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 80+ miles of trails. A three-mile roundtrip hike (mostly level with a couple of climbs) takes you to three beautiful waterfalls (Hooker, Triple and High Falls). Or take a seven-mile DuPont waterfall hike;or hike to the top of Cedar Rock or Stone Mountain. And it's one of the best mountain biking and horseback riding areas.
For more solitude and avoid the crowds, arrive early and visit on weekdays. Or take a breakfast for a very early morning hike and picnic on the roads at Triple Falls. DuPont is open everyday 5 AM until 10 PM. Admission is free. The Visitor Center is located at the High Falls parking area. About a mile away on the same road is Hooking Falls parking area. Trails connect those parking areas with Hooker, Triple and High Falls. See our DuPont Forest Photo Tour.
DuPont State Forest Things To Do
This 150-foot waterfall is in the middle of an amazing 10,000-acre nature sanctuary. One of the most powerful waterfalls in the North Carolina mountains, High Falls is an easy hike from the parking area (1.2 miles roundtrip) and you walk or bike to see additional waterfalls nearby.
This unique three-tier watefall offers a chance to safely get a close-up view right in the middle on three cascades (great picnic spot!). It's only a one-mile roundtrip hike - and an half mile from High Falls and Hooker Falls.
Located near Triple Falls and an easy 1/2-mile roundtrip stroll from the parking area. While it's only 12 feet tall, it's wide and cascades into a beautiful pool that is a popular swimming spot.
(4.4 miles roundtrip hike, moderate) This beautiful waterfall can be enjoyed from many angles. You can even walk behind the top section! Take a picnic since there are many spots by the waterfall to relax and enjoy the view. You can also mountain bike to it.
(4.5 miles loop, moderate) This hike provides wonderful views and dramatic scenery - and it's not difficult. Rising only a few hundred feet above the surrounding plateau, walk across areas of granite with views.
(3 miles roundtrip, easy) This 20-foot waterfall is tucked away in DuPont Forest in a beautiful setting. The hiking trail is gentle - and you can also mountain bike or horseback ride.
(2.4 miles roundtrip, moderate) A mostly wooded hike with a gradual climb takes you to the top with a rock face with great views across DuPont State Forest.
(7 miles roundtrip, strenuous) See three waterfalls on this hike in the DuPont State Forest: High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Or you can mountain bike most of it on old logging roads. Or extend the hike about 1.5 miles to see Hooker Falls too!
Get picked up at your accommodation in the Asheville area for a guided half-day waterfall excursion that will visit 3 impressive waterfalls in two protected forests. Plus ride on a very scenic portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Licensed & Insured
To cross the beautiful covered bridge at the top of High Falls, continue on the trailto 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.
The Hunger Games, the major motion picture released in 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.
DuPont State Forest is fast becoming one of the leading mountain bike destinations in Western North Carolina with 80 miles of trails, 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. Bike to waterfalls or go to the quieter side at Guion Farm Access. 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 9 AM and 5 PM for any days except Mondays and Tuesdays. No charge. Call 828-877-6527. The trail to Hooker Falls is wheel-chair accessible. Twice a year, ride shuttles to the waterfalls with Tour de Falls.
DuPont State Forest Directions
Directions from Asheville (via Brevard) to two parking areas: 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 gas 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 area on the right just before the Little River bridge. One mile past this parking area is the larger High Falls parking area with restrooms, visitor center and water. Open during daylight hours. No admission fee. (See Google Map below.)
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.
Guion Farm Access: (For Stone Mountain hike, horseback riding and mountain bikes) Same directions as above. After you turn right DuPont Rd, go 7/10 of a mile and turn left on Sky Valley Road. Go past the junction of Old CCC Road to the Guion Farm Access Area 1.6 miles on the right.
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 AM-5 PM). 828-877-6527.
Although beautiful to see, waterfalls can be very dangerous. Every year people fall to their death after a slip on wet rocks above and around waterfalls in the area. Never climb or slide on waterfalls, or swim, wade or play in the water above a waterfall. Children must be constantly supervised when visiting waterfalls. Do not allow pets to roam freely. It is easy to underestimate the slickness of rocks and the strong flow of water. Stay on the established trails and enjoy the view from the overlooks.