Chestnut Knob Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Connelly Springs, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,053 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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 trail on the right. Follow Chestnut Knob Trail for half a mile to the Jacob Fork River Gorge Overlook. Note: This first half mile is the steepest and most strenuous section of this trail. From this overlook you have nice distant views of the 80 ft. High Shoals Falls. Return to the main trail and walk until you come to a T-intersection. Turn left towards the Chestnut Knob Overlook. At the trail junction with a hiker sign and arrow, turn left and follow the trail to an exposed rock outcrop. Be careful here! Watch your footing! Return back to the parking area along the same route.

hiking
3 days ago

Quite the climb, with the Jacob’s Fork overlook about halfway up. Very limited hikers (many on waterfall trail) and great overlooks. Cool overlook outcropping and then back to trail for a few more feet up to top for stunning views from the hammock.

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

did this hike midday with the family. it's marked hard but I would say its moderate/hard more towards the moderate side. there was a fair amount of people on the trail and everyone tried to social distance as much a possible but the trail is narrow so it makes it hard. by the time we left the park was over crowded. would recommend going in early morning to avoid crowds

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail. Some good elevation but I’d say it’s more moderate than strenuous. There’s some excellent views along the way, around a mile in you get an awesome view of High Shoals Falls and the surrounding area. Once up top you get a great view of the valley. I brought my hammock along and had a nice nap at the peak.

A very nice hike through the Appalachian Mountains/Foothills. Several good views along the way including a distant view of the falls. Would rate more moderate than hard, though.

hiking
4 months ago

Enjoyed this trail along with a short walk to the overlook

hiking
fee
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Day 2 at south mountain state park. Fox trail campsite to lower ccc to horse ridge to sawtooth to saw tooth campsite.

hiking
6 months ago

Love this trail!

hiking
6 months ago

First time at this Park, new to North Carolina. Wife and I hiked this trail on Veterans Day. Beautiful scenery, great views. I would not rate as difficult but a good work out. I am almost 63 and had no issues. Trail is well marked, several families on trail. Well worth the 1.5 hour drive from Charlotte.

hiking
6 months ago

Park at the end of the road in the Jacob Fork Lot. It was very crowded and we were lucky to find a spot at 12pm on a Saturday. This is a well maintained trail. We went to the overlook which was worth the few extra minutes and I wouldn't advise doing this trail unless you go to the overlook. I have been on many hikes in NC that the views were not near as good at this one once you reach the overlook. I'm not saying it's jaw dropping but it's worth the effort. I would say this is a lower scaled moderate hike at best.

hiking
8 months ago

pretty difficult trail, quite rocky, steep elevation gain for me 23 years old , athletic, 6ft, 165lbs. View at the top was decent, you can see Charlotte city skyline off in the distance. Fun hike.

hiking
10 months ago

A good exercise right of the gate with the elevation change. The view is good, not great. One of better hikes I know of within 90 minutes of Charlotte. Our Great Dane and King Charles made the hike with no problems. Nice Creek about halfway up to cool the dogs off.

hiking
off trail
10 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

My visit to the Chestnut Knob Trail was a part of a two day backpacking trip I had planned. I started with the High Shoals Falls Trail and then hiked out to the Jacob's Branch backcountry campsite. That was its own enjoyable adventure. A little strenuous being that I was backpacking, but it was nice to get away from the crowds down at the entry of the park. It was very quiet and peaceful out at Jacob's Branch, (probably due to casual hikers and daytrippers not wanting to make that distance.) The next morning I hiked back towards the park entrance via the Shinny Creek Trail, (beautiful, but you will have walk through water for part of it,) and then began the Chestnut Knob Trail. It was a pretty strenuous climb to the top with my all my gear, and was even more exhausting being I had spent the morning hiking from the other side of the park. However, I found the views completely worth it. Once I made it to the top I took the little path out to the overlook and rested for awhile on the rocky overhang. There wasn't a soul out there. Nothing but the sound of the wind from the gorge below, (and an occasional bug whizzing by my ear.) If you're backpacking, from the peak point of the Chestnut Knob Trail you can head to the Sawtooth backcountry camp site for the night, (less than a mile away,) or you can climb back down the mountain to the park's entry and call it a day. Be sure to have water with you. It is a steep and steady incline to reach the peak of this trail, and there are no creeks or waterfalls.

hiking
Tue May 21 2019

Did this trail during the winter and had exceptional views. The beginning is a challenge but it is easier after the first 3/4 of a mile or so. Really enjoyed the hike.

hiking
Sat May 04 2019

Definitely not a hike for everyone... I read the reviews before going and some said the hike gets easier after the beginning, I disagree. It is a pretty strenuous hike all around in my opinion! WELL worth it though. The view was breathtaking and I got a good workout in on the hike up

hiking
Sat Mar 09 2019

Moderately strenuous, not for all hikers, but not the hardest hike I’ve done. The views were pretty fantastic! Even on a rainy day I was really happy that I made it. This was my first experience in Appalachia, and I was very pleased!

hiking
Mon Apr 30 2018

Not too impressed with this trail. You get to the top and there's one small rock to stand at for the view. Something about the hike up that's just not enjoyable, either.

running
Sun Apr 01 2018

Steep

Thu Jan 11 2018

Great work out, lack luster views.

hiking
Tue Dec 19 2017

Took Chestnut Knob from the Sawtooth trail, so I was already near the summit. The view from the overlook was okay. Only one spot to go to at the top. Took this trail down to the High Shoals Falls Loop.

hiking
Sat Nov 25 2017

Excellent hike, ok views at the end.

Mon Sep 04 2017

Helped rebuild part of the trail damaged by fire.

hiking
Tue Aug 01 2017

We have done this hike before. Very nice views at the top. The big thing is the damage from recent fires. Very apparent on hike and knob is mostly burned trees now. The knob used to be a nice shady spot for lunch....now not so much.

hiking
Sat Jun 03 2017

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.

hiking
Tue May 23 2017

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

hiking
Fri Apr 21 2017

One of my favorite trails within a short distance of Charlotte and my favorite in this park. The trail is short and steep for two sections but otherwise not too difficult. You can make this into a loop by walking along the horse trails but there aren't many good views that way. If it's a nice clear day you can see Crowders mountain and even uptown Charlotte.

Mon Jan 16 2017

Nice short hike. I would bring a snack to enjoy the view with .

Mon Oct 17 2016

Good incline, felt the burn. Lookout area is small and rocky, but very pretty view

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