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Ecology

Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
Now Hiring - Seasonal General Utility Worker   

South Mountains State Park is hiring for the summer!
Position: General Utility Worker.

Work includes facility and grounds management, including but not limited to, cleaning bathrooms, emptying trash cans, mowing and trimming grass, trail maintenance, visitor assistance and assisting park staff in other necessary park operations.

This position is 40 hours a week, up to 6 months. Weekend and holiday work is required. Some evening shifts are required. Pay is $12/hour.
Must be 18+ and have a valid driver's license.

If interested, complete the NC PD-107 Paper Application for Employment and email to south.mountains@ncparks.gov or mail to the park at 3001 South Mountains State Park Ave, Connelly Springs, NC 28612.

Please call the office at 828-433-4772 with any further questions.
 

 Last updated on: Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Park Updates and Trail Status   

PARK UPDATES
Weekend Visitation:

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.

TRAILS
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.

 Last updated on: Sunday, April 10, 2022

Cash Only Sales   

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

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
     

 

 

 

Natural resources

Get plant and animal checklists at the park office.

Observe different forest types in the beautiful woodlands of South Mountains State Park, including pure conifer, mixed conifer, hardwood and climax hardwood forests. This relatively undeveloped area is a splendid example of ecologies from the upper piedmont to the mountains. Oak, hickory and a variety of pines are the predominant species in the park.

Walk along the park's numerous streams and enjoy a variety of beautiful wildflowers, including Jack-in-the-pulpit, lady slipper and foam flowers. Mountain laurel and rhododendron are also present.

Wildlife is abundant in the forests of South Mountains, though many of the animals go unseen by the casual visitor. Salamanders, frogs and toads reside in the moist areas of the park. Common reptiles include eastern fence lizards, skinks and a variety of small snakes. Though most of the snakes in the park are harmless and rarely encountered, the venomous copperhead and timber rattlesnake are present, and hikers should exercise caution.

The park comes alive with a symphony of chirping during the spring and summer months. More than 60 species of birds are known to nest at South Mountains. While most species found in the park are typical of the western piedmont, other common species include the ruffed grouse, black-throated green warbler and rose-breasted grosbeak. You may also find Acadian flycatchers, common crows, Carolina chickadees, wood thrushes, red-eyed vireos, oven birds, hooded warblers, indigo buntings and Eastern towhees. Common ravens have also nested on rock ledges near High Shoals Falls.

White-tailed deer, black bears and many smaller mammals also call the park home. Woodchucks may be seen along grassy roadsides, and chipmunks inhabit the forests along with their larger cousin, the gray squirrel. Raccoons and Virginia opossums forage along the streams. Also, several species of small rodents, shrews and eastern moles are South Mountains forest inhabitants seldom encountered by park visitors.