High Shoals Falls seemed like an eminently doable hike when I looked at the map of the trails available at South Mountains State Park in North Carolina. I decided to go early in the morning, skipping breakfast to beat the crowds that typically arrive later in the morning.
Wow, this place was an unexpected treat! I picked it over the nearby Kings Mountain State Park in South Carolina because a photographer I follow had posted some photos from here that looked amazing.
I’ve probably camped in South Carolina more than any other southern state in the last six years, and there’s a good reason why. Actually there are about 33 reasons why: the South Carolina state parks that offer overnight camping!
It’s one of my favorite times of the year in the American South, that few weeks where the mountain laurel blooms in abundance, lining the roads and trails with their graceful bouquets of white and pink colors.
The weekend campers arrived right on schedule late Friday afternoon, big pickup trucks with brightly colored plastic kayaks strapped to the roof. backing boxy white trailers into campsites, and then setting up their awnings and lights, chairs and tables. They are all getting ready to enjoy the next two nights way out here on a peninsula of a big freshwater lake created by the US Army Corps of Engineers, who were thoughtful enough to put a tiny campground next to the water, complete with a boat launch and a swimming beach. Down at the lakeside sites with no hookups, cars…