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South Mountain State Park Camping Trip with Hiking & Optional Yoga

  • May 24, 2013 · 4:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

South Mountain State Park Camping Trip with Hiking & Optional Yoga

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. Witness the roar of a waterfall as it pours into a large pool. Backpack through the woodlands for primitive camping. Fish for trout in miles of mountain streams, hike and explore miles of trails and cook and sleep under the stars.

Important Information (Updated[masked]):

The camp site I have reserved can hold a limited number of tents. I will start with 12 spots but it will be helpful for me know the number of people that will be occupying your tent so that I can open more spots if there is room for more tents.  Please note this information on your RSVP.

Here is a link to the south Mountain state park Rules & regulations:

http://ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/somo/rules.php

Here is a link to read for Bear Safety:

http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/black_bear.php

Here is a link to a south mountain Map:

http://ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/somo/directions.php

Here is a link to a good R.E.I.back packing check list:

http://www.rei.com/content/dam/documents/pdf/backpacking.pdf

Directions & Arrival Information:

To get to 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. (Lat:[masked] Lon:[masked])

As you enter the park you will first need to stop and register at the park office.
Campers must record the tag numbers of all vehicles that will be left overnight in the park, at the park office.

If you plan to fish, NC state fishing license (basic) and special trout fishing license are required. Licenses are not sold at the park.

Please arrive a minimum of 1 hour prior to sunset to allow time to get to the camping area before dark (Preferably between 4 and 6 pm).

Please note, alcoholic beverages, firearms (including fireworks) and other weapons are prohibited except that those with a proper permit may possess a concealed handgun in permitted areas.

There is approximately a 1.25 mile Back Pack to the campsite. (Once I know who is attending I will send out campsite information via e-mail prior to the trip.)

Suggested Weekend Itinerary:

Friday:

· Arrive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm (at least one hour prior to dark so that you can set up camp). As mentioned in the Arrival Information above, you will need to register your vehicle at the Rangers Station before heading to the parking area. At the station you can get your directions to the campsite. I will also be sending out a campground map and Camp Site Number once I know who is planning to attend. Some of you may be heading to the park directly after work but try to leave yourself enough daylight hours to backpack in and set up camp.

· Backpack 1.2 miles to campsite

· 7:00pm or 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm wood gathering for camp fire, Dinner (depending on what time you arrive), camp fire fun.

· 10:30 or 11:00 pm (depending on how tired you are) we can head to bed.

Saturday:

· Breakfast at your leisure

· 9:00 am Optional Yoga Stretches

I am a certified yoga instructor so we can throw down a yoga towel or mat and do some light stretching and a few sun salutations to greet the day for those interested.

· 10:30 am – 5:00 pm Chestnut Knob Loop Hike (See below):

Chestnut Knob Loop Hike Description:This quiet, 6.5-mile loop through North Carolina South Mountain State Park rewards dayhikers and backpackers with several above-the-trees overlooks to surrounding mountains and distant falls.

Start heading west on the High Shoals Falls Loop trail through Canadian hemlocks and white pines for 0.2 mile before turning north onto the Chestnut Knob trail. The route then ascends up a south facing slope past forest recovering from beetle kill. At mile 0.8, check out an overlook of Jacob Fork River Gorge for a distant view High Shoals Falls. Back on the main route, the climbing continues.

About 2 miles in, take a left to head up to the Chestnut Knob overlook which boasts views of Ravens Rock to the southwest, and nearby Benn Knob. Hikers are rewarded with a sublime sea of foliage from this spot. After inhaling the views, head back to the loop and start descending to the north. Turn right at the Sawtooth Trail intersection and continue on the dirt road. At mile 2.7, a spur trail leads to the Sawtooth campsites.

The trail then passes by a prescribed burn area, before crossing an old boundary line, which is evident as the forest composition changes. The trail ascends lightly, crossing a stream and soon thereafter meets the Upper CCC trail at mile 4. Take a right here and descend to the Little River Trail. Continue over a wooden bridge and enjoy views to the east, on the way back to the trailhead.

From the parking lot this hike is approximately 6.5 miles and is rated strenuous.

Please wear hiking boots or trail runners and bring trekking poles if you have them. You may also want to have raingear just in case we get showers and wear something that you can get wet in. We will be splashing in the creek along the way.

Please pack snacks, water (At least 3 litres), and lunch (if desired). You may want to have bug spray handy just in case.

