Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

Ecology

Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
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

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.