Group Camping will be closed through December 5, 2019 to repair a waterline. December 2-13, weekdays only, the Lake Parking lot will be closed for installation of new restrooms.
Alerts and Closures
Alerts and Closures
Current alerts for North Carolina state parks:
Hikers, mountain-bikers and equestrian riders who plan to ride any portion of Benn Knob Trail should wear an item that is blaze orange. This trail is along boundary and runs through portions of South Mountains Game Lands. Hunting season is in progress. Be safe. Be seen. Now through Jan. 1, 2020.
Due to Widow Creek Falls Parking lot and the Primitive Backpack parking area renovation the trail and parking area will be closed until further notice. This is being done for your safety and to allow us to complete the renovations without delay. This also affects access to the primitive camping along the Widows Creek Trail which is closed for overnight camping during this time. Daily through traffic of the MST trail is permitted with no parking avaiable. We appoligize for any inconvience this may cause.
Winter weather is here!
During the colder months be especially mindful that it gets dark early, and temperatures drop quckly at dusk.
Don't brave ridgeline trails unless you are experienced in winter alpine conditions and fully prepared for the weather with all necessary gear.
Minimum Gear Necessary for Winter Weather Hiking:
1. Ice Traction- Microspikes
2. Extra Water
3. Extra Food
4. Extra Clothing Layers (synthetic fabrics, wool, or silk- no
Please make sure to check the local weather conditions before your hike. Since we don't have our own weather station, we check raysweather.com, and look at a nearby spot with comparable elevation, such as Sugar Mountain Top or Seven Devils. http://averyweather.com/Forecast/Sugar+Mountain+Top
Ice and snow persist at higher elevations throughout winter. Snow and ice on ridgeline.
Temperature fluctuations at lower elevations can make trails both icy and muddy. If hiking the lower Profile Trail, remember: GET MUDDY! Stay on the trail and do not walk around wet spots, as this creates more damage to the natural resources. There is a boot scraper and boot brush for you just as you get off the Profile Trail.
Both rain and melting snow can make the Profile Trail stream crossing at mile 1.5 hazardous due to high water. Rangers recommend turning around if the water line is above boulders in crossing.
Hiking above Profile View on the Profile Trail and Flat Rock View on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is not recommended for inexperienced or unequipped hikers. High winds, cold temperatures and unseen ice are all trail hazards that should be taken seriously.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS. This includes current physical ability, level of experience in winter alpine conditions, what kind of gear you have, and overall preparedness. Weather and temperatures can change dramatically and rapidly and you do not want to get caught unprepared. Do not hike beyond your experience.
Construction will begin in December on a new lake trail. The lake area will be closed to all public access during construction. No park visitors will be allowed on the fishing pier or allowed to hike or fish around the lake during this time.
Due to disturbance caused by foot traffic from photography, photo shoots, and their clients; the grassy fields at the Summit Parking Area and around the Summit Area will be CLOSED to allow the area to regrow to prevent future erosion and protect rare, uncommon plant species. Please stay on marked paths and trails at the summit.
Sandling Beach day-use area closes for the winter season on October 1, 2019. Holly Point campground closes for the winter season on November 1, 2019. BW Wells Group Campground closes for the winter season on December 1, 2019.
Other Falls Lake camping and day-use areas are open all winter long. For a full list, see the Falls Lake Operating Season Schedule:
Due to the onset of below freezing nightly temperatures, we have had to close the upper campground washhouse (central to sites 1-40) in the family campground. The lower washhouse (central to sites 43-73) will remain open until Monday, December 2, when it too will close for the season. A frost-free water faucet will remain turned on near the lower washhouse throughout the winter months.
Ferry service has ended for the 2019 season and is scheduled to resume April 3, 2020. Access to Bear Island is available by canoe, kayak, private boat, or private water taxi. The bathhouse on Bear Island, with rest room facilities and potable water, is currently closed and winterized. Camping is permitted but campers must bring all necessities with them including drinking water. Barring any freezing temperatures or maintenance issues, the bathhouse will reopen on or about March 15, 2020. All facilities on the mainland are open including the trails, kayak launch, and boat ramp.
Please see Hammocks Beach Updates for additional information.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation (the private attraction with the Swinging Bridge) will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Those hiking out to the Swinging Bridge must plan to HIKE BACK since no one will be able to enter the attraction to pick them up at the top.
The State Park and its trails will be open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.