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Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
Park at Capacity by 10:00 a.m. on Weekends   

South Mountains now routinely reaches capacity by10:00 a.m. on weekends. If you do not arrive by this time, you are not likely to get a parking spot until the afternoon.  

 Last updated on: Friday, July 31, 2020

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

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