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South Mountains State Park

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

Location Details

Recreational Features: Mountain Bike Trails, Picnic Tables, Fishing, Interpretive Programs, Birding
Amenities: Restrooms, Visitor Center, Gift Shop
ADA Compliant:
Seasonality:
Rocky stream through the forest
Kids in Parks trailhead sign with brochures
Wooden bridge over stream
Trail along rocky stream
Small waterfall in a stream
Bridge over a rocky stream
Kids in Parks trailhead with activity brochures
A fork in the path
Nature Play Station 1
Nature Play Station 2
Nature Play Station 3

Adventures for South Mountains State Park

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.
Hiking

Animal Athletes

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.
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.
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.
Hiking

Nature's Hide & Seek

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
1.00
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.
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.

Directions

3001 South Mountain Park Avenue
Connelly Springs, NC 28612
Latitude: 35.602893700000
Longitude: -81.628881900000

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.

Partners

This TRACK Trail was made possible through a partnership formed with North Carolina State Parks, South Mountains State Park, and with funding provided by the BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation.