DuPont State Forest NC Waterfalls & Hiking Guides

DuPont State Forest: Waterfalls, Hikes & More

DuPont State Recreational Forest is an outdoors-lover's dream with many waterfalls and 86 miles of trails on protected 10,000 acres. Located between Brevard and Hendersonville, it's an easy 40-mile drive from Asheville. Most visitors flock to the three-mile roundtrip hike to three waterfalls (Hooker, Triple and High Falls), but there's so much more to explore! Take a variety of waterfall and lake hikes, or trek to the top of Cedar Rock or Stone Mountain for mountain views. It's also one of North Carolina's best mountain biking and horseback riding areas.

For more solitude and to avoid the weekend crowds, arrive early and visit on weekdays. Take a breakfast for an early morning picnic on the rocks at Triple Falls. DuPont is open everyday 5 AM until 10 PM. Admission is free. The Visitor Center and restrooms are located at the High Falls parking area. About a mile away on the same road is the Hooker Falls parking area. There are four additional access areas with parking. Find plenty of spots for picnics, but no beverages or food are available to purchase. It's pet-friendly, but keep dogs on a leash.

Quick Updates for 2018

  • A new spur trail to the base of High Falls opened in May. Also, the High Falls Trail is now a 2-mile loop that starts from the Visitor Center.
  • Construction on restrooms and changing rooms at Hooker Falls will close much of that parking area through the summer. So arrive early or visit midweek. There is roadside parking, however you must be fully off the asphalt.
  • A new festival, DuPont Forest Day, will be held September 22nd, National Public Lands Day. More info to come.

DuPont State Forest Top Things To Do

DuPont Forest Waterfall Hike
3-Mile Waterfall Hike, DuPont State Forest
(3 miles, moderate) Our most popular waterfall hike takes you to Hooker, Triple and High Falls in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Take a picnic! Since it's so beautiful, expect big crowds on nice weekends.
DuPont Forest Waterfalls
7-Mile Waterfalls Hike, DuPont State Forest
(7 miles roundtrip, strenuous) See three waterfalls on this hike in DuPont State Forest: High Falls, Triple Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Or you can mountain bike most of it on old logging roads. Extend the hike about 1.5 miles to see Hooker Falls, too!
High Falls, DuPont State Forest
High Falls, DuPont State Forest
This 150-ft. waterfall is in the middle of an amazing 10,000-acre nature sanctuary. One of the most impressive NC waterfalls, it is an easy hike from the parking area (1.2 miles roundtrip). Walk or bike to additional waterfalls nearby. Very popular, so expect crowds especially on weekends.
Triple Falls at DuPont State Forest
Triple Falls, DuPont State Forest
This unique three-tier waterfall offers a chance to safely get a close-up view in the middle of three cascades. It's only a one-mile roundtrip hike - and a half mile from High Falls and Hooker Falls.
Hooker Falls at DuPont State Forest
Hooker Falls, DuPont State Forest
Located near Triple Falls, it is an easy 1/2-mile roundtrip stroll from the parking area. While it's only 12 ft. tall, it's wide and cascades into a beautiful pool that is a popular swimming spot.
Bridal Veil Falls at DuPont State Forest
Bridal Veil Falls, DuPont State Forest
(4.4 miles roundtrip hike, moderate) This beautiful 120-foot waterfall is near High Falls and other DuPont Forest falls and lakes. Hike or bike to it. Many hike combinations due to a network of trails.
DuPont Forest Cedar Rock Mountain
Cedar Rock Mountain, DuPont Forest
(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 great views.
Dupont Forest Lake Hike
DuPont State Forest Hidden Lakes
(4 miles, moderate) Discover some hidden lakes on the quieter side of DuPont State Recreational Forest, as well as an airstrip with a great mountain view. Fawn Lake and Lake Julia are great swimming holes, too.
Wintergreen Falls in DuPont State Forest
Wintergreen Falls, DuPont State Forest
(3 miles roundtrip, easy) This 20-ft. waterfall is tucked away in the beautiful setting of DuPont Forest. The hiking trail is gentle - you can also mountain bike or horseback ride.
DuPont Forest Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain, DuPont State Forest
(2.4 miles roundtrip, moderate) A mostly wooded hike with a gradual climb takes you to the top of a rock face with great views across DuPont State Recreational Forest.
Dupont Forest Festival
DuPont Forest Festival
September 22, 2018
New! Celebrate DuPont State Recreational Forest with many special events on National Public Lands Day, such as guided tours, educational lectures, hands-on demonstrations and more. Free admission.
Waterfall Tours
Tumblestone Waterfall Tours
Get picked up at your accommodation in the Asheville area for a guided, half-day waterfall excursion that will take you to three impressive waterfalls in two protected forests. Plus, ride on a very scenic portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Licensed & Insured. 
Hendersonville, NC Places to Stay
Hendersonville & Flat Rock Places to Stay
Find many choices and great deals for bed & breakfasts, hotels, resort and cabin rentals in Henderson County, just south of Asheville, including Mills River, Flat Rock, Etowah, Bat Cave, Fletcher and DuPont State Forest.

Covered Bridge
Crossing the river above High Falls is a beautiful covered bridge that 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.

Movie Location
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. Read about The Hunger Games film locations.

Mountain Biking
DuPont State Forest is fast becoming one of the leading mountain bike destinations in Western North Carolina with 80 miles of trails open to both equestrians and mountain bikers. DuPont offers everything from gentle forest roads to exciting single tracks, 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 a PDF of the DuPont Forest Trails Map. Save it to your phone before your go. 4 MB. Also see our Mountain Biking Guide.

Horseback Riding
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.

Tour de Falls
The twice annual fundraiser with shuttle bus rides to the waterfalls will not return in 2018. A Disabled Access Permit is available on some weekday mornings to drive your automobile to some of the waterfalls. You must call the office at least a week in advance to schedule: (828) 877-6527, extension 207. Roads are unpaved and shared with hikers, bikers and horses. The trail to Hooker Falls is wheelchair accessible.

Trails Map
Download a PDF of the DuPont Forest Trails Map. Save it to your phone before your go. 4 MB.

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. 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. (Street address: 89 Buck Forest Road, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718)

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 Rd. 7.1 miles to DuPont Rd. Turn left for 3.1 miles.

Guion Farm Access (For Stone Mountain hike, Wintergreen Falls, horseback riding and mountain bikes): Same directions as above. After you turn right on 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 inside the forest are available for group rental, and include a limited number of vehicle passes. Reservations are for the entire day (9 AM-5 PM). Call 828-877-6527.

Holmes Educational State Forest
Located less than five miles from DuPont Forest is a much less visited park with trails, picnic tables and talking trees! Read about Holmes Educational State Forest.

Waterfall Safety
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 within 300 feet. Climbing on rocks using your hands is prohibited. Supervise children closely and keep pets on a leash. 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.

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