hiking south mountain state park nc

The trails we hiked that weren't burnt that we would advise are: Little River, Turkey Ridge, River, Hemlock, High Shoals Falls Loop, Saddleback and the small. Top Picks for North Carolina Fall & Winter Camping · South Mountains State Park · Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest · North Mills River. South Mountains State Park is far from pretty much anything, tucked back in the South Mountain portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

: Hiking south mountain state park nc

Hiking south mountain state park nc
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South Mountains State Park . a nature, wildlife, and photography perspective.

Источник: http://www.wildlifesouth.com/Locations/NorthCarolina/South-Mountains-State-Park.html
South Mountains Camping

South Mountains Photos

SOUTH MOUNTAINS

South1.jpg (3198 bytes)LENGTH: High Shoals Falls Loop 3.5 miles     Chestnut Knob Overlook hiking south mountain state park nc miles (R.T)      SKILL: Novice - Intermediate

WATER:   Falls Loop:  Yes        Chestnut Knob: Small spring between Jacobs Fork Overlook and Chestnut Knob Overlook.

NOTES: Be careful at the top of High Shoals Falls. It is easy to be swept off of the edge, on the slippery rocks.    

South Mountains Map

Wilderness Gateway State Trail to be 100 miles and connect Chimney Rock to South Mountains


Can there ever be too many hiking trails in Western North Carolina?

State trail planners, conservation groups, local governments and outdoors enthusiasts tend to think not.

At least that seems to be the case as another series of long-distance trails are now in the works by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

The Wilderness Gateway State Trail should be about 100 miles when completed, and connect Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County with South Mountains State Park in Burke County, to the towns of Hickory and Valdese, as well as contain a paddle trail across two waterways — Henry Fork and Jacob Fork rivers – in a linear trail with access points for people to hop on and off, or to hike continuously for days.

Learn more at a public meeting

The state parks department has just completed a Wilderness Gateway State Trail feasibility study, which is available, along with maps of the proposed trail corridor, at three meetings, the first on Jan. 14 in Rutherfordton.

State trails planner Smith Raynor said the meetings are drop-in style, where people can peruse the plans, ask questions and give their input, such as nixing certain routes or suggesting different areas to include on the trail.

Wilderness Gateway was authorized by the General Assembly hiking south mountain state park nc July 2019, and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper, also authorizing creation of the Northern Peaks State Trail in Watauga and Ashe counties, and the Overmountain Victory State Trail reaching across Avery, Mitchell, McDowell, Burke, Rutherford, Polk, Caldwell, Wilkes and Surry counties.

The vision for the Wilderness Gateway State Trail entails three primary purposes: conservation, recreation and tourism, Raynor said.

RELATED: A trail is born in Western North Carolina

“Everybody loves trails. The public is clamoring for new trails," she said.

"There’s been national research that show these big regional or state trails bring a lot of benefits to communities, they will increase property values for property fairly close to the trail, and communities that invest in regional trails, for every $1 they invest, they save $3 in health care costs by making trails available to the community.”

Hiking and walking outdoors are consistently the top outdoor activity across the country, she said. Locally, they have been shown to revive towns that have suffered economic depression with the closing of textile manufacturing, such as Elkin.

“The Mountains-to-Sea Trail and Yadkin River Trail go through Elkin. With traffic going through, they have a number of new hiking south mountain state park nc that cater to hikers and canoeists, such as lockers and showers for hikers, and B&Bs catering to hikers. Every year they have weekend trail days that brings a ton of tourists to the community,” Raynor said.

RELATED: NC State Parks grows with more land for Fonta Flora State Trail

Wilderness Gateway is now one of nine state trails, and started 40 years ago with the 1,100-mile long Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The longest of all liberty savings federal credit union careers state trails so far, the MST starts on Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and traverses the entire state, ending at Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the coast.

The other state trails include two paddle-only trails – the French Broad River and Yadkin River – and the Deep River State Trail, which will be a paddle and hiking trail.

The others are Northern Peaks, Overmountain Victory, which will be co-located with OVT National Trail, the Fonta Flora Trail that will stretch from Asheville to Morganton, rounding Lake James, and Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail, which will eventually be a 130-mile loop.

What's the difference between a state trail and a state park?

North Carolina has 41 state parks, and now nine state trails. They must all be authorized by state legislation but are managed very differently, Raynor said.

With state parks, such as Mount Mitchell, Lake James and Chimney Rock, the state owns and manages all the land, and has a staff of rangers who maintain the trails and infrastructure, enforce laws and lead nature programs.

State trails are managed differently, due to their nature of running across multiple counties and municipalities, as well as public and private land, Raynor said.

RELATED: Buncombe County to get its first state park

"Where trails are not on our land, we create partnerships with other public agencies, local municipalities, trails organizations, and lots of entities to become section sponsors,” she said.

“It’s up to them to get land. One of the things we’ve learned over the years, is we want these state trails to be state trails forever, so we work to get either public land owned by federal or state government, or we work to buy land outright hiking south mountain state park nc a private landowner or get an easement from a landowner. The section sponsor would manage that easement or accept a lease for that land.”

