nature trips

dog friendly



wild flowers

Nestled deep in the woods, South Mountains State Park is the perfect place to enjoy nature. Here you can see a majestic mountain range peeking out from the gently rolling landscape of the piedmont. The park includes elevations up to 3,000 feet, a waterfall dropping 80 feet and more than 40 miles of trails. From equestrian camping to trout fishing, mountain biking to picnicking, a number of activities are available at South Mountains State Park. Visit one of the state's most rugged parks. Hike the trail to High Shoals Falls to witness the roar of the waterfall as it pours into a large pool. Backpack through the woodlands for primitive camping. Fish for trout in miles of mountain streams, or bicycle along the 17-mile mountain-bike loop.

We took the smaller 2.7 mile loop in the morning, it was a great hike. There is a bit of walking across rocks so if your balance is unstable you may want to grab a walking stick or trekking poles. The stairs can get steep but most of the way has a railing and there are plenty of benches or spots to stop for a rest. Little dogs might need a lift to get up or down some stairs.
It's an educational trail with a lot of signs about the types of rocks and different Flora and fauna on the mountain. The Visitor Center is nice and has a little educational exhibit too.

Overall it's a very pretty hike, with plenty of areas to relax and have lunch by the creek. I would say it's easier than the main trails at Crowder's Mountain as well.

Simply beautiful... this is an extremely well kept park. The hike gets a bit strenuous when you reach the stairs beyond the lower falls. Venture on, because the upper falls and the remaining loop is truly rewarding. Loved my visit!

Beautiful sites! Easy trail but the stairs will kick your butt.... FYI bring bug spray!

Great trail for the family. My six year old did great on the stairs. Nice falls and places to get in the water along the way. We did the 2.7 mile loop.

Good for young kids that are sure footed. Some good places to stop and give their short legs a break.

I completed the very enjoyable loop...going out on the High Shoals Falls and Upper Falls Trails, returning on the HQ Trail and finishing on the Hemlock Nature Trail. The falls were beautiful, and definitely will be worth a return trip at some point!

With the recent rain, the falls were roaring and absolutely gorgeous! The platform at the base is the perfect spot to take it in, as well as to catch your breath from the short but nice workout hiking up through the cascades. Be sure to include the easy Hemlock Nature Trail either at the beginning or the end of the loop for the interpretive signs and pretty views of the river.

I completed a very enjoyable 6.3 mile loop that included 1280 feet of elevation gain. It was basically a two mile climb up to Chestnut Knob, followed by a more gradual four mile descent by way of the wider Sawtooth, Upper CCC and Little River bridal trails. I can definitely see myself returning to experience this hike again during a different season.

There are not many extended views, and strangely few water sightings. But it was an easy and pretty woodland trail to complete my loop back to the main parking area after climbing up to Chestnut Knob.

I had a sunny and beautiful early morning hike with the trail all to myself. With all the foliage, I was only able to see the very top of High Shoals Falls from the Jacob Fork River Gorge Overlook (I could hear it a lot better than I could see it). I could clearly see Crowders Mountain from the Chestnut Knob Overlook, but there was enough haze to prevent me from seeing the tall buildings in Charlotte. There is still lots of evidence of last fall's fire. But there is a bunch of new growth as well. I did not have any issues with the condition of the newly reopened trail.

23 days ago

24 days ago

24 days ago

29 days ago

Beautiful hike, even when cloudy. Not busy at all and two great overlooks.