Looking for a day away from it all out in the woods? On a fall day there is nothing like heading north to the streams, fresh air, dazzling waterfalls and fall colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With its 900 miles of hiking trails, six major waterfalls and over 10,000 acres of forest, DuPont State Forest is a showcase of some of the most fabulous scenery in western NC, just an hour from Greenville! KAG Contributor Liene is telling us all bout the best places to visit in Dupont State Forest.
This article was originally published on Femme au Foyer as “DuPont State Forest and its waterfalls”.
What to expect if you go
To maximize a visit to DuPont, park in the Hooker Falls area on Staton Road and combine the Triple Falls Trail, the High Falls Trail and Hooker Falls Road for an unforgettable, three mile hike to visit three of the most popular and beautiful falls in the area. Two of them (Triple and Hooker Falls) you might recognize from the movie The Hunger Games, a portion of which was filmed in DuPont in 2011, and Triple Falls featured prominently in the movie Last of the Mohicans.
Just a short ½ mile from the Hooker Falls parking area you’ll reach Triple Falls, with three distinct cascades that drop 120 feet in total. The first overlook is just a short distance from the parking lot, and a few hundred feet further is the spur trail that leads down to the large rocky area between the falls. Bring a picnic to enjoy the spectacle – natural and human – before jumping back on the main trail.
Triple Falls trail and High Falls trail form a loop, but you can choose to stick close to Little River on High Falls trail and cut out a bit of the mileage by doing a there-and-back. (Triple Falls trail heads west, hitting Buck Forest Road and intersecting with High Falls trail and the Covered Bridge Trail about 1/3 mile from High Falls). To reach the base of the 150-foot cascade, take a detour on the short River Bend spur trail for a memorable view of the falls and the covered bridge at the top.
High Falls is the largest waterfall in the area, and together with the beautiful covered bridge was part of a planned real estate development in 2000. After a lengthy legal battle the state was able to purchase the land from the developer, ensuring the view of the falls would be preserved. The trail leading to High Falls is somewhat steep, so make sure to bring water and to set a comfortable pace in the summer heat.
Once you’ve retraced your steps to the parking area and crossed back under Staton Road, you’ll turn west on Hooker Falls trail. Make sure to pause at the observation area above the falls before circling down to the base of the 12 foot waterfall. From the popular swimming hole at the base of the falls, Little River flows on into Cascade Lake, outside of the state forest’s boundaries. The hike to the falls is relatively easy, a mildly sloping 0.4 miles down a gravel road.
These three DuPont waterfalls make for a perfect year-round destination. The weekends during the summer will find a crowd at Hooker Falls, cooling down in the natural swimming hole, meanwhile autumn brings unparalleled fall foliage to the views around High Falls. Winter will decorate the waterfalls in ice, and finally spring means wildflowers and the return of the Blue Ghost Firefly. Whichever season you visit, you’ll find the scenic and tranquil beauty of DuPont State Forest and its waterfalls a memorable experience you’ll want to repeat again and again.
Want more information?
- DuPont State Forest website.
- Friends of DuPont website.
- Trail map can be downloaded for free here.
- Major waterfall map here.
Has your family checked out DuPont State Forest yet?