Raynor said the state only works with willing landowners and does not have the authority to condemn land for state trails.

“We don’t own it, we don’t impose rules outside of state park units. Within a state park, you can’t hunt, but on other sections of trail, if manager decided that’s a compatible use, then that’s OK,” she said.

Hikers are allowed on all North Carolina state trails, but motorized vehicles, including ATVs, are not. Some trails allow for mountain bikes and horses, but it is up to the individual land manager to choose which uses are most compatible.

Section sponsors already at work

Burke County, through which a third of the Wilderness Gateway State Trail will run, is one of the section sponsors.

“We’re working diligently on making Burke a trail county,” said deputy county manager and community development director Scott Carpenter.

“It’s hard to get rural counties on board, but we’re utilizing these trails as a growth in tourism and economic opportunity. Wilderness Gateway is going to run south of Morganton and I-40, originate around Hickory, run through Burke County, with a spur trail in Valdese and into South Mountains."

The county is also home to the burgeoning Fonta Flora Trail and the Overmountain Victory Trail.

To make these long distance trails successful, Carpenter said, there has to be someone whose focus is solely on getting land acquisitions and trail on the ground year-round “or it stops.”

He said he’s been working on the Fonta Flora Trail for six years. There is about a third completed, including a right of way around Lake James, with an expected 100-mile-long trail to eventually hiking south mountain state park nc to Asheville’s River Arts District.

Carpenter said there will need to be a nonprofit “Friends” group like the Friends of Fonta Flora and Friends of the MST for Wilderness Gateway to keep focused and to fund-raise.

“People don’t realize how much work these long distance trails are. It’s equal to hiking south mountain state park nc a highway without the authority to condemning land, engineering and design and meetings,” he said.

Land trusts are invovled

The Foothills Conservancy, a Morganton-based land trust, is also a Wilderness Gateway section sponsor.

Its biggest role is in acquiring conservation land to own, or to procure conservation easements from willing landowners, said executive director Andrew Kota.

RELATED: Rare Southern Appalachian mountain bog protected in WNC

“Over the last few years, we’ve been working with private conservationists to connect South Mountains State Park through the game lands to the Blue Ridge Mountain, in part for wildlife and habitat protection,” Kota said.

“The economic benefits will bolster hiking south mountain state park nc area of WNC — we have good, clean water, beautiful natural landscapes and outdoor recreation is an amazing benefit for this area.”

He said he sees Wilderness Gateway adding to the outdoor recreation hub of Western North Carolina.

“That’s the potential here. Outdoor recreation improves quality of life for people who live here, attracts more people more brainpower, and boosts and bolster economy,” he said.

Legislation didn't fund trails

There was no funding attached to the authorization of the state trails last year by the General Assembly, so the trails will need to be funded by private donations and well as grants from sources like the state Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

“Foothills Conservancy, as a nonprofit in raising grant funds, will be a strong player in bringing monies to the table, but we will need strong participation," Kota said. "People really need to talk to their state representatives that this is important.”

The conservancy is looking to acquire a large swath of land west of Bobs Creek State Natural Area, owned by a “very conservation minded individual,” as the perfect template for a new section of the state trail, as well as a piece of land that would connect the east side of South Mountains State Park to the town of Valdese.

Conserving Carolina, a land trust based in Hendersonville, is also a Wilderness Gateway partner.

Peter Barr, the organization’s trails coordinator and an award-winning trail designer for the Weed Patch and Wildcat Rock trails in the Hickory Nut Gorge, is now hard at work on the Hickory Nut Gorge Trail, which when completed, will form a 130-mile loop from Fairview to Bearwallow Mountain in Henderson County, Chimney Rock State Park and Lake Lure.

While the Wilderness Gateway State Trail is outside the geographic boundaries of Conserving Carolinas’ work, Barr said the land trust is eager to help in an advisory role, with the hope of one day linking Wilderness Gateway to the Hickory Nut Gorge Trail, which he calls “achieving the golden spike moment.”

Barr said, from his experience, completing Wilderness Gateway could take decades, but the time, energy, sweat, bruises, fundraising and exhaustion are worth the effort.

“More trails in our region are excellent because they are not only going to create more recreational opportunities, but improve the economy and quality of life. I’m most excited about Wilderness Gateway fueling more conservation opportunities and a corridor of more protected land.”

RELATED:

Raynor said the proposed corridor for Wilderness Gateway “is just beautiful wilderness valleys and hills and mountainsides. It’s just gorgeous.”

She said the hope is to provide camping opportunities or connect spur trails to commercial campgrounds for those who want to make multi-day treks.

But the public hiking south mountain state park nc weigh in on at the three upcoming public meetings.

“We will collect and collate all comments and put them in a report to each of the section sponsors. If there is a section where everyone is completely opposed, either we would wait or reroute it. We don’t want to force things on people that they don’t want,” Raynor said.

Want to comment?

Drop-in style meetings will take place from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 14, 15 and 16 at the following locations:

  • Jan. 14: Rutherfordton County Administration Office, 289 N. Main St., Rutherfordton
  • Jan. 15: South Mountains State Park, 3001 South Mountains Park Ave., Connelly Springs.
  • Jan. 16: Catawba County Government Center, 25 Government Drive, Newton.

