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Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
Clear Creek Reservoir and Lakeview Trail    

Lakeview Trail includes at least one creek crossing that is difficult to cross safely without getting your feet wet during or immediately following heavy rain. Please plan ahead.

 Last updated on: Monday, August 30, 2021

Bridle trails:

OPEN TODAY

Bike trails:

OPEN TODAY


Map of North Carolina – South Mountains State Park


Contact the park
 

828-433-4772

south.mountains@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Jacob Fork access
and visitor center

3001 South Mountain Park Ave.
Connelly Springs, NC 28612

GPS: 35.5963, -81.6000

 

Clear Creek access
(day-use only)

5999 Branstrom Orchard St.
Morganton, NC 28655

GPS: 35.6424, -81.7524
 

Hours
 

► 

  • December to February:
    7:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • Open daily:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

Camping


Reservations
 

 Find and book a campsite or facility online

 Or make your reservation at 1-877-722-6762
 


Available camping facilities
 

► Tent, trailer and RV camping

Drive-to camping is available half a mile east of the Jacob Fork parking area.

Eighteen campsites include a picnic table and a fire circle, and one site is wheelchair accessible. Two of those campsites have electric hookups for RVs. There is no dump station.

A bathhouse with hot showers and drinking water are located nearby.

If you do not have a reservation, please stop by the visitor center for availability.

 

► Backpack camping

Sink gratefully into your sleeping bag after a day of hiking at South Mountains and fall asleep in the stillness of the forest.

Twenty-four backpack camping sites are offered in seven areas of the park.

Permit and fees are required to camp overnight. All reservations should be made in advance through our online reservations system or by calling 877-722-6762. Please visit the visitor center prior to hiking to your campsite to leave all vehicle license plate numbers and obtain a car pass to hang from your rearview mirror.

These sites are designated on the park map, and hiking distances to each backpack camping site vary. Each camping area has a pit toilet located nearby.

All supplies, including water, must be packed to the sites. To drink water from nearby creeks and streams, use a filtration device or boil the water for at least five minutes.

Below is a listing of the backpack campsites and the distance between the campsites and the Jacob Fork parking area:

  • Upper Falls – 1.4 miles
  • Little River – 1.4 miles
  • Shinny Creek – 1.2 miles
  • Sawtooth – 3 miles
  • Jacob Branch – 3.8 miles
  • Fox Trail – 4.9 miles
  • Murray Branch – 5.4 miles

 

► Equestrian camping

The equestrian camping area adjacent to the horse trailer parking area consists of 15 campsites, a 33-stall barn (nine stalls are 5 feet by 10 feet and 24 stalls are 10 feet by 10 feet), and a bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets.

Campers without reservations must confirm site availability with park staff before occupying a site. Only campers with horses can stay at the equestrian campsites. Proof of a negative equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test is required for horses using the barn.
 


Important information
 

Permits and fees

Permit and fees are required to camp overnight. Please visit the visitor center prior to hiking to your campsite to fill out the permit and pay the fees. A kiosk outside the visitor center allows campers to register and pay the fees if they arrive when the visitor center is closed.

 

Check-in and check-out times

Check-in at South Mountains State Park is 1:00pm and check-out is at 12:00pm.

The equestrian campground has a check-in time of 4:00pm and check-out at 3:00pm.

Some parks can accommodate early check-in or late check-out, depending on the reservation schedule and site availability. Please contact the park to make such arrangements: south.mountains@ncparks.gov or 828-433-4772.
 

Amenities

Not all campsites have identical amenities. Read the campsite information on the reservations website to see photos of campsites; check availability and fees; find out whether a specific site is wheelchair accessible, has access to water, bathhouses or pit toilets, or has RV hookups; and learn other important information.
 

Gate access

Park gates are closed and locked at posted closing times for your protection. There will be no exiting or entering the gates after the closing time. All visitors who are not spending the night need to be out by closing time.

If you leave the park and do not return before closing time, you will not be able to re-enter. Check with the park during office hours for the after-hours emergency phone number.

 

Changes and cancellations

You can now cancel reservations online by logging into your account on the reservations website. Please note that there is a $6 fee per night to cancel a reservation. The fees will be deducted from your refund.

If you need to make changes to your reservation, please call the reservations number at 1-877-722-6762. You cannot switch dates, campsites, or parks using your account online — you will be charged the cancellation fees, even if you book a new site.

In the event of a closure for a campsite, campground or the entire park, you will be contacted automatically by the reservations system to cancel or change your reservation. You will receive a full refund for cancellations due to park closures.
 


Camping rates per night
 

Campsite type

Nightly rate

RV campsite
with electric hookup

$31

Tent/trailer campsite

(no RV hookups)

$26

Primitive tent campsite

(backcountry backpacking)

$15

Equestrian campsite

$26

Horse stall
5 feet by 10 feet

$12

Horse stall
10 feet by 10 feet

$17

 

all rates listed above include $3 reservation fee