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young girls at Kings Mountain State Park

5 Things To Do at

Kings Mountain State Park

Set amid scenic terrain in York County is Kings Mountain State Park, not to be confused with its next-door neighbor Kings Mountain National Military Park

A visit to this South Carolina state park offers scenic relaxation and exciting excursions outside of bustling areas like Charlotte, North Carolina. Below are five exciting things you can do at Kings Mountain State Park that will make your visit one to remember.

trading post at kings mountain state park
Kings Mountain State Park

1. Take a Hike

Explore the natural beauty of Kings Mountain State Park. Ideal for hiking enthusiasts, the South Carolina state park offers diverse trails for varying skill levels. The Kings Mountain Hiking Trail is a 16-mile loop that meanders through hardwood forest, tracing the path alongside a stream that leads to the Kings Mountain battlefield. Along the way, hikers can spot notable landmarks, including a fire tower and a horse trail, adding to the varied experience of the journey.

For an easier excursion, the accessible, 1.2-mile Kings Mountain Nature Trail commences at the Kings Mountain State Park picnic area and makes a loop through a thick hardwood forest. Keep an eye out for local wildlife such as deer, rabbits, wild turkeys and various bird species along the way.

family walking a trail at kings mountain state park
Kings Mountain State Park

2. Ride Horseback 

Kings Mountain State Park isn’t just limited to hiking trails; it offers more than 30 miles of equestrian trails where you can bring your own horse and ride through the park’s beautiful natural surroundings. The Kings Mountain Horse Trail offers an easy to moderately difficult ride, featuring flat stretches, occasional rocky areas and clay spots. Maintained by a local saddle club, the trail ensures solid footing, especially during ridge climbs. Traverse through rolling hills, granite outcroppings and small mountains called monadnocks, providing breathtaking views in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

(Note: If you plan to bring your horse, learn more about the South Carolina equine regulations for more information.)  

3. Cast a Line

If you’d prefer a calming day by the water, the park offers two serene fishing lakes. Fish for bass, bream, crappie, and catfish by renting a jon boat on the expansive 65-acre Lake York within the park. Bank fishing is also permitted along the shores of the 13-acre Lake Crawford. Just be sure to secure your fishing license before rigging your rod—a South Carolina license is required. 

4. Participate in Living History Demonstrations

One of the unique attributes of Kings Mountain State Park is its Living History Farm. Throughout the year, the park organizes living history demonstrations at this farm, giving visitors a tangible taste of what life was like for South Carolina farmers in the 1800s. 

kings mountain living history museum
Kings Mountain State Park

The farm encompasses a house, barn, cotton gin, farm animals, a blacksmith, weave shop and a garden. Gain insight into the life of a lower-class yeoman farmer who, in that era, prioritized growing food for the family and animals. They skillfully crafted their medicines from herbs and cultivated sufficient cotton to produce clothing, providing a glimpse into the self-sufficient lifestyle of the time. 

5. Set Up Camp

At this state park, you can find 115 standard campsites for RVs or tent camping. In addition, there are 10 tent-only sites for those who like to keep things simple. For those who travel in numbers, the primitive group area is perfect for groups of up to 30 individuals to either pitch a tent or string up a hammock. This secluded spot offers central water access and is conveniently located near privy toilets. (Pro tip: Make your visit hassle-free by securing reservations for this tranquil and accommodating space.) With the park open 365 days per year, any time is the perfect time for a Kings Mountain camping adventure.

hammock at Kings Mountain State Park
Kings Mountain State Park

Bonus: Discover History

Just right up the road from Kings Mountain State Park is Kings Mountain National Military Park, an important Revolutionary War site. At the military park, you can journey back in time and learn about the Battle of Kings Mountain, a crucial turning point in the Revolutionary War. Exploring the exhibits and walking the 1.5-mile trail that loops around the battlefield is like walking through a living history book, offering an up-close look at the events that took place. 

Kings Mountain National Military Park
Kings Mountain National Military Park

Whether you prefer hiking through forests, fighting bass or riding horseback, Kings Mountain State Park has something for everyone. Be sure to put this exceptional destination on your list when you’re planning your next trip in South Carolina’s Olde English District.