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DuPont State Forest

Triple Falls
DuPont State Forest is a more than 10,000-acre tract of protected land in Transylvania and Henderson counties, between the cities of Brevard and Hendersonville.  Featured in the movies Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games, DuPont State Forest has become a popular destination.

In 1995, local environmental groups worked to bring negotiations between DuPont, The Conservation Fund, and the State of North Carolina.  During 1996 to 1997, DuPont ceased industrial operations in the area and sold its land holdings.  DuPont generously 7600 acres to North Carolina through The Conservation Fund, with 2700 acres surrounding the industrial complex to Sterling Diagnostic Imaging.  In early 2000, another 500 acres along Reasonover Road was added to the south end of the forest.  At this point, the forest was horseshoe-shaped and did not include many of the popular waterfalls along the Little River.  In late 1999, Sterling put the 2200-acre tract, which included Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, up for sale.  In a controversial and secretive bidding process, the land was sold to developer Jim Anthony of Cliffs Community, and the state was not allowed to match the bid.  The developer initially claimed that he would not develop the land and the land deed stated that it could not be used for residential development.  However, it became clear that Anthony was planning a massive residential development around the waterfalls.  Ultimately, the state took the land by eminent domain and paid the developer nearly $25 million for the property.

Contact Information:

PO Box 300
Cedar Mountain, NC 28718-0300

Phone: (828) 877-6527
Fax: (828) 862-8531

Email: dupontsf.ncfs@ncagr.gov

Directions:

From Asheville and other places on I-40, take exit 46A for I-26 east towards Hendersonville.  From I-26, take exit 40 onto NC-280 south and follow for about 16 miles towards Brevard.  In Pisgah Forest (before Brevard), take US-64 east less than 4 miles and turn right at the stoplight onto Crab Creek Road.  In 4.3 miles, turn right onto DuPont Road to enter the forest.

From Brevard, take US-276 for about 12 miles to the town of Cedar Mountain.  Turn left on Cascade Lake Road and go 2.5 miles and turn right on Staton Road to enter the forest.

High Falls Access:

The High Falls Access area is located centrally within the forest and is a good access point to see the waterfalls on the Little River.  If coming via the Asheville directions above, DuPont Road will become Staton Road.  High Falls Access is the second parking lot on the left (after Lake Imaging Access on the left and Hooker Falls Access on the right).  If coming from Brevard via the directions above, High Falls Access is the first parking area on the right after turning on Staton Road.

Hooker Falls Access:

The Hooker Falls Access area is a good starting point to see the waterfalls on the Little River.  If coming from Asheville via the directions above, DuPont Road will become Staton Road.  Hooker Falls Access is the first parking are on the right (after Lake Imaging Access on the left).  If coming from Brevard via the directions above, Hooker Falls Access is the first parking area on the left after turning on Staton Road and passing High Falls Access on the right.

Activities:

Hiking:

With over 80 miles of trails and roads, DuPont State Forest is a great place for hiking.  Most of the trails are old gravel roads that are off limits to motorized traffic (except park staff), but shared with mountain bike and equestrian traffic.  A list of the trails I have hiked and mapped are below.  The numbers in parenthesis correspond to the trail numbers on the forest map.

Bridal Veil Falls Road (6):

Length: 0.6 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy

Bridal Veil Falls Road starts at Conservation Road just south of the Lake Julia Spillway and leads to Bridal Veil Falls.

Buck Forest Road (8):

Length: 3.2 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy

Buck Forest Road starts at the High Falls Access area and goes past the High Falls and Triple Falls Trails and across the covered bridge over Little River.

Conservation Road (18):

Length: 2.6 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate

Conservation Road starts at Buck Forest Road just across the covered bridge and leads south past the Lake Julia Spillway.

Covered Bridge Trail (20):

Length: 0.2 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate

Covered Bridge Trail leads from High Falls Trail to Buck Forest Road just before the covered bridge across Little River.

Covered Bridge

High Falls Trail (33):

Length: 0.7 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate

High Falls Trail starts at Buck Forest Road just east of the High Falls Access area and leads to the High Falls overlook and ends at Triple Falls Trail near Triple Falls.

Hooker Falls Road (37):

Length: 0.4 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy

Hooker Falls Road is a short gravel road that leads from the Hooker Falls Access area to Hooker Falls.

Triple Falls Trail (77):

Length: 1 mile (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate

Triple Falls Trail is a gravel road that leads from across Staton Road from the Hooker Falls Access to Triple Falls and then up to Buck Forest Road at High Falls Trail.

Waterfalls:

There are several scenic waterfalls in DuPont State Forest, most of which are just an easy hike to visit.  Descriptions of the falls and directions to visit are listed below.

Bridal Veil Falls:

The best way to access Bridal Veil Falls is to park at the High Falls Access Area and follow the Buck Forest Road.  Just after crossing the covered bridge, turn right on Conservation Road crossing over the Lake Julia Spillway and turning right on Bridal Veil Falls Road.  This trail ends at the falls.  The waterfall is a long slide down along bedrock with a 10-foot free fall at the top.  It's not possible to get one photo showing the entire waterfall - the first photo below attempts this through the trees with the long slide shown towards the right and the plunge section shown in the distance at the top left.  Depending on water levels, it's possible to walk up the rock and even go behind the free falling section (the Bridal Veil).  The second picture below shows a shot of this from the side and the "cave" behind the falls.

Bridal Veil Falls

Side of Bridal Veil Falls

High Falls:

High Falls is easily reached from the High Falls Access Area.  Walk down Buck Forest Road and turn left on High Falls Trail just before the covered bridge.  An overlook along the trail will be on the right and provides the best view of the entire 100-foot falls.  The covered bridge can be seen in the background from here, as shown in the first picture below.  To get a closer view of the falls, continue on High Falls Trail and turn right on River Bend Trail, which loops back to the falls along the river.  The second photo below shows the falls from the base.  If you decide to go down to the base, use extreme caution on the rocks as wet rocks are extremely slippery.

High Falls

High Falls from the Base of the Waterfall

Hooker Falls:

Hooker Falls is the smallest waterfall along the Little River, but its very easy to access and worth the short hike out to see it.  From the Hooker Falls Access area, hike less than half a mile down Hooker Falls Road.  The gravel road follows the Little River and ends at the waterfall.  The falls are only about 15 feet, but its a river-wide drop and the setting is very scenic.  The pool below the falls makes a popular swim hole in the warmer months and this waterfall is usually crowded when the weather's nice.  Just don't go in the water above the falls as it would be easy to be swept over and injured or worse.

Hooker Falls

Triple Falls:

Triple Falls is perhaps the most impressive waterfall in the forest.  As the name implies, it is actually three waterfalls, each of which would be impressive on its own, but the three together is just spectacular.  From the Hooker Falls Access area, cross Staton Road (watch out for traffic) and follow the Triple Falls Trail upstream along the Little River.  There is a good overlook along the trail where you can see all three falls.  For the best view, especially if trying to get photos of people with Triple Falls in the background, climb up the rocks opposite the overlook.  The first picture below is taken from the overlook.  It is also possible to go down to the base of the falls below the lowest section and above the lowest section.  There are some stairs leading down to the rocks above the lowest section and this is a great spot to relax out on the rocks and enjoy a picnic or sunbathe.  The second picture is of the upper two sections taken from the rocky area above the lower section.

Triple Falls

Middle and Upper Sections of Triple Falls

External Links:

NC Forest Service website: http://ncforestservice.gov/Contacts/dsf.htm

Friends of DuPont State Forest website: http://www.dupontforest.com/

Map:


DuPont State Forest


Photos:


DuPont State Forest


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