If inclement weather is anticipated for any of the meetings, a weather-related notice will be posted on the Wilderness Gateway State Trail planning website at trails.nc.gov/state-trails/wilderness-gateway-state-trail.

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Источник: https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2020/01/13/nc-wilderness-gateway-plan-long-distance-hiking-trail/2848720001/
State Park Web Site


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The park reopened to visitors Jan. 3. However, hurricane damage to trails and pedestrian bridges has required some trail detours.

Apart from the rest

The South Mountains are another very unique North Carolina hiking destination. Separated, by 30 miles, from the main ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, there is nothing else quite like it. This group of rugged mountains that range in elevation from  1100 to over 3000 feet high, stand alone on the rolling hills of the Piedmont. These mountains encompass 100,000 acres in Burke, Cleveland and Rutherford counties. This separation from the main Blue Ridge mountain range make it closer to home for hikers that need that "quick get away" from the over populated North Carolina foot hills.

 South Mountains State Park is located in the middle of this unusual mountain range. With the acquisition of 5300 acres in 1995, it is now the largest State Park in North Carolina. 16,918 acres of  scenic beauty in a well maintained park make this one of my favorite day hiking spots. The following descriptions are two great hikes that showcase the parks great features.

As you drive the three and a half miles up the newly paved road, you may begin to wonder where the beautiful mountains are. There aren't any views of the peaks and knobs that are the back bone of this wonderful park. As soon as you leave the parking lot and start walking on the Headquaters Trail, you enter another world. After passing the picnic area and the rest rooms, the trail to Chestnut Knob is on the immediate right. As with all of the trails in this park, it is well signed. The State Park is installing new steps on this trail, making it easier to climb to the overlooks. The path is also well graded, so the steep climb to Jacobs fork Overlook, is not as difficult as it could be. Old CCC road

One of the first things you will notice is the over-abundance of dead conifers that litter the side of the hiking south mountain state park nc. Again the rangers are cutting these trees up and keeping the trail clear. Climbing the newly constructed stairs is surprisingly easy. They are well spaced, allowing for the different strides of the many hikers that make this climb. The forest that surrounds you consists primarily of oaks, hickories and poplars. This climax forest also has an understory of laurel, holly, mulberry and rhododendron. Although this upper piedmont eco-system is separated from the Blue Ridge Mountains, it very much resembles what you would find 30 miles to the north.

View of High Shoals Falls from the overlook

Chestnut Knob

After a 1/2 mile of negotiating the twists and turns of the Chestnut Knob Trail, you reach a junction with an old road. A turn to the left and a short walk of a couple of hundred feet takes you to the Jacobs Fork Overlook. From here you can see across the gorge that you just climbed from, to the High Shoals Waterfall. The sound of rushing water fills the air. You are now a little more than halfway to the Chestnut Knob overlook. This is a great place to enjoy the Hiking south mountain state park nc Shoals Waterfall without dealing with large crowds. The sound of the waterfall in the distance has a soothing effect. This makes it even harder to continue your climb to the next overlook Weather beaten trees and rocks

 

Except for a climb up some well spaced steps, the rest of the hike to the next overlook is an easy climb. The trees on this section of trail are younger than the trees at the beginning of the trail. The majority of them are hardwoods, making this a young climax forest. As you near the next overlook, the trail becomes much wider. The trail for the overlook is to the left and is much narrower than the main trail. After the turn, it is a short down hill walk to some great views. This short trail twists through some interesting rock formations.  The ground is covered with the crumbled stone and can cause a nasty fall for the unwary hiker. The weather beaten trees that grow from the cracks in the rocks add to hiking south mountain state park nc beauty of this great overlook. Dave's Tree

 

The view to the south reveals the rolling hills of the Piedmont. On a clear day, usually in the Spring or Fall, the skyline of Charlotte can be seen. To the Northwest a view of Benn's Knob and other high ridges can be viewed.

This is a great spot for a picnic or just a well deserved break from the hike to this great overlook. After lingering here to your hearts content back-track to the Headquaters Trail.View Southeast

Cool Rocks       

 

 

 

South Mountains Map

South Mountains State Park - North Carolina

Joe Kegley : E-Mail

Map of TRACK Trail at South Mountains State Park

The South Mountains State Park TRACK Trail follows the River Trail. This easy 1 mile round-trip hike features bridge crossings and scenic views of the Jacob Fork River. Keep your eyes open and have fun!

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. 

Track an adventure here
Collectible sticker for South Mountains State Park

Recreational Features: Mountain Bike Trails, Picnic Tables, Fishing, Interpretive Programs, Birding

Amenities: Restrooms, Visitor Center, Gift Shop

ADA Compliant:

Seasonality:

Adventures for South Mountains State Park

Track Adventure

Hiking

Decomposers of the Dead

Difficulty:

Easy

Trail length:

1.00

When plants and animals die, an important type of organism takes care of the mess. Scavengers and decomposers feed on dead things and return the energy to the ecosystem. Use this brochure to learn about the great and gross world of decomposers.

