Camping: Gorges State Park offers primitive camping in a spectacular natural environment. A favorite park for backpackers who are looking to get away from the beaten trail, campers will find solitude after the strenuous hike.
Primitive camping is available near the southern boundary of Gorges State Park along the Foothills Trail. There are six designated backpack sites along the trail within the park boundary. Access to the Foothills Trail at Gorges State Park is at the Frozen Creek parking lot. Follow the square yellow markers on the Cane Brake Trail.
For additional information on the Foothills Trail, contact the Foothills Trail Conference on the "Links" page.
Fishing and Boating: With rainbow and brown trout, as well as smallmouth bass, the waters of Gorges State Park beckon fishermen to try their luck. All streams and rivers in the park are designated Wild Trout Waters. Regulations of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission apply. Although the park contains a variety of fish habitats, fishermen should exercise caution and stay away from waterfalls. Due to the rugged nature of the park and swift water currents, no swimming is allowed in rivers and creeks. Lake Jocassee, a deep lake straddling the North and South Carolina border, is a haven for trout and bass fishermen. Boat access is available within Devil's Fork State Park in South Carolina.
Hiking: Offering rugged terrain that will challenge any outdoors enthusiast, visitors who traverse the steep, backwoods trails will be rewarded with views of dazzling waterfalls or perhaps an encounter with one of the numerous rare species of the park. However, some of the more secluded areas of the park are not recommended for casual hiking.
One of the park's most popular pathways is the Foothills Trail. Established by Duke Energy, the trail winds along the southern portion of the state park and wraps around Lake Jocassee, where primitive campsites are available. The trailhead is located at the Frozen Creek Access area in Rosman on Frozen Creek Road. This area provides parking, picnic areas and trailheads.
Mountain biking and horseback riding: Horses and mountain bikes are currently permitted on the Auger Hole Trail from the Frozen Creek Access to Turkey Pen Gap on the western boundary of the park. Hiking is also allowed on the trail. The Frozen Creek Access in Rosman provides a picnic area and trailhead for this multipurpose trail. All visitors with horses must be able to provide proof of a negative equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test while visiting North Carolina State Parks.
Waterfall overlook: This overlook is accessible from the Grassy Ridge Access. The trail begins near the parking lot and is blazed with blue circles. The trail leads to a small observation platform overlooking a long cascade on Bearwallow Creek.
As the park undergoes evaluation, additional hiking trails may be developed. Existing trails in sensitive habitats may close due to concern for natural resource protection.
To minimize human impact on the park, Gorges State Park is a carry-in / carry-out facility. Recycling containers are located throughout the park for the convenience of visitors.
Please exercise caution while hiking near waterfalls. Not only are the rocks slick and the risk for injury high; many rare species thrive in the misty atmosphere created by the falls, and human contact can be detrimental to the plants' survival.
Picnicking: Picnic tables make Gorges State Park a pleasant spot for lunch or dinner after an exhilarating hike. In the midst of the forest, picnic tables provide a comfortable setting for a meal or snack. Some of the picnic tables are wheelchair accessible. Gorges State Park is a carry-in / carry-out facility. Recycling containers are located throughout the park for the convenience of visitors.