Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

Trails

Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
Park at capacity by 10:00am on weekends   

South Mountains now routinely reaches capacity by 10:00am 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: Thursday, August 6, 2020

Current status of park facilities   

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 open.

The family campground, equestrian campground, and backcountry campsites are open. 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.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. Phase 2 has been extended until at least September 11, 2020.

 Last updated on: Thursday, August 6, 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.

 


Hemlock Nature Trail
Location: Starts in the southwest corner of the Jacob Fork parking area. The trail connects to the park amphitheater, High Shoals Falls Loop Trail and the River Trail.

Description:

This self-guided nature trail has informational displays about riparian ecology. It provides an easy hike along the Jacob Fork River.


Surface: natural surface, gravel

Length:
0.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
white triangle

Hidden Cove Trail
Location: Gravel trailhead parking area west of Visitor Center

Description:

This foot trail begins at a small parking area near the visitor center and connects to Turkey Ridge Trail. With gentle slopes and a narrow tread, this is an excellent location to observe wildlife, including deer and turkey.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
orange diamond

High Shoals Falls Loop Trail
Location: Starts at the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

The trail crosses the Jacob Fork River and reaches the High Shoals Waterfall one mile from the parking lot. The trail continues up steep steps and crosses the river again above the waterfall. Turn right at trail intersections and return to the parking lot via the “backside” of the loop. Backpackers may prefer going up the less steep backside to reach backcountry campsites.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.70 miles
loop
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
blue circle

Horseridge Trail
Location: Connects Lower CCC to Upper CCC. Closest access is 4.8 mi from the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

This is a remote strenuous ridgeline trail that offers views west to Walker Top Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
3.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
orange square

Jacob Branch Trail
Location: Connects Upper Falls Trail to Fox Trail. Closest access is 3 mi from the Jacob Fork parking area.

Description:

This moderate foot trail crosses Jacob Branch and ascends southwest to Fox Trail.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.10 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
red hexagon