Download Brochure

Track Adventure

e-Adventure

Hiking

Animal Athletes

hiking south mountain state park nc Difficulty:

Easy

Trail length:

1.00

The Animal Athletes adventure challenges kids to exercise with the animals. This brochure gives kids eight different animal exercises they can do along the trail. From hummingbird hand-swings to frog hops, kids are sure to have fun getting in shape with the animals during their outdoor adventures.

Download Brochure

Track Adventure

Hiking

Salamander Safari

Difficulty:

Easy

Trail length:

1.00

Use this brochure to learn about the unique life cycles of salamanders (and newts) and how to take field notes to identify a salamander.

Download Brochure

Track Adventure

Hiking

Waterfall Wonders

Difficulty:

Easy

Trail length:

1.00

Falling water is one of the strongest forces on Earth. The sights and sounds of waterfalls are not only powerful, but beautiful. Use this brochure to uncover some of the wonders that make waterfalls so magical.

Download Brochure

Track Adventure

e-Adventure

Hiking

Nature's Hide & Seek

Difficulty:

Easy

Trail length:

merrick credit card

The Nature's Hide & Seek brochure is designed so that kids of all ages can walk along the trail and discover common things that are often overlooked in nature. Some of them are hard to find, others are easy. Best of all, the adventure never ends because every time you walk the trail you will discover new things hiding in nature.

Download Brochure

Track Adventure

Hiking

Let's Explore - ecoEXPLORE

Difficulty:

Easy

Trail length:

1.00

Scientists need your help! Use this brochure to learn how to be an ecoEXPLORER and share your nature observations with real scientists.

Download Brochure

Directions

3001 South Mountain Park Avenue

Connelly Springs, NC28612

Latitude: 35.602893700000
Longitude: -81.628881900000

Map this with my map app

For official map and directions, click here

South Mountains State Park is located in Burke County, 20.5 miles south of Morganton. From I-40, turn south on NC 18, travel 11.1 miles and make a right turn onto SR 1913 (Sugarloaf Road). Take SR 1913 to Old NC 18 4.3 miles and turn left. Travel 2.7 miles and make a right turn onto SR 1901 (Ward's Gap Road). The park is 1.4 miles off SR 1901 on SR 1904 (South Mountain Park Avenue).

Travel one mile from the beginning of South Mountain Park Avenue to the South Mountains State Park gate.

Источник: https://www.kidsinparks.com/south-mountains-state-park

Hiking south mountain state park nc -

South Mountains State Park

ACTIVITIES/RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES:

Trails, Horse Stables, Birdwatching, Fishing


AMENITIES:

General Park Amenities: Restrooms, Drinking Fountains, Seating, Picnic Tables, Grills, ADA Accessible

Pets: Allowed On-Leash

Additional Features: Visitor Center, Picnic Shelter

Trash Cans: Yes

Camping: Tent, Groups, Primitive

Camping Amenities: Running Water, Fires Allowed, Campfire Circle


TRAILS:

Trail Description: Enjoy more than 47 miles of marked trails. All trails in the park are available to hikers. There are 33 miles of equestrian trails at South Mountains State Park. South Mountains State Park is one of the few parks in the state parks system offering mountain bikers the chance to ride through the park. The 18-mile, strenuous loop trail follows old logging roads through the backcountry.

More Information

Photos, Trails, Camping, Trip Advisor


Trail Surface: Paved & Unpaved

Trail Activities: Walking, Hiking, Running/Jogging, Bicycling, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Dog Walking, Birdwatching

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Very Difficult

Trail Layout: Loop & Linear (network)

Trail Surface Type: Gravel, Natural rock, Sand/Dirt

Trail Slope: Flat/Gentle, Moderate, Steep

Trail Extras: Mountain Biking Features


OTHER:

Programming Available: Education/Ranger Programs

Park Information: Maps, Brochures, Information Kiosk

Natural Water Feature: Creek/Stream


Park Rx America
Last Updated Apr 23, 2018
Источник: https://parkrxamerica.org/m/5079/south-mountains-state-park

South Mountains State Park - North Carolina

Joe Kegley : E-Mail

Hiking in South Mountains State Park, North Carolina

Overview

The South Mountains are an isolated, majestic and rugged mountain range, arising from the gently rolling Foothills and upper Piedmont region of western North Carolina. These mountains encompass 100,000 acres in Burke, Cleveland and Rutherford counties.

The Crystal-Clear Waters of the Jacob Fork River
Staircase at High Shoals Falls

Carved out of the Blue Ridge by erosion, the mountains are actually considered to be in a different geologic belt than their nearby, much larger cousins. The South Mountains formed as a result of more erosion resistant rock interspersed with the normal Piedmont rock types. You'll find a belt of peaks and knobs, with deep valleys in between.

Hiking Trails

The most popular destination within the park, for good reason, is High Shoals Falls. The small Jacob Fork River plunges over 80 feet of rugged, sheer rock into a beautiful, blue-green pool, continuing through a steep boulder-filled gorge over numbers smaller chutes and cascades. If you plan to visit just one destination within the park, this should be it.

