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#4 of 42 state parks in North Carolina

Best trails in South Mountains State Park

1314 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in South Mountains State Park, North Carolina? AllTrails has 17 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 10 moderate trails in South Mountains State Park ranging from 1.8 to 11.7 miles and from 1,227 to 2,637 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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.

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Map of trails in South Mountains State Park
Park information
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Contact
(828) 433-4772
Helpful links
Top trails (17)
#1 - High Shoals Waterfall and H.Q. Loop Trail
South Mountains State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(391)
Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 2 h 48 m
High Shoals Waterfall and H.Q. Loop Trail is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Connelly Springs, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is priShow more
#2 - High Shoals Falls Loop Trail
South Mountains State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(404)
Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h 21 m
Note: Plan to arrive early, as park can close if it reaches full capacity. This is probably the most popular hike at South Mountains State Park featuring a wonderful creek, 80 ft waterfall, mountain Show more
#3 - Chestnut Knob Trail
South Mountains State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(124)
Length: 4.1 mi • Est. 2 h 22 m
Steep wooded trail, views of High Shoals Falls, extraordinary mountain views Follow the HQ trail away from the parking area. After you pass the amphitheater on the left, look for Chestnut Knob trailShow more
#4 - High Shoals Falls
South Mountains State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(74)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 54 m
High Shoals Falls are a beautiful and tall series of falls in South Mountains State Park. Show more
#5 - Chestnut Knob Loop Trail
South Mountains State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(80)
Length: 7.8 mi • Est. 4 h 10 m
This trail is wide and rocky, with steep grades so it can be fairly difficult to make it to the top.Show more
#6 - Shinny Creek Loop Trail
South Mountains State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(30)
Length: 6.4 mi • Est. 3 h 29 m
Nice woodland walk, diversity of Shinny Trail, wonderful creek This is a great hike to experience the diversity found in the park! You'll start down low on old logging roads, then explore a dry mounShow more
#7 - Hemlock Nature, Upper Falls, and High Shoals Falls Loop
South Mountains State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(29)
Length: 14.3 mi • Est. 7 h 34 m
This hike starts at the Jacob Fork Parking Area and follows the Hemlock Nature Trail along the Jacob Fork River to the High Shoals Falls Loop which uses a section of the Upper Falls Trail to access thShow more
#8 - Little River and Sawtooth Trail
South Mountains State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(54)
Length: 5.1 mi • Est. 2 h 41 m
Little River and Sawtooth Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bostic, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of Show more
#9 - Hidden Cove Trail
South Mountains State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(47)
Length: 2.9 mi • Est. 1 h 24 m
Hidden Cove Trail is a 2.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Connelly Springs, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail oShow more
#10 - River to Chestnut Knob to Sawtooth Loop
South Mountains State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(15)
Length: 7.8 mi • Est. 4 h 3 m
River to Chestnut Knob to Sawtooth Loop is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Connelly Springs, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. TheShow more
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