Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

Trails

Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
High Shoals Falls Trail Closed June 14-18   

Due to trail construction, the trail to High Shoals Falls will be closed from Monday, June 14, through Friday, June 18. Trail will be open again Saturday, June 19. High Shoals Falls will remain accessible from the backside daily. Trail crews and equipment will be present on the trail, which will make the trail unsafe for the general public. Contact park office with questions.

 Last updated on: Monday, June 14, 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 through July 2021 by the low water levels as the current shoreline is muddy and rocky. 

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: Wednesday, April 14, 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
     

 

 

 

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