South Mountains State Park re-opened on January 1st to the public following the Chestnut Knob Fire.
Chestnut Knob and Shinny trails will remain closed for an indefinite period of time until a more thorough assessment can be done. Visitors will not be allowed to access either trail, until further notice. Thank you for your understanding and for helping park rangers keep everyone's visit safe and enjoyable by observing these trail closures.
Posted on: Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 8:49am
Campers registering for Sawtooth Backcountry campsites will need to plan for a 3.7mile hike beginning on Little River Trail, continuing on Upper CCC Trail and then turning onto Sawtooth Trail. Please take this extra mileage into consideration when planning your trip. Chestnut Knob Trail is and will continue to be closed for an indefinite amount of time due to extreme tread damage and safety concerns. Park staff are currently planning to reroute sections of Chestnut Knob Trail. Chestnut Knob Overlook is still open from Sawtooth Trail.Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 8:27am
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.
South Mountains State Park
Open Daily (except Christmas Day) 7am
December, January and February 7pm
March, April and October 9pm
May - September 10pm
Closed Christmas Day
8am - 5pm weekdays and weekends
Closed Christmas Day