The Town of Canton’s "Camp Hope" property (used for over 93 years by various civic, youth and recreational organizations) is open and available to the public for use year round. This 100+ acre parcel of land is tucked away in the majestic mountains of Canton and Haywood County and is located at 312 Camp Hope Road in Canton, NC. Camp Hope Road and “Camp Hope” are located off of US-276 and adjacent to the Pigeon River. This property has seen much development and improvements take shape over the years with the addition of a number of facilities to the property as a whole.
The property, known and referred to as "Camp Hope" was originally purchased by Reuben B. Robertson, President of the Champion Fibre Company. The Champion Fibre Company, an industrial company which specialized in pulp and paper manufacturing and one of the largest of its kind was located in the Town of Canton. Champion Fibre Company also served as the largest employer in Western North Carolina and employed the majority of citizens in Canton and throughout Haywood County. Mr. Robertson agreed to purchase the land and donate it for a camp if the people of Canton and surrounding vicinity would build a club house. It was determined that the property would serve as an ideal location for a camp, whereby campers could enjoy all kinds of outdoor sports including fishing, swimming, hiking, etc. Adjoining the club house site was a five or six acre field which would provide ample room for a baseball diamond or football field, basketball courts and possibly even a tennis court. It is interesting to note at that time the camp was envisioned as "the finest camp for boys and girls in Western North Carolina". In 1920, shortly after the above mentioned club house was constructed, Champion Fibre Company sold (donated) the camp property to the Champion "Y" or Champion Young Men's Christian Association, recently established by Mr. Robertson. It was at this time the camp property was given the name by which it still goes by today, that of “Camp Hope”, named after Mr. Robertson’s wife, Hope.
Following this for nearly 43 years the Champion "Y" was the owner and the organization charged with the supervision of the camp property before changing its name to the “Robertson Memorial Young Men’s Christian Association” in 1963.
In 1992 after the Robertson Memorial YMCA officially disbanded, the “Camp Hope” property was deeded to the Town of Canton. From 1992 until 2005 the Town of Canton continued to make the “Camp Hope” property available for use by the citizens of Canton and Haywood County. It was also leased and utilized by the Pisgah Council of the Boy Scouts until 1994.
While still under the control of the Town of Canton, in 2005 Wellspring Adventure Camp began utilizing a portion of the "Camp Hope" property for their summer program. Wellspring Adventure Camp brought an added and new amenity to the citizens and visitors to the community by offering a summer program focused on providing children with treatment for obesity. As part of their summer program, Wellspring Adventure Camp offered amazing adventure activities like white water rafting, rock climbing, rappelling and kayaking as well as, backpacking, hiking and camping. Additionally, as part of Wellspring Camp's efforts to see local Haywood County children battling with obesity have an opportunity to attend the summer programs, it annually provided scholarships totaling over $20,000 worth of tuition revenue to local individuals each summer in the form of scholarships. Consequently, these scholarships offered to local Haywood County children were the only 100% full scholarships which Wellsprings offered. Even during the time summer programs were in session the property and its various other facilities remained open to and heavily utilized by groups, organizations and others. Regretfully, Wellsprings Adventure Camp only recently vacated the “Camp Hope” property in 2013. Their departure was largely due to a lawsuit filed against the Town of Canton by a private individual contesting the Town of Canton’s ownership of the “Camp Hope” property.
While this "Camp Hope" property has served as a homestead for a variety of civic and community/recreation focused organizations this property has always been and remains available for use by anyone from Canton and/or Haywood County. Annually, this property and its various facilities (whether it be the grounds, outdoor Pavilion, main lodge, dining hall, bathhouses and/or four cabins) have been made available and utilized by patrons regularly. This property and its facilities are regularly used/reserved for weddings, wedding receptions, family reunions, birthday parties, corporate events, youth recreational activities, and Boy/Girl Scout camps/training alike. Additionally, the stream at Camp Hope has been open and available for fisherman to enjoy and partake in the immense natural resources present along the property.
To learn more about either “Camp Hope” or to reserve one of the facilities located at the property please feel free to contact:
Canton Town Hall
58 Park Street
Canton, NC 28716