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:
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

Animal Athletes brochure

South Mountains: Animal Athletes

Trail length:
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 lizard pushups, kids are sure to have fun getting in shape with the animals during their outdoor adventures.
Bug Out brochure

South Mountains: Bug Out

Trail length:
The "Bug Out" brochure is an investigation into the creepy crawlies of the forest. This adventure will help kids learn how to tell the difference between insects, spiders and other arthropods... as well as identify some of the more common bugs along the trail.
Nature's Hide and Seek brochure

South Mountains: Hide n Seek

Trail length:
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.
Nature's Relationships brochure

South Mountains: Nature's Relationships

Trail length:
In the Nature's Relationships brochure you will discover how everything in nature is connected... even us. As you walk along the trail, the brochure will tell you a story about a few of the relationships that can be found. Many more relationships exist, so keep your eyes and heart open and you will discover many of nature's relationships - even yours.


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.



The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The South Mountains State Park TRACK Trail was made possible through a partnership formed with North Carolina State Parks.