When it comes to outdoor recreation in the Brevard area, there are few things more enticing than going to explore one of the many beautiful waterfalls found in the region. In fact, I can’t think of anywhere where there are more amazing waterfalls in close proximity than in DuPont State Recreational Forest.
The property that is now DuPont State Recreational Forest used to be the recreation area for the employees of the now-closed DuPont manufacturing plant. DuPont was once the largest employer in the County, and offered wonderful benefits to its employees, including the recreation area that is now DuPont State Recreational Forest. The benefits included stocked fishing waters, hunting, and camping at both wilderness sites and at the covered sheds that remain on the current forest property. After the manufacturing plant closed, this property was slated for development – before thankfully being acquired as public lands.
Now, both tourists and locals flock to the abundant waterfalls of DuPont. One favorite excursion is the trifecta of Triple Falls, High Falls, and Hooker Falls – which can all be easily accessed in one outing on trails from the Hooker Falls parking lot. Starting out towards Triple Falls, it’s barely a mile before you’ll be graced with the views of the three tiered falls. Triple Falls has been the backdrop for scenes in The Hunger Games and the Last of the Mohicans.
Continuing on along the old road bed/trail it’s about another 3/4 mile till you reach the bottom of the 150’ cascade of High Falls. Once you soak up a little spray, make the return trip – back the way you came. If you want to catch some rays, take a little dip in the river, or picnic on the rocks, then once you pass Triple Falls again and make it to the bottom of the hill, look for the trail that cuts back to the right following the river along the rocks.
To access the third waterfall, head on back towards the parking lot, and when you cross the bridge that leads to the lot, take a left and wander the less than 1/2 mile to Hooker Falls. During the summer, this area is a hotspot for swimming, picnics, and fishing.
While it’s a little further to make the trek into High Falls, both Triple Falls and Hooker Falls are very easily accessible, making them perfect for smaller kids, older adults, or those that aren’t as comfortable hiking.
Other waterfalls within DuPont require a little more trail mileage, and accessed from different parking lots. Bridal Veil Falls is was another location used for filming The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans, and it has several different starting point options – from either the Fawn Lake or Buck Forest parking lots. Grassy Creek Falls also begins at the Buck Forest parking lot, and Wintergreen Falls starts from the Guion Farm parking area.
Exploring the waterfalls of DuPont As with visiting any waterfalls, please remember to avoid climbing any of the falls, and to stay away from the tops of the falls – both for people and for dogs. The best views are always from the bottom of the waterfalls.
For more information on DuPont State Recreational Forest, including maps and contact information, please visit http://ncforestservice.gov/contacts/dsf.htm.
written by Allison Taylor of Skillful Solutions