South Mountains State Park — High Shoals Waterfall/HQTrail Loop

Casar, North Carolina

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
When I asked the park ranger to recommend a loop hike encompassing the popular High Shoals Waterfall, the park’s signature attraction, she took the trail map and outlined two options. There was the High Shoals Falls Loop of about 2.5 miles or the Upper Falls Trail combined with the H.Q. Trail for a total of 5 miles. “Of course,” she added, “the gate closes at 8:00.” It was just 5:30. What, I wondered, was she trying to say? Turns out she was simply trying to say this is one challenging 5-mile trail.
100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina

by Joe Miller (The Mountaineers Books)

When I asked the park ranger to recommend a loop hike encompassing the popular High Shoals Waterfall, the park’s signature attraction, she took the trail map and outlined two options.

There was the High Shoals Falls Loop of about 2.5 miles or the Upper Falls Trail combined with the H.Q. Trail for a total of 5 miles. “Of course,” she added, “the gate closes at 8:00.” It was just 5:30. What, I wondered, was she trying to say? Turns out she was simply trying to say this is one challenging 5-mile trail.

©  Joe Miller/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Casar
Distance: 5
Elevation Gain: 1,237 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: Best in Summer
Features: Waterfalls
Local Maps: USGS Benn Knob, Morganton South
Driving Directions: Directions to South Mountains State Park — High Shoals Waterfall/H.Q.Trail Loop

Recent Trail Reviews

1/16/2010
0

I did this hike for the first time with my trusted companion. There was still a little snow on the ground, so it took a little longer, but the views were great and the park was wonderful. Here is the path we took: H.Q. Trail to the Possum Trail, Possum Trail to the Horseridge Trail, Horseridge Trail to the Sawtooth Tail, Sawtooth Tail to the Chestnut Knob Trail, Chestnut Knob Trail back to the H.Q. Trail. The hike was a little under 7 miles and it took us 3 hrs and 15 mins with two 20 min stops.


4/14/2008
0

The day started sunny but quickly became overcast and cool. Bear weather. This trail has great variety in topography, trail type, and flora. Excellent falls, some just-off-trail swimming hole opportunities, and not much in the way of traffic (at least on a Monday morning in mid-April.) The first 1/2 mile is your hardest climb, from there on I'd say it's moderate to easy going.



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Apr 2018