Spring brings more people out to enjoy the park. Expect up to a 30min delay between 11am and 2pm on Sat/Sun at the Jacob Fork Access. Once parking areas fill to capacity, rangers may direct traffic for visitor safety.
CURRENTLY, THE FAMILY CAMPGROUND IS FULL EVERY WEEKEND APRIL-JULY 2022. Campsites, particularly in the Family Campground, are often reserved many weeks in advance. The park doesn't have any "first-come" or "walk-in" sites. Please plan ahead to stay in this popular park. Cancellations may create an opening, so check the website frequently.
Clear Creek Access:
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.
Our credit card machine is down indefinitely and we are only able to do cash sales at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.Last updated on: Friday, November 5, 2021
OPEN TODAYBike trails:
Contact the park
Jacob Fork access
and visitor center
3001 South Mountain Park Ave.
Connelly Springs, NC 28612
GPS: 35.5963, -81.6000
Clear Creek access
5999 Branstrom Orchard St.
Morganton, NC 28655
GPS: 35.6424, -81.7524
- December to February:
7:00am to 7:00pm
- March to April:
7:00am to 9:00pm
- May to September:
7:00am to 10:00pm
7:00am to 9:00pm
7:00am to 8:00pm
- Closed Christmas Day
- Open daily:
8:00am to 5:00pm
- Closed Christmas Day
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.
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: email@example.com or 828-433-4772.
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.
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
(no RV hookups)
Primitive tent campsite
all rates listed above include $3 reservation fee