High Shoals Falls Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Connellys Springs, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Wonderful creek, 80 ft waterfall, mountain vista, nice woodland walk This is probably the most popular hike at South Mountains State Park. Hike during the week to avoid the crowds. First, pick up a trail map from the ranger station. Follow either the Hemlock or HQ trail away from the parking area and upstream. After about half a mile you will see signs for High Shoals Falls. Approximately one mile from the parking area and after climbing a lot of stairs you will reach the veiwing platform for the falls. Continue ascending stairs to the top of the falls. Be sure and stay on the marked trail. There have been several deaths here. Continue following the trail until it intersects with Upper Falls Trail. Turn right on Upper Falls. After ascending a moderate grade look for an opening to the left. Here you will have nice views to the South. Continue on Upper Falls Trail until you come to a junction with HQ trail. Turn right on HQ trail and descend to Shinny Creek campsites. Follow HQ trail back to the Jacob Fork Parking Area.
Really well marked and maintained trail, it was a very nice hike!
This was a beautiful well maintained trail. I really enjoyed the views of the river on the way up to the falls. I can't wait to hike here again.
lots of climbing.
this is a very beautiful hike! the first part up to the waterfall has a beautiful creek with huge rocks to climb and is very scenic. At the top, the waterfall is about 60 ft tall and beautiful. The hike back on the otherside is not as scenic, but is very secluded and peaceful. hikinh the whole is worth it. The loop is only 2.6 miles by the way
Easily accessible waterfalls. The trail was very well marked at intersections, and well blazed. Good construction. The stair areas have handrails. Not "treacherous". Upper Falls Trail Campsites is very close off the trail. It has a giant clearing, great access to the river fork and well stocked with cut wood. The outhouse even had TP in it! Folks please douse your fires- we came on one that still had embers; I restarted it with my breathe.
Steep! But worth the climb!
Lots of steep steps but lots to see along the way and the waterfall was beautiful. We also liked the giant rock that we passed on the way in. Nice hike!
Love this trail.
Great trail! Even on a misty day.
You have two options on this loop. If you go straight up, you'll hit lots of steep steps. If you take the other section of the loop up (to the right) you'll still be climbing up, but not on steep stairs. You can then go down via the stairs and still see the waterfall and river. It's very nice and the falls are pretty.
Loved this trail! It gets steep toward the end, but definitely worth the work out once you reach the waterfall.
I 've been hiking South Mountains State Park for 10 years and love it. The High Shoals Loop Trail is beautiful. I'm taking my son tomorrow to camp in their campground.
loved the park, the trails, and the waterfalls! Well worth going.
Nice hike to break in my new Army alice pack. It killed my wife but she made it.
The stairs were a killer. Just when I thought there couldn't possibly be more...yup, there were. If you've got a pack with any weight to it, your heart is going to be pounding when you make it to the top. Beautiful views though.
The rest of the park? Meh, not so much.
Well marked trails with easy access from parking area. Loved the markers and history of Hugo Rock...could have easily been glanced over without the info marker. Trail itself was amazing leading up to the waterfall and the observation deck at the waterfall was a well deserved resting spot. Keep going to to the top of the waterfall and check out the calm water before it rushes over the boulders. It's a tough climb but there are convenient resting benches every few flights of stairs (which my wife fully took advantage of). Beautiful hike overall! Get Out and Hike!