High Shoals Falls Loop Trail
Lower Falls
Mid Falls
Upper Falls

My brother came for a visit in May 2017 specifically to camp out. First we warmed up with a stroll up Bakers Mountain on the day of his arrival after a 12 hour drive down from Indiana. The next day we hiked to the High Shoals Falls in the South Mountain Park via the .3 mile Hemlock Nature Trail following the High Shoals Falls Loop for .5 miles to the falls. We climb the steps 80 feet to the top of the falls and followed the High Shoals Loop trail for another .6 miles to the Upper Falls Trail. We took this trail for one mile to the Headquarters Trail, following that for 1.9 miles back to the High Shoals Falls Loop for another .5 miles to the parking lot. The entire hike was a total of 4.8 miles that afternoon.

Note: Click on the pictures for a larger view or here to scroll through the photo gallery consisting of 57 photos.
  • The Start of the Trail

    This is the trailhead of the High Shoals Falls Loop Trail starting at the Jacob Fork Parking lot. Not shown on the picture is the trailhead of the Hemlock Nature Trail just to the left of the Backpackers sign. The Hemlock Nature Trail trailhead is pictured below.

  • Hemlock Nature Trail

    The Hemlock Nature Trail is a heavily wooded walk that follows the Jacob Fork River. It is a pleasant leisurely trail intended for educating visitors about the ecosystem of the South Mountain Park area.

  • Hemlock Nature Trail

    The Hemlock Nature Trail has many displays with interesting information about the forest ecosystem along the trail.

  • The Climb to the Falls

    The climb to the top of the falls is a collection of steps made of stone and wooden steps. Some of the stone steps are man-made while others are natural.

  • The Falls

    The picture to the left is the pool formed at the top of the falls. The three below are at different elevations as you climb the trail. The last picture (bottom-right) is the 80 foot drop.

  • Spawning Butterflies

    We came across some spawning butterflies. According to the lady at the Visitorís Center they favor spawning over dung. Not sure what they choose here as I didnít examine it closely. I was unable to get a focused shot as they vibrate their wings while mating. The bachelor butterfly came out beautifully because he was not participating in the spawning ritual.

  • Rise Calculation

    Using a topographical map I did some calculation and determined the grade (steepness) of the trail to the top of the falls to be 15%. This is approximately the grade of a standard household stairway, only the distance traveled on the trail is much greater. The calculations are demonstrated on the image to the left. It is best viewed by clicking on the image to bring up a larger view in a separate window. Just close that window when finished checking my math.

  • South Mountain Park Maps

    The falls are represented by the 'point of interest' symbol; an arrow pointing to an asterisk, towards the bottom portion of the yellow highlighted trail .