Explore the most popular waterfall trails in South Mountains State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Park has this listed as strenuous, but found it to be a nice little loop. flat wide level trails, but yes there are 80-90 steps. Wooden steps with handrails and multiple platforms with benches to stop and enjoy the views. take the learning trail along the river for the views and wildlife instead of going straight out the road.

Went this morning a beautiful hike.

Great hike! Good mix of dirt trails, rocks and stairs with the most beautiful waterfalls!

Girlfriend and I took two dogs. I wouldn’t consider this a hard hike. It’s a little steep at the beginning.

I took my 8 year daughter on this adventure. We had a great time and very minimal complaining from her. She was scared when we got to Hugo Rockslide, but the majestic view of the fall made up for it. We got a little winded in some places but overall very fun. We didn't take our dog, but plenty of areas for dogs to get some water and placed to dispose trash and dog poo. Parking area was nice and had a couple picnic areas throughout. I believe I spotted a couple grills, so next time we might grill out instead of bringing sandwiches.

This group of trails kicked my butt! I went up the stair side of High Falls Shoals Loop, then on to Upper Falls Trail, and came down Headquarters Trail. The waterfall and rock formations were really cool, and there were some decent mountain views along the rest of the trails. The ascents on the first half of the loop were insane, but at least it made for an easier second half on the way down.

Great trail, lots beautiful views, family friendly

Great trail with multiple levels of waterfalls, well built stairs go up most of the way.

This hike is definitely a workout. The first 1-1.5 miles are pretty much a non-stop incline. After that it’s pretty much smooth sailing, with a few short inclines that sufficiently get your heart pumping. Took my dog and she loved it. It was definitely a workout for her too! We added an extra .4 miles to go to the Chestnut Knob overlook. The view itself is pretty good, but there’s not really anywhere to sit comfortably and no shade. And because we went on a fairly warm day, the sun was a little too much. Other than the overlook, there’s a few spots with some decent views, and places to sit and enjoy them. As other mentioned there are a ton of burnt trees, so a little dreary but nothing too bad. Overall I’m giving this hike a 4 because it’s a great workout, but it’s just short of a 5 because of the lackluster views.

I always ignore the trail and rock hop right up the river. one of my favorite places

great safe trail even in the rain

3 months ago

We did Chestnut Knob, followed by Sawtooth , Upper CCC , and Little River Trail. A total of about 7.9 miles with over 1,400 ft elevation. Great workout for the day!

Great challenging day hike.

This trail was hard, but rewarding, the steps going up to the top of the Mountains are very very steep. We done a Half Marathon Trail Race here January 6th, 2018. Great place beautiful Waterfall.

Loved this trail. Many things to see and take in. I cannot wait to plan more trips to the other trails around.

Great hike. Some of the waters along the falls and creek were still frozen which made it quite beautiful. Started at 9am and only saw a couple other hikers. Very quiet and peaceful.

Heavy traffic. Well defined traik

Great trail! Everything is currently frozen making for an amazing hike!

Loved this trail. The falls were beautiful with ice. As others have said, lots of stairs going along the High Shoals Falls Trail.

Beautiful in the snow!

Moderate. Probably 150-200 steps to reach the waterfall. Good views of the Jacob Fork River and surrounding mountainside. Climbed over the fence at the top of the waterfall. Descent from the other side of the loop is a little steep.

Did this hike today, a few days after the first snow. It was my first snow hike and it was the most beautiful experience. Even though the first snow was about 3 days ago, it all looked fresh and it was such a treat. The trail itself was not bad... even with the ice and snow. It was a quite slippery with the ice.... so if you are going during winter, make sure you have hiking boots.
The waterfalls were beautiful and it wasn't too busy.

5 months ago

We extended the trail and did 10 miles within the park. A great day!

Go to the left if you want a steep, quick incline. Go to the right if you want a really long gradual climb. Great views and scenery either way.

lots of stairs to climb, but the waterfall was beautiful!

this is great hiking trail! I'm from San Diego, Ca. I'm on vacation and staying in Charlotte. This is excalty what I wanted out of hiking experience being in North Carolina. the only hard part was the walking up the stairs but thats about 15 to 20 minuted of walking up the stairs. take a break and take in the beautiful views. no rush on the stairs!

Awesome hike with great scenery! The top of the waterfall is worth the effort.

Beautiful hike. Lots of rocks for kids, and adults to hop around on!

The trail is actually amazing, starts with a nature walk and lots of water areas with large rocks and genuinely a nice nature walk. The hike up the mountain was a few strenuous spots but not at all hard. The waterfall is BEAUTIFUL and worth the time. Only problem, and it did matter, was that it is so heavily populated. The parking lot is full, peopke even parkong o the side of the road, and at times you had to wait your turn just to walk or cross a bridge. I am glad we went but we will likely not visit this one again unless I find times that are less populated.

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