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Trails

Waterfall on Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park
Cash Only Sales   

Our credit card machine is down indefinitely and we are only able to do cash sales at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 Last updated on: Friday, November 5, 2021

Clear Creek Reservoir and Lakeview Trail    

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: Monday, August 30, 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.

 


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