The High Shoals Falls Loop trail takes you to the falls and receives far and away the most use of all trails in the park. But vast areas of the park are much less frequently visited, accessible via trails such as Chestnut Knob, Upper Falls, and Raven Rock. The overlooks on Chestnut Knob, while requiring some effort to reach, offer probably the second-most visited areas with the view back down toward High Shoals Falls.

This is just an overview of the trails available in the area. For a full list of trails within the park, see the South Mountains State Park Trails Page.

High Shoals Falls Loop in the River Bottoms
Straight Section of Upper Falls Trail
High Shoals Falls Loop Begins Downhill

History

The mountains themselves served as a buffer between different groups of Native Americans - the Cherokee and Catawba. The South Mountains lie just south of the Catawba Valley, which has always been a major travel route. In fact, today, Interstate 40 follows the Catawba River closely in this area, attesting to its importance in transportation. Early European settlers farmed the fertile land along the Catawba river, likely venturing into the mountains for hunting - and, eventually, for mining.

In 1828, gold was discovered in the area, which attracted a minor gold rush. Gold was mined all the way up until the early 20th century, but eventually, activity in this area declined. Development within what is now South Mountains State Park began with Camp Dryer, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, located at Enola. Several forest service roads still in use today were constructed by workers with the CCC. Proposals for a state park began in the 1940's, with funds for purchasing the land becoming available by 1974. The first tract purchased totaled 5,774 acres, with the Park's present size at over 16,000 acres. Little other development has occurred within the area of the park, aside from most areas having been logged.

Start of the River Trail
High Shoals Falls Loop Split
Cascade Above High Shoals Falls

Amenities

Most of the park's amenities can be reached from main entrance to the park on S. Mountain Park Road. Here, you'll find the equestrian center, the campground, picnic area, main parking area, park office, restrooms, and trailhead for some of the best excursions into the mountains.

Camping/Lodging

The primitive family campground is located 1/2 mile past the park entrance, near the crystal-clear river. There are eleven campsites, each with tent pad, picnic table and fire ring. Unreserved campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. When you arrive, occupy an empty/unreserved site, and a ranger will come by to register you that evening. Alternatively, you can make a reservation by visiting the NC Parks Reservations Page. Pit toilets are available at the campground. Cost is $12/site per night.

There are 20 primitive, backcountry group campsites available within the park as well. Reservations are required, and sites can be reserved by organized groups only. The cost is $12/site per night. Contact the park for more information.

Lodging is available in the nearby towns of Hickory and Morganton.

High Shoals Falls Plunge Pool

Directions

The main entrance to South Mountains State Park is located at the end of South Mountains Park Avenue off old NC 18 in Burke County. From I-40 east or west and points north, take NC 18 (exit 105) south for just over 11 miles. Turn right on Sugar Loaf Road and go 4.2 miles. Turn left on Old NC 18 and go 2.7 miles, then turn right on Ward's Gap Road and go 1.4 miles to the Jacob Fork River bridge. Bear right on S. Mountains Park Avenue. It is 1 mile from there to the park gate, and another 2.4 miles to the parking at the picnic area.

Источник: https://www.hikewnc.info/trailheads/south-mountains-state-park/
Steve Thomas : E-Mail

South Mountain State Park is a public recreation area that runs for nearly the entire length of South Mountain through Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland. The state park is contiguous with several other national, state and local parks on the mountain, including the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Gathland State Park, Washington Monument State Park, Greenbrier State Park and Pen Mar County Park (Washington County). Maryland's 40-mile (64 km) section of the Appalachian Trail traverses the length of the park, offering access to scenic overlooks that include High Rock, Black Rock, Annapolis Rock, White Rock, and Waverton Cliffs. The park also contains part of the South Mountain Battlefield. Camping is permitted at shelters and backpackers campgrounds off the AT. The park also has two hunting areas: Black Rock Hunting Lands and Lambs Knoll Hunting Lands.

Trails in the Hikepack map

  • 50 (Maryland)
  • ADT - Maryland - Seg 4
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Appalachian Trail (MD)
  • Appalachian Trail (PA)
  • Bartmans Hill Trail
  • Bear Spring Cabin Trail
  • Big Red Trail
  • Bloody Lane
  • Bloody Lane Trail
  • Blue Mountain Road
  • Burnside Bridge
  • Camp Loop Trail
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail (Maryland)
  • Combined Trail
  • Copperhead Trail
  • Cornfield Trail
  • Final Attack Trail
  • Green Trail
  • Horse Trail
  • Jefferson National Pike
  • Jefferson Pike
  • NC 13th Infantry Memorial Trail
  • Old Burnside Bridge Road
  • Old Road
  • Old Trolley Lane
  • Overlook Cliff Trail
  • Park Service Trail
  • Rock Oak Fire Trial
  • Rohrersville Road
  • Roulette Lane
  • Snelling FIre Trail
  • Stone Fort Trail
  • Thurston Griggs Trail
  • Union Advance Trail
  • Water Tank Trail
  • White Rocks Trail

Attractions in the Hikepack map

Copyright

Источник: https://hikepack.earth/maps/US-562/South-Mountain-State-Park
South Mountains Photos

CONTINUE THE HIKE TO HIGH SHOALS FALLS    

GETTIN' THERE

South Mountain State Park is 18 miles south of Morganton. Take exit 105 from I-40 and turn left on 18 at the bottom of the ramp. Follow the signs for 18 miles. From the south you can take Highway 27 west from Lincolnton, NC. West of Lincolnton turn right on 18 and follow the signs. 

