Since DuPont State Recreational Forest was saved from a real estate development, its 10,000 acres and 86 miles of trails have become a favorite playland for exploring the great outdoors. This three-mile hike to three waterfalls is the most popular waterfall hike near Asheville and our favorite. The moderate hike has a few hills but is perfect for about all fitness levels and families. Since it's so popular, weekends especially in the summer and fall bring big crowds. So remember you can always visit during the week or early in the morning to miss the masses. See our DuPont State Recreational Forest Guide for more info and other places to explore there. See our tips for avoiding the big weekend crowds of summer and fall.
Park at the Hooker Falls access area at DuPont State Recreational Forest (see driving directions below) for this three-mile hike to three great waterfalls along the Little River.
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 12-foot waterfall. From Hooker Falls, turn around and go past the parking area and follow the trail upstream to the more impressive Triple Falls and High Falls. See more photos of Hooker Falls.
Less than 1/2 mile from the Hooker Falls parking area (across the river and under the road bridge), 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 (photo at top). It's a great place to relax or have a picnic, while you enjoy the views up and down the waterfall. See more photos of Triple Falls.
From Triple Falls, continue about 1/2 mile on the High Falls Trail to the largest waterfall, a 150-foot cascade down an inclined plane of granite. En route, you'll see the River Bend Trail to the left. Take this detour to reach the base of High Falls (includes rock hopping along the river). Return to the main trail and turn left and head up hill for a view in the photo above. Winter views are even better with leafless trees and you often have the forest to yourself in early mornings. Do not climb on the rocks near the base, since it's very dangerous. See more info about High Falls.
From here, return the same trail to your car. Or you can extend your hike to the Covered Bridge above High Falls and beyond. See our DuPont State Recreational Forest Guide for more hikes, including a four mile hike to the hidden lakes.
DuPont State Recreational Forest Directions
Directions from Asheville (via Brevard) to Hooker Falls Access Area: 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. (High Falls parking area with the DuPont Visitor Center is a mile farther down the road. You can hike to these falls from there also.)
Watch our video High Falls and Triple Falls roaring after a big rain.