Hiking the South Mountains' Jacob Fork

North Carolina Jacob Fork River Trailhead

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.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Water
  • Camera
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

9 months ago


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.

9 months ago

Added by Holden LeCroy

Sports fanatic, weather geek and outdoor enthusiast. I love and life for my family, friends and the outdoors.

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