Jones Gap State Park

Jones Gap State Park

Overview

Area name

Jones Gap State Park

Area Location

Drive west on US276 toward Cleveland, turn right onto River Falls Road. After approximately 3.8 miles bear left at the fork in the road onto Jones Gap Road. Drive 1.5 miles to the park entrance.

Area Map

Access

Admission: $2 for adults.

Hours of Operation: open daily from 9:00 – 6:00 in winter, from 9:00 – 9:00 in summer.

Facilities

Background

Part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness, Jones Gap State Park is known for excellent birding and hiking. Breeding songbirds in the summer are popular, though a keen ear is needed due to ambient noise from the free-running streams and Middle Saluda River. The best birding is done April through October. Jones Gap Trail, an excellent hiking trail which follows the Middle Saluda River will help you break in your hiking boots with elevation changes of nearly 2,000 feet, though it is done very gradually from start to finish. If you really want to test out your hiking boots, take the Rim-of-the-Gap Trail, a sturdy 5.2 mile hike to the top of the ridge.

Other areas to check out near here are Caesars Head State Park and Table Rock State Park.

Key Birds

Resident

Peregrine Falcon, Ruffed Grouse, American Woodcock, Common Raven, White-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco.

Summer

Broad-winged Hawk, Eastern Phoebe, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Tree Swallow Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, American Redstart, Overbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager.

Winter

Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin.