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Dupont State Forest - A Waterfall Paradise

If you like waterfall hikes, Dupont State Forest is just what you're looking for. It's a 10,000+ acre waterfall haven located in Western North Carolina.

Dupont State Forest Facing High Falls From The Overlook

High Falls

The serene rivers and streams leading to roaring waterfalls attract visitors year round. The short hikes to the falls can be complimented by longer hikes over the trails and roads throughout the forest.

History

Dupont is a relatively new state forest acquisition. Most of the land, which was originally owned by Dupont, was purchased at a bargain price in the 1996-1997 timeframe. The remaining land around the primary waterfalls area ended up in an ugly battle.

Dupont State Forest Hooker Falls On A Sunny Summer Day
Luckily, in 2000, the state of North Carolina stepped in and saved the land from major residential development. Now it's available for all of us to enjoy.

Location

Dupont Forest is located between Hendersonville and Brevard, straddling the Henderson and Transylvania County line. It's a little off the beaten path, but can be easily found.

From U.S. Highway 276 in Cedar Mountain (between Brevard and South Carolina line), there's a sign at Cascade Lake Road. From Hendersonville take Kanuga and Crab Creek Road to Dupont Road. From Asheville take U.S. Highway 64 to Crab Creek Road to Dupont Road. There are Dupont Forest signs.

Dupont State Forest Brown Horse and White Horse Facing Each Other In Woods At A Tie Line

Things To Do

This is a multi-use forest. Horse trailers are seen in many of the parking areas for those that like to spend the day riding the trails. Mountain bikes are also popular. Motorized vehicles are not allowed. Fishing and in season hunting are available with proper licenses and permits.

There are a number of parking areas around Dupont State Forest, giving access to about 90 miles (145 km) of trails and roads. There are no camping facilities. Camping of any kind is not allowed, except by special permission. Dupont State Forest is geared toward day hiking.

The main attractions for the forest are the waterfalls on the Little River. There are three good waterfalls within a short distance from the Hooker Falls parking lot on Staton Road, making this area quite popular.

Dupont State Forest Man Standing Next To New Bridge For Hikers
In fact, it's so popular a second parking lot was recently added, diagonally behind the first lot, toward Hooker Falls. Even with the added parking, the two lots fill up on summer weekends. In addition to the second lot, a deluxe foot bridge was constructed. You no longer need to cross the river using Staton Road.

Hooker Falls

About 0.3 miles (0.5 km) downstream from the parking area, Hooker Falls is a wide, 11 foot (3.4 meters) tall waterfall. While it's not a high waterfall, the width and volume of water is impressive. There's a nice pool at the base of the falls, and it's not unusual to see people swimming here during the warm weather months.

Triple Falls

Dupont State Forest Triple Falls From Overlook
Take that new footbridge across the Little River to find the trail to Triple Falls. It's about a 0.5 mile (0.8 km) hike upstream, with the last 0.1 mile quite steep. The viewing area for the falls showcases the multiple cascades. This is a great spot for family photos, with the falls as a backdrop.

High Falls

Continue upstream past Triple Falls about 0.7 miles (1.1 km) on High Falls Trail. From the trail, you'll have a birds-eye view of awesome High Falls, which most feel is the marque falls for the forest.

Dupont State Forest Covered Bridge From Below Several Feet Downstream
There's a trail that leads to the base of the falls. From this vantage point, you can feel the power of the rushing water, especially after a heavy rain. Realize that with all of that water and mist, this is a dangerous area. Be very cautious.

From the falls viewing area up above, circle around to the top of falls using Buck Forest Road. There's a beautiful covered bridge just upstream from the top of the falls. As an aside, Buck Forest parking area can also be used for High Falls access. It's less than a mile hike one way.

Bridal Veil Falls

The parking for Bridal Veil Falls is at Fawn Lake Access area, on the opposite side of Dupont State Forest off Reasonover Road (near highway US 276). Take Reasonover Creek Trail, left on Conservation Road, left on Bridal Veil Road to get to the falls. It's a little over 2 miles (3.2 km) one way.

Dupont State Forest Bridal Veil Falls Coming At You On A Cool Clear Blue Sky Day
This unique falls is really a couple of small falls with a wide rock facing in between, with water cascading like a wide bridal veil. On the way to the falls, on Conservation Road, you get a little surprise: a hike along an old airstrip. You don't do that often, especially in the middle of the mountains.

Other Trails

There are a couple of other waterfalls to see in the forest, Wintergreen Falls and Grassy Creek Falls. A hike up Stone Mountain (3600 feet/1100 meters) will give great vistas of the surrounding area. Cedar Mountain has masses of exposed flat granite.

With 90 miles (145 km) of trails and roads, you can do a lot of hiking without taking the same trail twice. An online map is available from the Friends of Dupont Forest (FODF).

FODF is an organization that really makes Dupont State Forest what it is today. They do so much, organizing efforts to maintain trails, raising funds for building projects, and providing information through their website. Consider becoming a member and making a donation on the Dupont Forest website. Rest assured your money will support the preservation of a beautiful area.

If you're visiting or live in western North Carolina, take the time to visit Dupont State Forest. You can do a little hiking. You can do a lot of hiking. For sure, you can see some great waterfalls.

Other Nearby Hiking Destinations

Pretty Place - South on US 276 at the state line.

Caesars Head State Park - South on US 276 in South Carolina.

Pisgah National Forest - North on US 276 through Brevard, NC.

Dupont Forest Merchandise

Need a map? Get a quality map of Dupont State Forest. There's one published by Pisgah Map Company, and one by Friends Of Dupont Forest. While you're browsing, look at the interesting souvenirs and gifts featuring Dupont waterfalls. Click below to buy from Amazon!

Dupont State Forest Closeup Of Mountain Laurel Blossoms

Mountain Laurel

Dupont State Forest Airstrip Next To Conservation Road On Snowy Day

Old Airstrip

Dupont State Forest Hooker Falls Swimming Hole With Kayaker Going Over Falls

Hooker Falls
Swimmers Watching Kayaker


Dupont State Forest Heavy Flow Of High Falls Closeup After Rain

High Falls

Dupont State Forest Lake Julia Through The Trees Next To Lodge

Lake Julia

Dupont State Forest View From Stone Mountain Framed By Some Trees

View From
Stone Mountain


Dupont State Forest Big Rock Trail Sign On Exposed Granite

Big Rock Trail Sign




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