MANY UPDATES FOR 2013:
• The trail to the base of High Falls has been closed due to numerous injuries on the slick rocks. The River Bend Trail (between High & Triple Falls) takes you almost to the base.
• The trail to Hooker Falls will be closed through June 2013 (estimated) due to work on two wonderful additions: a pedestrian bridge across the river to more safely get to Triple Falls and an expanded parking area. The Hooker Falls parking area will be closed most days during construction. Park at the High Falls parking area, one mile down the road.
• A new trail connector from the High Falls parking lot to the intersection of High Falls and Triple Falls Trails is an alternative (and cooler) route for hikers and it's wheelchair friendly!
• The first Visitor Center opens in July 2013 at the High Falls parking area, staffed with volunteers to answer questions!
• Tour de Falls (12-mile tour via shuttle buses) in 2013 will be held on May 11-12 and October 12-13. Read more.
High Falls in early morning mist
Bending tree at the end of River Bend Trail, near base of High Falls
The smooth, flat rock surface at Triple Falls is a great place for a picnic. To beat the crowds, come early with a breakfast picnic!
The short hike to the top of Cedar Rock is nearby. See our Cedar Rock Guide. See more DuPont Fall pics.
80 miles of mountain bike trails!
Covered Bridge near the top of High Falls, on Buck Forest Road (for walking and biking)
Our favorite waterfall hike in the Asheville area is at DuPont State Forest, located between Brevard and Hendersonville. Located about 40 miles southwest of Asheville, this 10,000-acre North Carolina state forest is home to 900 miles of hiking trails. A three-mile roundtrip hike (mostly level with a couple of climbs) takes you to three beautiful waterfalls.
This waterfall hike at DuPont State Forest is most crowded on weekend afternoons. For more solitude, arrive early and visit on weekdays. Or take a breakfast for a very early morning hike and picnic on the roads at Triple Falls.
The Hunger Games, the major motion picture released in March 2012, was filmed at various locations at DuPont State Forest, including Hooker Falls and Triple Falls. More about The Hunger Games.
Pet Friendly Waterfalls
These are pet-friendly waterfall hikes! Dogs on a leash are allowed on any trail.
Cedar Rock Mountain
For another fabulous hike, go to Cedar Rock Mountain, just down the road a bit in DuPont State Forest. This 4.5-mile loop trail takes you across the smooth rock summit for fabulous mountain views. See much more about Cedar Rock Mountain!
Autumn at DuPont
See photos from DuPont with the fall colors. And the annual DuPont Tour de Falls event is held each October.
From the Hooker Falls parking area (adjacent to the river), take a short walk to the right to Hooker Falls. There is a observation area above the falls, and you can continue on the trail to reach the base of the falls. This is a popular spot for wading and swimming in Casade Lake at the foot of the 11-foot waterfall. From Hooker Falls, turn around and go past the parking area (and across the road bridge to the other side of the river) and follow the trail upstream to the more impressive Triple Falls and High Falls.
About 1/2 mile from the Hooker Falls parking area, you will arrive at an overlook for Triple Falls with three cascades with a total 120-foot drop. Just past the overlook, a trail forks off to the left and heads down to land on a large rock area below the top two falls and atop the third. It's a great place to relax or have a picnic, while you enjoy the views up and down the waterfall.
From Triple Falls, continue on the High Falls Trail to the largest waterfall, a 150-foot cascade down an inclined plane of granite. After a few turns and a short, steep hill, see a wonderful view of High Falls on the left. Take the River Bend Trail along the river to the base of High Falls. Do not climb on the rocks near the base, since it's very dangerous.
To cross the beautiful covered bridge at the top of High Falls, continue on the trail to the Covered Bridge Trail. The bridge was built in 2000 for a planned, exclusive real estate development. Thankfully, the state bought the land (after a long legal battle) from the developer so it could be preserved. Read the full history of saving Dupont Forest.
DuPont State Forest is fast becoming one of the leading mountain bike destinations in Western North Carolina with over 80 miles of trail, nearly all of which is open to both equestrians and mountain bikers. DuPont offers everything from gentle forest roads to exciting single track, with an impressive variety of scenic attractions located only minutes apart. Download their Mountain Bike Guide. Also see our Mountain Biking Guide.
DuPont's trails are used by hikers, bikers, horseback riders, fishermen, and hunters (during season). Read more about horseback riding here and elsewhere in the area.
Accessibility to Waterfalls
Vehicle passes are available by reservation for disabled persons unable to hike to the waterfalls or other destinations. Reservations may be made between 9am and 5pm for any days except Mondays and Tuesdays. No charge. Call 828-877-6527. The trail to Hooker Falls is wheel-chair accessible.
Picnic Shelter Reservations
Picnic Shelters are available for rental. Includes limited number of vehicle passes through gates. Fee depends on size of shelter. (i.e. Triple Falls $50; High Falls $25). Reservations are for the entire day (9-5). 828-877-6527
Directions from Asheville (via Brevard): I-26 East to exit 40 for Highway 280/Airport exit toward Brevard. Turn right onto 280 and drive about 16 miles. Turn left on U.S. 64 as you enter Brevard past Wal-Mart. Travel east on U.S. 64 for 3.7 miles to the Texaco station in Penrose. Turn right on Crab Creek Rd and continue 4.3 miles and turn right on DuPont Rd. Ascend and descend; after 3.1 miles, find the Hooker Falls parking lot on the right just before the Little River bridge. Open during daylight hours.
One mile past this parking area is the larger High Falls parking area with restrooms and water.
Directions from Hendersonville: Take Business US-25 (Church St.) south to Kanuga and turn right. Kanuga becomes Crab Creek Rd. after 3.9 miles at Little River Rd. (flashing traffic light). Continue on Crab Creek 7.1 miles to DuPont Rd. Turn left for 3.1 miles.