High Shoals Falls Loop Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(368)
South Mountains State Park

High Shoals Falls Loop Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Connelly Springs, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.4 miles Elevation Gain: 557 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This is probably the most popular hike at South Mountains State Park featuring a wonderful creek, 80 ft waterfall, mountain vista, all in a woodland habitat. The crowds can get large on weekends, but the weekdays traffic is much lighter. First, pick up a trail map from the ranger station. Follow either the Hemlock or HQ trail away from the parking area and upstream. After about half a mile you will see signs for High Shoals Falls. Approximately one mile from the parking area and after climbing a lot of stairs you will reach the viewing platform for the falls. Continue ascending stairs to the top of the falls. Be sure and stay on the marked trail. There have been several deaths here. Continue following the trail until it intersects with Upper Falls Trail. Turn right on Upper Falls. After ascending a moderate grade look for an opening to the left. Here you will have nice views to the South. Continue on Upper Falls Trail until you come to a junction with HQ trail. Turn right on HQ trail and descend to Shinny Creek campsites. Follow HQ trail back to the Jacob Fork Parking Area.

great trail

muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

always love doin this trail loop, half of it is walking near the creek, and other half is in the peaceful woods. the stairs are a pain since there a bunch but one you hit the top and see the high shoals waterfall, its so worth it and refreshing.

hiking
6 days ago

We hiked from the parking lot that comes before the high shoals trailhead. So all in all we hiked about 4.5 miles. There's A LOT of stairs. But it's a great trail and awesome workout, especially carrying a 25lbs baby on your back.

hiking
8 days ago

Gorgeous the whole way but after a heavy rain particularly slippery. Recommend hiking poles if you worry about your knees or back. Quite a lot of stairs. Absolutely wonderful

hiking
21 days ago

Super fun and beautiful scenery. Tool young kids and small dog and made it up and own just fine. Strenuous on the final climb but so worth it.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

We decided to bail on the trail and hang hammocks instead. Too many people today to be safely distancing ourselves.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great hike up to the falls. Great views and lots to see along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

This was an awesome hike! I strongly suggest taking the left fork to the falls. Your legs will be burning by the time you get to the top, but the right fork is steep and long with few steps. It was icy on this morning at 22F. Beautiful hike in a beautiful park. If your going just to see the falls, take time to go above the falls for the beautiful cascades. I thought they were more worthy of the hike then the falls itself.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail and waterfall (s). The view is well worth the trek!

Beautiful hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Trail is moderate to steep at the top with lots of steps. Lots of falls and drops in the creek. Beautiful views.

hiking
4 months ago

Cold but the waterfall was awesome!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Took my 12-year old Lab with me and he did much better than I did. I did this trail last year during Memorial Weekend and it was extremely populated but this time we went when it was freezing cold and during the weekday, I only saw one person. I was very serene and beautiful. The stairs are definitely going to not only elevate your heart rate but it will make your quads cry for mercy! Well worth a great workout in God’s creation.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Beautiful trail along the river. The falls are beautiful

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. A little strenuous, but well worth it to make it to the falls.

hiking
6 months ago

Great Trail! We did it in moderate rain. No wildlife sightings and my niece slipped a few times so I recommend non slip hikers. The falls, stream and views are amazing!

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! Steps get a little steep but it’s worth it to go all the way to the top.

hiking
7 months ago

A fun trail. Great for a quick hike.

hiking
7 months ago

A great workout and a great hike. What a beautiful place!! I took two dogs up this trail with no problem.

I loved this trail...absolutely beautiful. The uphill will give you a bit of a burn but all in all a really beautiful trail. Plus the fact that you can hear the water no matter where you are is so calming!

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

highly recommend for anyone looking for a day hike. There are wooden steps that can be slippery if wet. My buddy I took on this trail came in hot on a set of stairs going down and needless to say he made his way down them a sliding!

hiking
scramble
7 months ago

Awesome waterfall! Great workout.

hiking
8 months ago

One of our favorite trails. I’ve done it hundreds of times sense I was a small child

hiking
8 months ago

Definitely our favorite trail. Note - this is a ROUGH trail for beginners. I had just started getting back into working out and was definitely not prepared for this. It’s a lot of stepping up, jumping and bending down, even though it’s a fairly short trail. Getting to the top and seeing the waterfall is totally worth it though!

Showing results 1 - 27 of 368