations at Wilderness Cove

The campground is right along the Green River but not all the rentals can hear those soothing sounds. We stayed at one of the small riverfront cabins where we could hear the river, which was awesome. The cabin has a full bed plus a loft, which has a twin bed. There’s a fire pit, Keurig, and a mini-fridge but these are rustic cabins. It’s basically camping but indoors with beds and electricity.

Heating and air are provided, as well as linens, but you’ll have to walk to the bathhouse or pit toilets. 

The bathhouse is nice. It was clean and had both toilets and showers. Bring your own towels and flashlights. 

The glamping tents are a lot closer to the bathhouse but we didn’t stay in those so I can’t give a firsthand review. They did look pretty awesome though. 

Here are how many people each place/site can accommodate: 

  • Glamping Tent – 3 people (max of 2 adults)
  • River Cottage – 3 people (max of 2 adults)
  • Large Glamping Tent – 4 people (max of 2 adults)
  • Standard Cottage – 4 people (max of 2 adults)
  • Double Glamping Tent – 6 people (max of 4 adults)
  • Deluxe Cottage – 6 people (max of 4 adults)
  • Green River Guest House – 7 people
  • Individual Primitive Campsite – 4 people
  • Group Primitive Campsite – 20 people
  • RV Sites – No preset limit. Up to 2 adults and 3 children included at no extra charge. After that it’s $5 extra per person.

The campground does have WiFi but we found it to be a bit spotty at some points. Cell service is minimal at the campground. 

Things to do at Wilderness Cove Campground 

The campground is located adjacent to the Green River Gamelands, which has almost 17 miles of beautiful trails. I’ve hiked all through there and the Narrows trail is my favorite because you can watch the kayakers tackle the huge rapids (it’s extremely steep to get down and up though – there are ropes). But there are miles of other trails to hike at all levels.

You can access the Gamelands across the street from the campground itself. Or you can hike the six-mile round trip hike to Milton Bradley Falls. The trailhead is just steps away from the riverfront cabins and camp store. 

And, of course, over the summer, you can go tubing on the Green River. Tubing season is usually Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. 

If you have a NC fishing license, you can fish in the river as well.

If you love kayaking, you can rent a kayak from Wilderness Cove and run the river. We saw some kayakers who had ran the river that day staying at the campground. The Green River is well-known for its kayaking opportunities.

Things to do Nearby 

Hendersonville is just a short 25-minute drive from Wilderness Cove and there are so many things to do there: apple picking, snow tubing, free museums, the Team ECCO aquarium, more hiking, and shopping. We have a big list of Things to do in Hendersonville to give you ideas. 

Flat Rock is also close by, where you can play with the goats at the Carl Sandburg Home or hike on the property for free. Grab a pizza or baked good at the Village Bakery on your way home. 

Saluda, NC is close as well. The small town has great restaurants like the Purple Onion and Wildflower Bakery. 

We didn’t do this although I’d like to but the Gorge Zipline is just down the street from Wilderness Cove. I love ziplining and this place has excellent reviews. 

Wilderness Cove is also not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah Forest, and miles and miles of amazing trails to enjoy. Since we went during leaf season, we headed up about an hour and 15 minutes to the Blue Ridge Parkway near Craggy Gardens to see some fall foliage and we were not disappointed. I love staying at places that are great base camps for adventures. 

Booking Your Stay at Wilderness Cove Campground 

You can book your stay online at the Wilderness Cove Campground website. Note that some accommodations are pet-friendly. 

Prices per night start at around $91/night for the riverfront cabins and glamping tents. Tent and RV sites are cheaper while the cabins that hold more people go up from there. 

Please drive slowly down to the river. The road is very curvy and sometimes you can’t see around the curves. 

Wilderness Cove Campground
3772 Green River Cove Road, Saluda, NC
Facebook | Wilderness Cove Website

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About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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