nature trips





dogs on leash

wild flowers



trail running


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.

this is a good hike that is moderately hard. water fall is the best part of this hike.

this is a good hike that is moderately hard. water fall is the best part of this hike.

I hike this trail at least once or twice a month since it’s so close to my house. Other than the stairs to get to the waterfall it’s fairly easy.

Gorgeous views of the river and waterfall. The perfect hike for a beginner that wants a challenge. We were pressed for time so we only hiked to the waterfall viewing platform and came back, but we crossed a cool bridge, a lot of rocky terrain, and the views of the creek alongside the trail were beautiful! Plus, we visited in early November so the fall foliage was picture-perfect!

1 month ago

Super fun hike if you enjoy waterfalls! Lots of stairs but worth it once you get to the viewing platform

Starts off easy, then a bit of a challenge and the closer you get to the falls the stairs seems to go straight up making it a strenuous hike. Lots of boulders and tree roots to maneuver over. Lots of smaller falls on your way to the big one.

1 month ago

If you want an easier hike with a few waterfalls along the way I would definitely suggest doing this trail. Also take a swim in the water if it’s not winter!

on High Shoals Falls

2 months ago

One of the best trails along a mountain stream that I have ever taken. Very scenic and many educational stops along the way. It’s worth the hike to see the waterfall at the top.

Good hike with kids. It was tiring on the way back.

My family and I had a wonderful time experiencing Mother Nature. We shall visit again soon.

I did this trail on Labor Day, which the Park itself was super busy. This particular trail wasn’t busy at all. The hike was challenging but enjoyable. The waterfall never disappoints. Some areas are more congested than others but the trail is wide enough to pass people. The roughest portions of the trail is at the beginning so keep pushing through and it’s all down hill after that.

There were some beautiful parts of the hike, such as the waterfall and the creek. However I was disappointed that there wasn’t as much of a scenic view. It was a strenuous hike and had some steep areas that made it nice and challenging. Overall, I don’t think I would do the hike again but if you’re looking for a strenuous hike filled with steep hills and a waterfall this would be your go to trail.

so pretty! quite a few stairs and a lot of rocks/boulders, but it was very pretty and worth it. I am a beginner and not in very good shape, and I was able to do it. Will be going back!

3 months ago

Very peaceful and I didn’t see anybody the entire time I was on the trail. It has a nice summit about half way through that gives you a nice bench with a view and a nice breeze to cool off.

The trail is narrow in most parts. Make sure to bring plenty of water.

Great trail, beautiful waterfall, stairs were a little tough, only downside really was the amount of people—a LOT

4 months ago

10/10 would hike again.

One of our favorite hikes. It starts out from the paved parking area and moves right before the main bridge over the river. The path begins super easy as a flat path with fine, loose aggregate along the river with tons of paths to the water as well as a few slightly hidden viewing decks over the water (we saw a beautiful doe and fawn in the river from one of these overlooks yesterday). At one point the trail forks - stay left to stick to the river. It starts getting a little more difficult as you progress with rocks, tree roots and stone steps. There’s an area where it might be difficult for some - a rock slide from Hurricane Hugo in the late 80’s brought down slabs of granite and you have to traverse it to continue. Don’t worry! It’s not terrible. Just keep it in mind as it could be slick with the wrong shoes. As you get to the areas where you are getting closer to the falls you’ll cross the river on wooden bridges and almost all steep wooden steps or box steps filled with soil, to the falls and upper falls. Take it slow if you have bad knees because the hike is so worth it at the top. At the top of the falls you can come back the way you came if you want to stick to the river or continue on the loop back to the fork in the trail. The loop portion is all forest and fairly smooth hiking but it is uphill a good bit. The downhill is much appreciated. At one point there’s a natural spring trickling down beside the path. The only water you’ll see along that part. You’ll end back at the fork where you originally stayed left. The treck back to the parking lot is back on the same flat, fine aggregate path along the river. Enjoy this hike and take tons of pictures. It’s beautiful!

beautiful trail would go again

Has a nice visitors center w/ a gift shop. Life size Lincoln logs area. Several picnic areas around the hike. Steep climb but has sturdy steps & structures to get you to the top of the waterfall

Fun hike. The waterfall portion gets a little crowded, but views are amazing. Did not run into anybody on the HQ portion.

Depending on the way you decide to go on the loop from the crossroads go left for a strenuous stair case going up right beside the whole water fall or go right to climb 3/4 foot high natural staircases. it's a good hike bring plenty of water and be prepared to get exhausted. when you reach the top of the falls you are met with a stunning view of the falls.

Very hard hike and the waterfall wasn’t amazing to me. But it was probably just because the time I went.

5 months ago

My wife and I hiked up Shinny Trail with our 4 month Aussie dog. We started on HQ Trail and looped around to Upper Falls Trail back to HQ. It was about 5 miles and only passed 1 couple. Keep in mind that it’s a mile walk to Shinny trail head from the parking lot. We hung out at the waterfalls and enjoyed the sun. Watch out at the top of Shinny Trail along the ridge. We ran across a timber rattle snake (black). No worries, there not aggressive. We simply just walked around it. That said, hiking up the ridge was tough but the rest of the hike was easy. I’ll be going back to take the longer loop via Horse Ridge to Possum Trail back to Shinny to train for a 10 day hike on the John Muir Trail.

Great trail with difficulty but worth every bit of it. Be prepared with proper shoes and water supply. Had a wonderful day!

Wonderful view and well kept trails

Beautiful waterfall and worth the hike up to see it! Gives your legs a hard workout.

Great hike. Waterfalls are beautiful.

Load More