Hiking the South Mountains' Jacob Fork

Added by Holden LeCroy

Distance: 3 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 900+ ft. Beautiful views of mountains and rivers. Lots of wildlife.

The journey begins at the Cicero Branch Parking Area along South Mountain Road, following Jacob Fork River Trail. The trail runs along the Fork before ascending Chestnut Knob. After completing the trail, you will find yourself on the highest peak of the South Mountain chain, where there are breathtaking views.

The trail starts out with an easy walk along the river, but becomes slightly more challenging as you head up the mountain. It is a half mile from the first parking area to the second, the Jacob Fork Parking Area. After you reach the second parking area, you will walk along a short trail beside restrooms and an amphitheater for about .25 miles. From there, take the Chestnut Knob Trail on the right for about 2 miles, and you'll find yourself looking over a mystical mountain chain.

You can drive to the second parking lot to avoid the first half mile, but that first leg does have great opportunities to see wildlife and vegetation along Jacob Fork.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Awesome

If you're hiking for scenery than this isn't the hike for you. Once you finish the strenuous hike the scenery is gorgeous but along the 4.5 mile trail, all you see is trees.

Stay Nearby

Union Mills, North Carolina

Happy Tales Campsite

Happy Tales Campsite is located on the grounds of an incredible animal sanctuary nestled in the foothills of the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains! We rescue and house any animals who have been aban...

From $108/night

Newland, North Carolina

Linville Falls Campground

Overview Located in a dense pine canopy, within hiking distance of Linville Gorge and along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls Campground is an ideal location for your next family campin...

Old Fort, North Carolina

Log Cabin In Gated Community W/ Mountain Views

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Nestled in the quiet seclusion of a gated wildlife preserve, this three-sto...

From $332/night

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Riverside Cabin Retreat With Hot Tub Near Lake

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Offering blissful seclusion, this beautiful 3BR/2BA log home in Lake Lure s...

From $82/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack to Sawtooth Campground in South Mountains SP

    This 8.5-mile total trip will take you through the highlights of South Mountains State Park with an overnight stay in one of the drier campsites.  You'll start with a 2.7 mile loop that you can do sans packs before picking up with a 3-mile each wa...

    8.5 miles 1500 ft gain

  • Hike to High Shoals Falls

    From the Jacob Fork parking area in South Mountains State Park, it is a short 1 mile walk over the Jacob River to the High Shoals Waterfall (80'). If you choose to continue past the observation deck, High Shoals Falls Trail (blue circle) climbs up...

    2.7 miles

  • Explore Lake James State Park

    The park has about 15 miles of trails with different levels of difficulties . Hiked the Lake Channel Trail  along the lake with good views of the lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Hiked the Mill's creek trail which is nicely shaded and offers go...

  • Hike to the Summit of Shortoff Mountain

    Start your hike from the Shortoff Mountain Trail off of Wolf Pit Road at the base of Lake James. From the summit there is a small grassy area off a side trail that provided awesome cliff side views of the Gorge and Linville River! You can setup af...

    4.4 miles 1321 ft gain