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Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
Park at Capacity by 10:00 a.m. on Weekends   

South Mountains now routinely reaches capacity by10:00 a.m. on weekends. If you do not arrive by this time, you are not likely to get a parking spot until the afternoon.  

 Last updated on: Friday, July 31, 2020

Status of park facilities as of July 3, 2020   

The park is open daily from 7:00am to 10:00pm.

Picnic Areas are open with tables spread out for social distancing and grills are now open.

The family campground, equestrian campground, and backcountry campsites are open as of May 22. However, group camping is still not allowed. Only six people or less per site.

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL CAMPSITES. All campers, including backpackers, must make a reservation through the system online or by phone (1-877-722-6762). There are no walk-ins. Campers can make same-day reservations up until 9:00pm on the day of your arrival. You must make a reservation before setting up camp on a campsite. You cannot place your personal belongings on a site to "reserve" the site for you. When you arrive for your reservation, use the free Wi-Fi near the visitor center to self-check-in using the Reserve America Camping App.

Weekend delays: Visitors should expect park entrance delays from 9:30am to 6:00pm on weekends. You may encounter a 30-minute to 1-hour wait time to get into Jacob Fork access. Parking is limited and some spaces are coned off to meet maximum occupancy recommendations. Visitors will be directed to other parking areas once the High Shoals Falls trailhead parking is full. Vehicles will be stopped near the park entrance gate, and traffic into the park will be controlled by park rangers for visitor safety and for emergency access. Plan ahead and limit the number of vehicles you take to the park. Maps are available at the visitor center and trailhead kiosks.

 Last updated on: Friday, July 3, 2020

Bridle trails:

OPEN TODAY

Bike trails:

OPEN TODAY


3001 South Mountain Park Ave.
Connelly Springs, NC 28612

828-433-4772
south.mountains@ncparks.gov

 

Map of North Carolina

GPS: 35.5963, -81.600

 

Open Daily (except Christmas Day) 7am
Closing Hours
December, January and February 7pm
November 8pm
March, April and October 9pm
May - September 10pm
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office
8am - 5pm weekdays and weekends
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. 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.

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 – 2.5 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

Summer

April 1 to
October 31

Winter

November 1 to
March 31

RV campsite
with electric hookup

$31

$25

Tent/trailer campsite

(no RV hookups)

$26

$22

Primitive tent campsite

(backcountry backpacking)

$15

$15

Equestrian campsite

$26

$22

Horse stall
5 feet by 10 feet

$12

$12

Horse stall
10 feet by 10 feet

$17

$17

 

all rates listed above include $3 reservation fee