High Shoals Falls

3 reviews #6 hike out of 13 in
2.5 mi
1 hrs 14 min
512 ft
Elev Gain


This is a moderate out and back trail to High Shoals Falls in South Mountains State Park. It is a very popular hike featuring a beautiful creek, 80-foot waterfall, and towering rocks.

This trail goes by Jacob Fork Overlook.

Follow the Hemlock or HQ trail from the parking area along the creek and about 0.5 miles in, there will be a sign for High Shoals Falls. Approximately one mile from the parking area, and after climbing a lot of stairs, you will reach the viewing area for the falls. Continue up a steep and very slippery set of stairs to the top of the falls. Use caution and stay on trail as this is a very dangerous and steep area. You can continue up past the falls on a marked trail to make a loop, but many people simply turn around at this point and return the way they came.

Getting Started

The trailhead is located in the Jacob Fork Parking Area at South Mountains State Park. From Morganton, NC, take exit 105 on I-40 and follow the brown and white signs to the park. The park is approximately 20 miles south of I-40. From Charlotte, NC, take Hwy 27 West to Hwy 18 North and follow the brown and white signs to the park. The park is approximately 10 miles from the intersection of Hwys 27 and 18. Once you enter the park, drive to the end of the road to the Ranger Station and Jacob Fork Parking Area.

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