DuPont State Recreational Forest is a beautiful 10,000-acre outdoor playground in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With roughly 80 miles of multi-use trails meandering through dense forests, alongside mountain lakes, and next to cascading waterfalls, DuPont is a hiker’s paradise.
What Makes It Great
Options are something you’ll have plenty of in DuPont. The 4.5-mile trail to Cedar Rock is a wonderfully scenic route with excellent views and not too much strenuous elevation gain. Both the short and long routes to the summit of Stone Mountain- the tallest point in DuPont- are grueling hikes with steep grades, yet amazing views. And hiking alongside one of the five lakes within DuPont is always a pleasant experience, most notably the 99-acre Julia Lake. But perhaps what DuPont State Forest is most known for is its waterfall hiking. The Little River flows through the park and creates four waterfalls on its way. Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls are all worth seeing, and you can actually reach three of these in one fell swoop on an easy 3-mile route. By parking at the Hooker Falls lot, you can reach the 12-foot cascade of Hooker in a matter of minutes, followed by a 1/2 miles jaunt upstream to the impressive 120-foot cascade of Triple Falls, and finally another 1/2 walk to the grand finale of 150-foot High Falls. After you’ve had your fill, simply turn around and return from where you came.
Who is Going to Love It
No matter what adventure you choose to have in the DuPont State Forest, it’s sure to be quite memorable for any nature lover. Oh, and movie lovers, a few scenes from “The Hunger Games” were filmed here, so that’s just the cherry on top.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From the DuPont State Forest website: “Take I-26 east toward the Asheville Airport. Exit at the Airport (exit 40) and head south on NC-280 for about 16 miles. Turn left onto US -64 (heading east) for about 4 miles. In Penrose, turn right onto Crab Creek Road for about 4 miles to DuPont Road. Turn right on DuPont Road and continue for 3.1 miles.”
Featured image provided by Osajus