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The Neuse River Recreation Area offers river swimming at what's locally known as Flanners Beach, camping in a full-service family campground, picnicking, hiking and mountain biking. We visited in August 2011 after renovations that spring and just days before Hurricane Irene hit.
The campground is oriented toward RVs, with no tent pads at campsites.
Sites are small and close to each other on a single loop. A few overlook the river. On the upside, the proximity of sites is good for groups, and the dense trees and brush between sites adds to privacy.
In addition to flush toilets, the campground's new bathhouse has three individual showers with doors, one of which is wheelchair accessible.
A three-mile Flanners Beach Trail circles the campground and is open to mountain bikers as well as hikers. A shorter paved loop accommodates wheelchairs.
The picnic grounds is large and shaded by tall hardwoods and loblolly pines.
On the Neuse River, Flanners Beach, empty on the August weekday we visited, is available for sunning and swimming at your own risk.
Neuse River Campground is off of U.S. 70 about 12 miles south of New Bern (see the camping symbol just beyond Croatan). Click on the map for a larger version.