Map it with Mapquest>>

Источник: https://hikingthecarolinas.com/south.php

Hiking south mountain state park nc -

Mountain Biking South Mountains State Park

Mountain biking in the South Mountains State Park is done almost entirely on gravel roads, but ones that have deteriorated into extremely rocky doubletrack with rather challenging high-speed descents. These rocky roads offer fun climbs and descents, great views, jumps, and great speeds. The "official" loop is 18 miles in length with the first 6 being a gut-busting, leg burner of a climb. There are over 14 miles of gravel/forest roads on the loop, and the rest is smooth pavement. There is ample parking at the park and trail maps are available for free. Also included is your standard issue beautiful mountain stream, complete with 80 foot High Shoals Falls, to enjoy as and after you ride. The South Mountains area is convenient to the Charlotte area, being a little over an hour away. There are no true singletrack trails in this park open to bikes.

Thanks to Lance Anderson for the information on this page...
[email protected]

Источник: https://www.mtbikewnc.com/trailheads/south-mountains-state-park/
Home

South Mountains State Park

ACTIVITIES/RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES:

Trails, Horse Stables, Birdwatching, Fishing


AMENITIES:

General Park Amenities: Restrooms, Drinking Fountains, Seating, Picnic Tables, Grills, ADA Accessible

Pets: Allowed On-Leash

Additional Features: Visitor Center, Picnic Shelter

Trash Cans: Yes

Camping: Tent, Groups, Primitive

Camping Amenities: Running Water, Fires Allowed, Campfire Circle


TRAILS:

Trail Description: Enjoy more than 47 miles of marked trails. All trails in the park are available to hikers. There are 33 miles of equestrian trails at South Mountains State Park. South Mountains State Park is one of the few parks in the state parks system offering mountain bikers the chance to ride through the park. The 18-mile, strenuous loop trail follows old logging roads through the backcountry.

More Information

Photos, Trails, Camping, Trip Advisor


Trail Surface: Paved & Unpaved

Trail Activities: Walking, Hiking, Running/Jogging, Bicycling, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Dog Walking, Birdwatching

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Very Difficult

Trail Layout: Loop & Linear (network)

Trail Surface Type: Gravel, Natural rock, Sand/Dirt

Trail Slope: Flat/Gentle, Moderate, Steep

Trail Extras: Mountain Biking Features


OTHER:

Programming Available: Education/Ranger Programs

Park Information: Maps, Brochures, Information Kiosk

Natural Water Feature: Creek/Stream


Park Rx America
Last Updated Apr 23, 2018
Источник: https://parkrxamerica.org/m/5079/south-mountains-state-park

Best Hiking Trails in South Mountains State Park

South Mountains State Park is the largest state park in North Carolina covering more than 20,000 acres. South Mountains State park has almost 50 miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The most popular trail is the High Shoals Loop trail. The High Shoals Loop is a 2.7 mile strenuous trail that features an 80 foot waterfall. The park is very busy on weekends and holidays. See South Mountains State Park for detailed information. Trails in this park offer something for nearly every skill level from easy to very strenuous.

Once you enter the park you will come to the park offices on the right. This is a good place to visit for park info and public restrooms. Continue about 2 miles to the end of the roadwork find the main parking lot, passing several smaller parking lots including the equestrian lot. Several trailheads are located in this last parking lot including the trailhead for the high shoals loop trail. If you can only do one trail, this is the one to take. It is very strenuous. You will climb many punishing steps and get to crawl over many huge rocks. Don’t give up, your persistence will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the 80 foot falls that this park is famous for. Many people do not take the loop, but instead use this as an out and back to the falls. Check out the Park Map for parking and trailhead information. Be sure that you download your maps because there is no signal over most of the park.

Weekends and holidays are always busy. Many evenings are also busy. Mid morning hikes are when you will find the least crowds. The park is open year round and something unique can be experienced in each season from spring flowers, to warm summer days, to fall colors and even frozen falls in the winter, if it is very cold.

Camping is by permit only. Reservations are recommended for camping sites with electric hookups. Hiking permits are not required. Equestrians must provide proof of a negative equine infectious anemia.

Dogs must be on leash at all times. Trails are great for dogs able to do many steps and climb rocks. Some senior or very young dogs may struggle on the High Shoals Loop trail, but can easily do many other trails in the park.


