Spring is nearly here and with it the urge to get out into the great outdoors. The Asheville area is home to endless outdoor recreation opportunities but one of the more popular attractions are the waterfalls of DuPont State Forest.
Few of the natural world’s wonders are as universally attractive and entrancing as waterfalls. There is just something relaxing and hypnotic about the sight and sound of those endlessly tumbling waters.
Western North Carolina is home to hundreds of waterfalls: they don’t call it the “Land of Waterfalls” for nothing! Better yet, a great many of the state’s waterfalls are right here in the Asheville area.
Some of the state’s very best waterfalls are clustered together in DuPont State Forest, just a little over a half hour’s drive from our Asheville inn, Bent Creek Lodge.
DuPont State Forest
DuPont State Forest is located just south of Asheville, between Brevard and Hendersonville, NC.
The 10,000 acre, natural recreational area is a forested cornucopia of wildlife, lakes, and breathtaking vistas. More than 86 miles of trails crisscross the park, providing some of the state’s best hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
DuPont Forest also has some of the most spectacular and breathtaking waterfalls in the state. Even better, there are a number of hikes designed around the falls, making getting out to them a real pleasure.
DuPont State Forest Waterfalls
This 150-ft. waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the state. That and the easy, 1.2 mile roundtrip hike to it make these falls very popular and often crowded on weekends. It’s also adjacent to two more popular waterfalls: Hooker and Triple Falls.
Bridal Veil Falls
Hike or bike 4.4 miles roundtrip to this beautiful 120-foot waterfall from the High Falls or Fawn Lake parking areas. Includes an observation deck and the base of the falls make a great spot for a picnic.
Triple Falls is a unique, 120-foot tall, three-tier waterfall with a flat rock plateau at its center serving as a viewing platform. Just a half mile hike from High Falls and Hooker Falls.
Hooker may only have a humble, 12 foot cascade but it’s wide and cascades into a popular swimming hole. Located near Triple Falls.
This 20 foot tall cascade can be reached via an easy, 3 mile round-trip hike through DuPont Forest. This waterfall is on the quieter side of the park and is often less crowded than the other cascades in the park.
All of these falls can be reached via separate hikes but many are so close together that it’s tempting to hike to more than one. Below are two of the more popular multi-waterfall hikes for DuPont Forest.
3-Mile Waterfall Hike – moderate
This popular hike takes you to three waterfalls in DuPont State Recreational Forest: Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls. The 3-mile hike is the perfect way to get out into the great outdoors of North Carolina. Bring along some food and make a picnic of it.
7-Mile Waterfalls Hike – strenuous
This more strenuous, 7-mile hike in DuPont State Forest will take you to High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Feeling hardy? Tack Hooker Falls onto the hike for the price of just 1 and a half more miles. Mountain bikers can do most of the trip via old logging roads.
DuPont Forest is open daily, from 5am to 10pm. Admission is free and there are a variety of parking areas, some with facilities, throughout the park.
You can also visit DuPont Forest online for hours, maps, and other information.
The Visitor Center, located at the High Falls parking area, is a good place to start your visit. They have trail maps and can direct you to popular forest and local, off-forest attractions.
The Asheville area is an outdoor enthusiasts mecca, with a great variety of hiking and biking trails for folks at all levels. We here at Bent Creek Lodge know these trails and love nothing better than helping you to get out and enjoy them, too. So go ahead: pack that hiking gear for the vacation of a lifetime here in Asheville!