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Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
January 2021 race events and parking   

Organized foot races hosted by the park (organized and managed by a special event permit holder) will be held Sunday, Jan 10th and Saturday Jan 30th. Expect busier than usual parking areas and trails on these dates. Runners will be encountered on most trails those days. Rangers may control parking during peak visitation times. Carpool if possible, and expect busy trails and delayed entry to the Jacob Fork parking area between 9am-3pm.

 Last updated on: Saturday, January 9, 2021

Clear Creek Reservoir and Lakeview Trail    

The water level at Clear Creek Reservoir has been lowered to perform maintenance. Fishing and boating access may be affected by the low water levels as the current shoreline is muddy and rocky. 

Lakeview Trail includes at least one creek crossing that is difficult or impossible to cross safely without getting your feet wet during or immediately following heavy rain. Please plan ahead.

 Last updated on: Saturday, January 9, 2021

Current status of park facilities   

The park is open daily from 7:00am to 7:00pm.

The visitor center is open. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter.

Picnic areas are open with tables spread out for social distancing and grills are open. Picnic shelters and the amphitheater are not available to reserve.

The family campground, equestrian campground, and backcountry campsites are open but may be FULL. There is no group camping permitted at South Mountains. 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. FALL is very busy, and most campsites are already reserved in advance.

Weekend delays: Visitors should expect park entrance delays from 10:00am to 2:00pm on weekends. You may encounter a 30-minute to 1-hour wait time to get into Jacob Fork access. Visitors will be directed to other parking areas once the High Shoals Falls trailhead parking is full. 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.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. As of October 3, we are following modified Phase 3.

 Last updated on: Saturday, January 9, 2021

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

List of trails

Hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding are accommodated on a trail system that also gives access to backcountry campsites. Rugged terrain offers trail segments that are moderate to strenuous. There is also an accessible, educational trail along the Jacob Fork River.

 


Benn Knob Trail
Location: Connects Lower CCC Trail to Raven Rock Trail. Closest access is 5 mi from the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

The trail serves as a boundary between North Carolina gamelands and the park. Benn Knob Peak is a restricted area.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.90 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
orange triangle

Chestnut Knob Trail
Location: Starts off of High Shoals Falls Loop Trail, 0.2 mi from the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

The trail ascends 1.2 miles to a scenic view of High Shoals Falls and Hugo Rock. It continues another 1.4 miles up to Chestnut Knob Overlook. This rock outcropping offers a beautiful view of the Jacob Fork Gorge.


Surface: natural surface, stairs

Length:
2.10 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
white diamond

Clear Creek Trail
Location: Starts at the Clear Creek Dam.

Description:

This “out and back” trail starts at the Clear Creek Dam and ascends into the Clear Creek Watershed for a quiet, reflective retreat into nature. The Clear Creek Access area is open from sunrise to sunset.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
white circle

Fox Trail
Location: Connects Lower CCC Trail to Raven Rock Trail. Closest access is 4.1 mi from the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

This remote trail has an expansive vista of the Blue Ridge at the eastern end of the trail. It descends to Nettle Branch and then winds around mountains ridges.


Surface: natural surface, gravel

Length:
3.70 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
white hexagon

Headquarters Trail
Location: Starts at the Shinny Creek picnic area, 0.5 mi from the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

The trail provides access to Shinny Creek Trail, the Shinny Creek Backcountry Campsite and the Upper Falls Trail.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.90 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
orange hexagon