  • Other Info: No public restrooms Fishing 2 Trails Lake View Trail 1.3 mile loop Clear Creek Trail 2.0 miles one way

Источник: https://www.gaiagps.com/hike/united-states/north-carolina/south-mountains-state-park/
Updated 11-7-2011

Jacobs Fork River, South Mountians State Park

Jacobs Fork River, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Introduction

An impressive waterfall, intimate cascades, and seasonal wildflowers await the naturalist or nature photographer within South Mountains State Park, North Carolina. The park isn't limited to those two activities either; campers, hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers, equestrians, trout fishermen, and picnickers will all find their perspective venues within the park. South Mountains State Park has a lot to offer for a variety of interests.

High Shoals Falls, South Mountians State Park

High Shoals Falls, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

The park contains over 40 miles of hiking trails with 29 miles of those open to equestrians. In addition to the family and backpacking camping areas, there is an equestrian camping area (with stables, flush toilets, and showers) conveniently located right off the entrance road in the Jacobs Fork section of the park. Note that the family camping area has only pit toilets and drinking water access. There are no showers in the family camping area. The backpacking camping sites include pit toilets.

There is a 17 mile loop for mountain bikers and miles of streams classified as wild trout water (two miles are classified as delayed harvest trout water) for fishermen.

The Jacobs Fork picnic area includes tables, grills, and restroom facilities with flush toilets. Across the parking lot from the Jacobs Fork picnic area is a 10-12 table picnic shelter that includes grills and a fireplace. The shelter is first-come first-serve unless you make a reservation. The Shiny Creek picnic area requires a half mile hike from the parking lot and includes a couple of tables and grills, but no restroom facilities.

A modern visitor center greets guests entering the Jacobs Fork section of the park. The visitor center includes a large relief map of the park as its center piece, along with restrooms, an auditorium, and a nature display describing the local habitat and wildlife. Various brochures and maps concerning the park can be picked up at the visitor center. Fees for camping can be paid at this location also.

While the rich assortment of activities available at South Mountains State Park are impressive, it's the wildflowers and waterfalls that provide a bonanza of photographic opportunities that keep the photographer coming back. It's a great place to obtain images for your wildflower portfolio or simply practice getting that creamy/misty look on your cascade and waterfall captures.


Jacobs Fork Cascades

Jacobs Fork Cascades, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Jacobs Fork Waterfall

Jacobs Fork Waterfall, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Wildflowers

South Mountains State Park has a plethora of wildflowers available during the spring and summer months. As nature photographers, we get the most excited about the ephemerals that bloom in early spring before the leaves form on the trees and block the sunlight to the ground. After a tough cold winter, it's a great excuse to get out of the house while it's still cold and observe these fascinating blooms. You can start looking mid-March for the ephemeral wildflowers at the park and continue searching through April.

We explored only a small portion of the park's trails during the spring, but we found an abundance of wildflowers for the attentive. Almost all the plants we observed/photographed were within a couple of miles from the parking area. In fact the Hemlock Nature Trail produced some of the best looking Bloodroot I've seen and I could see my vehicle the whole time I was shooting.

Trails we explored for wildflowers included the Hemlock Nature Trail, the River Trail, the High Shoals Falls Loop Trail (including the Upper Falls Campsites), and the Shinny Trail (up to the Shinny Creek Campsites). We highly recommend you stop by the visitor center on your way in and pick up a pamphlet listing the wildflowers found in the park. The pamphlet lists the common name, the scientific name, a general location where the plant can be found, and an estimated bloom date.

Wildflowers we observed in spring included the following: Round-lobed Hepatica, Sharp-lobed Hepatica, Bloodroot, Foamflower, Giant Chickweed, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Common Blue Violets, Halberd-leaved Violets, Sweet White Violet, Birdfoot Violet, Gaywings, Wood Anemone, Crested Dwarf Iris, Vernal Dwarf Iris, Bluestar, Mayapple, Wild Geranium, Wake-robin Trillium, Catesby's Trillium, Yellow Lady's Slipper, and Pink Lady's Slipper.

Sharp-lobed Hepatica, South Mountians State Park

Sharp-lobed Hepatica, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Bloodroot, South Mountians State Park

Bloodroot, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Bloodroot Blossom, South Mountians State Park

Bloodroot Blossom, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley


Wake-robin Trillium, South Mountians State Park

Wake-robin Trillium, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Catesby Trillium, South Mountians State Park

Catesby Trillium, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley


Sweet White Violet, South Mountians State Park

Sweet White Violet, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Halberd-leaved Violet, South Mountians State Park

Halberd-leaved Violet, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley


Wood Anemone, South Mountians State Park

Wood Anemone, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Wild Geranium, South Mountians State Park

Wild Geranium, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Orchids

In addition to the early bloomers, two often sought after species within the park include the Yellow Lady's Slipper and the Pink Lady's Slipper. It's easy to see where these orchids get their common name; the lip of the flower forms a pouch or "slipper".

Supposedly orchids are the largest family of flowering plants on earth with tens of thousands of species, though few are as showy in the southeastern US as the lady's slippers. A few other orchids listed in the park pamphlet but not observed include Showy Orchid, Downy Orchid, Cranefly Orchid, and Yellow Fringed Orchid.