· 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm wood gathering for camp fires Sat night and water gathering (I plan to bring a small pump for pumping water out of the creek. You might want to plan to bring one also or a straw filter (check with R.E.I. if you do not have these items)

· 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm (Give or Take) Gather for dinner (I plan to get light weight Freeze dried meals from R.E.I. since we are backpacking in. We can hang out in front of the camp fire, share tales of your favorite hiking / camping adventures, hang out, roast marshmallows, makes s’mores, tell ghost stories…..whatever camp related fun and games we want to have J

· 10:30 pm or whenever, we can head to our tents to crash

Sunday:

· Breakfast at your leisure

· 9:00 am Optional Yoga Stretches (Optional)

We can throw down a yoga towel or yoga mat and do some Vinyasa flow.

· 10:30 am – 12:00 am take down campsite and back pack to the Jacobs Fork Parking Lot (you will need to keep out a daypack with water and snacks for the High Shoals Falls hike below).

· 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm High Shoals Falls Hike beginning at the Jacobs Fork Parking Lot (see below)

High Shoals Falls Hike Description: This is probably the most popular hike at South Mountains State Park.

We will follow either the Hemlock or HQ trail away from the parking area and upstream. After about half a mile we’ll 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. Along that mile are several places along the streams to play on the rocks and cool your feet.

Another set of stairs will take us to the top to see the falls from above. There are places where we can get wet and cool off! Afterward we will 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 Lot.

This hike is approximately 5 miles and is rated Moderate with a total 1245 ft. Elev. Gain.

Please wear hiking boots or trail runners and bring trekking poles if you have them and water shoes. You may also want to wear something that you can get wet in. We will be splashing in the creek along the way.

Please pack snacks, water (At least 3 litres), and lunch (if desired). You may want to have bug spray handy just in case.

Bring a change of dry clothes for your ride back home.

· Approximately 6:00 pm Head back Home after a fantastic Camping weekend!

Join or login to comment.

  • Lori

    It was a wonderful weekend! The weather was perfect, and I had a great time hanging out with everyone. I'm looking forward to some fun adventures with you guys in the future. :) I really liked having the yoga before our hike on Saturday. Thanks, Doreen, for organizing a great camping/hiking weekend.

    May 28, 2013

  • Doreen

    Thanks to everyone for the fantastic photographs!! Looking at them takes me back to our wonderful adventure all over again! :) You guys ROCK!

    May 27, 2013

  • Chris

    Had a great time this weekend! It's was good to meet everyone, hope to do it again sometime soon!!! Doreen, Thanks for setting things up and sharing some yoga with us, it was fun :)

    1 · May 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great planning. Great weather. Great location and great people. Nice meeting everyone.

    1 · May 27, 2013

  • Meg

    I had a wonderful time! The park is beautiful and the company was great! Thanks to Doreen for organizing us and leading yoga & hikes!

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • Doreen

    This camping trip was just a blast! I enjoyed getting together with my friends and loved meeting such cool new people as well. I am certain to invite you all to future outdoor adv
    entures!

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • Michael L.

    Great destination, great organization, good people, and awesome weather. What could be better??

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fantastic. Had a great time and met fun people.

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • Kelly E.

    Thank you, Doreen, for planning such a great trip. Jim, Bonna and I had a great time and I hope we can do it again really soon!

    May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone traveling up from Charlotte?

    May 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Unfortuntely, jus saw this response.

      May 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for the offer. I will have to keep my eye out for the next trip!

      May 24, 2013

  • Doreen

    Regarding Ren's question, the park will let you know if you pay them or me. Each person should plan to bring a $2.00 cash and a little extra if you are overprepared like me. The site is reserved under my name so please don't "dis" me ;) Everyone will either pay me (the first 5 people) or pay the office, no exceptions, K? Thanks!!

    May 24, 2013

  • Doreen

    Final Clarification, the first 5 campers to arrive at the site will not have to pay at the office, you will need to pay me $2.00 when you see me, (pretty please :) My reservation included 5. The 6th person and on will pay $2.00 at the park office. See you soon!

    May 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      How do we know? Will the park office let us know?

      May 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Doreen

    Sorry, forgot to say it will just be me in the tent. It's a three man tent if anyone needs to share.

    Paul

    May 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks paul. See you soon.

      May 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Paul, I'm going to try a new hammock that I purchased. Weather looks good. Hopefully there are a few trees I can set it up between. Looks like a great weekend for this trip. Night looks to be around 50 degrees.

      May 23, 2013

  • Kelly E.

    Jim and I will be coming with our dog, Bonna. We'll all be in the same tent. :) Looking forward to it and to meeting you all.

    May 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Doreen

    Will we need to pack in our own water?

    May 23, 2013

    • Doreen

      I am bringing a small water filter so I don't have to carry mine in. You can do whichever you prefer. R.E.I. has a filtered straw that you can get pretty inexpensively.

