Can you spot the difference between a maple and an oak tree? What about a hemlock from a pine? Join a ranger for a hike along the Hemlock Nature Trail and identify these trees and more! Trailhead is located in the Jacob Fork Parking Area.
Events and Programs
South Mountains State Park offers a variety of learning opportunities for all ages. Typically led by park rangers, these interpretive programs allow the public to gain perspective into what makes North Carolina state parks naturally wonderful.
Most of the events are free, though some require pre-registration. All give park visitors deeper insight into the natural world. Call the park office for more information.
Join a ranger for a short hike along the River Trail and learn about North Carolina's state reptile, the eastern box turtle. We will participate in several activities along the lake trail before performing a scientific search for turtles in the park. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water to drink if needed. River Trail trailhead is located in the Cicero Branch Parking Area, 1.5 miles down the road from the Visitor Center. Approximate length of program is one hour.
Celebrate National Public Lands Day by learning and having fun! Join South Mountains State Park Rangers, Friends of South Mountains State Park and volunteers for lots of family-friendly, naturally wonderful exhibits and activities! We will have the usual assortment of exhibits, to include Snakes of NC, Foothills Conservancy, wildlife rehabilitation, heART of Nature, many kids activities, gospel and bluegrass music from Heartstrings and Wiregrass bands, Rocky River Trout Unlimited and more. This event is FREE and full of fun for family and friends. Burke County's trolley will be providing shuttle service from the Visitor Center to the main event area in the Jacob Fork Parking Area from 11-3. South Mountains Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxillary will have food and drinks for purchase. Contact the park and ask for Ranger Amanda or Ranger Mary if you're interested in volunteering or have other questions. 828-433-4772 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be brave! Visit herpetologist Grover Barfield, and his scaly friends, during the 17th Annual Nature Day event at South Mountains State Park. Live snakes of all types, all native to NC, will be on display at the visitor center, in the classroom. Scale back your fear and learn a little about these amazing reptiles in a fun, safe environment.
Go Fish! Drop in and join a volunteer angler at the Clear Creek access from 2-4pm for an introductory class on fishing. Please bring all personal equipment available. Classes may vary based on interest and skill level of the participants. NC Wildlife Resources Commission fishing regulations still apply. All ages and all types of fishing rods are welcome. Class will meet at the Clear Creek access off Branstrom Orchard Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Meet in the parking lot at 2pm.
OPEN TODAYBridle trails:
3001 South Mountain Park Ave.
Connelly Springs, NC 28612
GPS: 35.5963, -81.600
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