Yellow Lady's Slipper close-up, South Mountians State Park

Yellow Lady's Slipper close-up, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Yellow Lady's Slipper, South Mountians State Park

Yellow Lady's Slipper, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Pink Lady's Slipper, South Mountians State Park

Pink Lady's Slipper, South Mountians State Park - Steve Thomas

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

South Mountains State Park is not without its problems, specifically the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (also known as HWA). Like the Appalachians, some of the eastern hemlocks within the park are infested with this small aphid-like insect. A native to Asia, the pest poses a significant threat to the eastern hemlock and the Carolina hemlock. The hemlock woolly adelgid feeds on the sap near the base of the tree's needles which disrupts nutrient flow and eventually kills the tree. The presence of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is easily detected by the cotton ball like filaments found on the leaves which is used to protect itself and its eggs. See the image below.

There are a few chemical methods at combating the pest, though all are expensive - requiring manpower and re-application. The one employed by the park is called soil drenching. Soil drenching involves temporarily removing the duff from around the base of the tree then pouring an insecticidal treatment around the tree. The chemical is then absorbed by the tree through the root system. Treatments may remain effective up to three years. Trees that have been treated are recorded and tagged (see image below) so that subsequent applications can be applied within the specified time frame. Obviously the state park system (and the national park system) doesn't have the resources to treat every hemlock within their jurisdiction. It's a very sad situation.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, South Mountians State Park

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Tagged Eastern Hemlock, South Mountians State Park

Tagged Eastern Hemlock, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Biological control of the hemlock woolly adelgid is being tested in other parts of the US. There are two exotic beetle species that appear to feed exclusively on the adelgid. Various universities are studying and rearing the beetles for the sole purpose of controlling the insect. Beetles have been released in a few areas within national forests and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wilderness Experience Perspective

Stone Stairs on Trail, South Mountians State Park

Stone Stairs on the Trail, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

There are plenty of trails where you can find solitude and wilderness adventure within the park, but the High Shoals Falls Trail isn't one of those. The park is very popular on the weekends with most folks walking to the falls. Though during the week, the High Shoals Falls Trail isn't too bad and company is usually infrequent.

Did we mention there are a lot of stairs on route to the top of the falls? High Shoals Falls is about one mile from the parking lot and the stairs don't start until maybe 3/4 of the way up. But once you get to that section you'll notice there's a lot of them, and they're steep. The stairs are a mix of stone and wooden staircases, with many twisting and turning in route. While the actual distance is probably not very far, when walking them they seem to go on forever. This is not a trail for the physically challenged.

While you might think man-made structures such as the stairs would be a distraction in a natural setting, this is not the case whatsoever. The state park has done a wonderful job of creating a rustic unobtrusive medium for reaching the top of the falls. The twisting stairs blend in perfectly with the surroundings and actually appear to complement the environment. We give a thumbs up to the look and feel of the stairs. But note ... they are a tough climb. Be very careful during wet conditions.

We also give a thumbs up to the wilderness experience that can be enjoyed within the park, just realize you won't find it on the High Shoals Falls Loop Trail.


Winding Stairs on Trail, South Mountians State Park

Winding Stairs on the Trail, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Wooden Stairs on Trail, South Mountians State Park

Wooden Stairs on the Trail, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley


The Last Stairs to the Top of the Falls, South Mountians State Park

The Last Stairs to the Top of the Falls - Joe Kegley

More Stairs on Trail, South Mountians State Park

More Stairs on the Trail, South Mountians State Park - Joe Kegley

Photography Perspective

While game animals such as wild turkey and deer are occasionally observed, and birding's not too bad either, those generally aren't the draw for nature photographers here. The reason a nature photographer comes to South Mountains State Park is for the splendid water vistas (cascades and waterfalls) and wildflowers.

Nature photography at the park can further be split into two seasons: spring for the wildflowers, and fall for the cascades and waterfalls. Spring is fairly obvious for the wildflowers. What fall offers is additional color in your images and the fallen leaves can complement an already interesting water composition.

Suggested focal lengths for the water vistas range from 16 to 200mm. The river images on this page were taken with either a 16-35mm or a 24-70mm. A longer length (up to 200mm) would be appropriate to shoot some of the cascades that are hard to physically access, though there are plenty to shoot closer using the smaller focal lengths. The title image was shot off the River Trail; the waterfalls were shot from the High Shoals Falls Trail.

Suggested focal lengths for the wildflowers range from 60 to 200mm depending on the size of the subject or scope of the composition. Many of the wildflower images on this page were taken with a Sigma 150mm macro lens.

Gear/equipment Suggestions

  • Camping Equipment - should you wish to camp at the park campground or backpack.

  • Sturdy Hiking Shoes/boots - some areas are very rocky and the area can be muddy.

Location and Points of Interest

South Mountains State Park (Google interactive map)

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right double click to zoom out
click and drag to move
hover over markers to see descriptions

Additional Information



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South Mountains State Park ... a nature, wildlife, and photography perspective.

Источник: http://www.wildlifesouth.com/Locations/NorthCarolina/South-Mountains-State-Park.html
hiking south mountain state park nc

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