***March 24, 2020: DuPont State Recreational Forest temporarily close to the public; public access restricted due to COVID-19 safety concerns. See more COVID-19 updates for WNC.
DuPont State Recreational Forest is an outdoor 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 breakfast for an early morning picnic on the rocks at Triple Falls. DuPont is open every day 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 with restrooms and changing rooms for swimming. 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.
DuPont State Forest Top Things To Do
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. See our Waterfall Safety Tips.
For road bikes, a popular spot is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Read some great tips about biking on the Blue Ridge Parkway... read more