      May 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm bringing in a 3lt bag but there's a stream next to the campsite that's pretty fast flowing if I'm thinking about the same campground. I'm planning to see what REI Pineville has tonight, but my fallback is iodine tablets since they are lightweight and this is a short trip.

      May 23, 2013

  • Doreen

    Hey Everybody, heads up. You will get one final email later today with campsite information. I am not posting this information to keep it PRIVATE. Please be discrete. Looking forward to meeting everyone!!

    May 23, 2013

  • Michael L.

    Hi did I miss an email? Doreens text above says we'd be getting a campsite name and number..??

    May 22, 2013

  • Jeremy

    Must cancel. I was looking forward to it. Family matter. Please post photos from the trails.

    May 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Already hiking the AT. Have fun!

    1 · April 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Dennis cove to 91 :-)

      May 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You guys would be booking it. I'm guessing you have Memorial day too. Have you done that section before?

      May 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want highlight that there are a few places to get wet and play. Swim wear and towels should be brought.

    May 22, 2013

    • Doreen

      Yes, its in my description! Lots of water so bring swim wear and water shoes if you want to take a dip :)

      May 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Who wants to carpool from Charlotte? I'm taking a half day off but can leave anytime. Even later. I'm in the Ballantyne area.

    May 21, 2013

    • ann

      Hi Ren, I would like to car pool, I'm in southwest near Lake Wylie area, where do you want to meet ? I'm off this Friday so can meet you around noon time or so, let me know.

      May 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Ann, Sounds great do you want to come to Ballantyne or meet somewhere along the way near 77/485? Give me a call. [masked]

      May 22, 2013

  • Dawn C.

    Sorry but something has come up and I can't go.

    May 20, 2013

  • Kelly E.

    Hi everyone. My husband and I may be interested. Are dogs allowed on this trip?

    May 19, 2013

    • Doreen

      Hi Kelly, yes, well behaved dogs are allowed abut please have a leash in case you need it along the way.

      1 · May 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately have to cancel - moving into a new apartment and lots to do that weekend. Hope you have a great weekend and look forward to meeting everyone another time!

    May 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking to carpool with someone coming from Uptown. Anyone available?

    May 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just moved from Amsterdam, hope to have my camping gear arrive in time! :)

    May 7, 2013

  • Chris

    Hey Doreen, Lori and I are in. Sounds like fun. Just one tent here.

    May 5, 2013

  • Chris

    Hey Doreen, Lori and I are in. Sounds like fun.

    May 5, 2013

  • Doreen

    Fyi, we have a communal food locker that we will be required to use. No food is to be stored in your tent whatsoever. This is just common sense precautions. Bears have a great sense of smell and for everyone's safety let's all plan to use the locker. According to the park office trees are not always a deterrant. South Mt bears are SMART!

    1 · April 30, 2013

  • Michael L.

    One thing the poster did not mention (unless I missed it) is that there are bears living in South Mountain and bear safety rules need to be followed (I emailed the park to verify).

    Primarily, this means you can't store any food or scented items (toothpaste, medicines, soap, deodorant, perfume, garbage, etc, etc) in your tent or anywhere in the campsite. It also means you can't leave food debris in or around the camp fire (food crumbs, fat or juices from cooked items, etc)

    Some of their campsites have food storage lockers, and if so, we can each put our food bags in there.

    I do not know if the one we are going to does or not (Maybe the original poster could answer this?)

    If it doesn't then we all need to bring food bags and be prepared to hang our food in trees away from camp.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone, by the way!

    1 · April 30, 2013

    • Doreen

      Hi Michael! Yes, it does matter and you must have been the one who put this bug in my ear late last night! I had South Mt Park office on my list to call today to verify if our campsite has a food storage locker. Thanks for outlining the safety guidlines. FYI, I will be either sending via email or posting campground regulations, a map, and whatever safety guidlines the park can offer. This will be sent or posted very soon. I highly recommend for new campers that you print out a supply list for Camping to use as a packing list. There are lots out there on the internet. More details to follow very soon. :)

      1 · April 30, 2013

    • Michael L.

      :) Thanks for the follow-up, and for the upcoming email you will send. I'm sort of a stickler for keeping a clean camp.

      April 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Camping and Yoga. Great combo. I can't wait.

    April 29, 2013

    • Doreen

      I agree! It will be fun to practice a few balancing poses along the trails and streams, too :) Just no falling in, LOL

      April 29, 2013

  • Doreen

    If anyone has extra equipment to loan please post it, if you are willing. Tents are always appreciated!

    April 29, 2013

  • Doreen

    Awesome! Let's see if anyone needs to take advantage of this. Thank you!!

    April 29, 2013

  • Meg

    Sounds like a great weekend! I can bring a tent that has room for 1 or 2 other ladies.

    April 29, 2013

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