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Length: Multiple Trails – Lengths Vary
Elevation Gain: Varies
Trail Type: Out and Back or Loop
Dogs: Allowed, On Leash
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Permit Required? No
Considerations: Seasonal Conditions; Multi-User Trails
Season: Year Round
With its breathtaking waterfalls and peaceful scenery, DuPont State Recreational Forest in North Carolina is a hiking paradise.
HIKING DUPONT STAT FOREST – THE LITTLE RIVER WATERFALLS
Though all of the waterfalls in this forest are a joy to behold, the four found along the Little River as it flows down to Cascade Lake are the ones most often visited, and for good reason. They are spectacular.
The sweeping elegance of Hooker Falls is entrancing. Enjoy the view of the fourth and final waterfall along Little River after a quick and easy hike from the Hooker Falls parking/access area. A stunning scene year round, the magnificent, wide cascade of water falls roughly 12 feet into a lovely pool below. For a longer hike to Hooker Falls which includes another waterfall (or two, depending on the route), take the trail to Hooker Falls from the High Falls parking area. A junction a short ways in takes hikers either down towards Little River or into the forest. The route which follows the river passes by two other waterfalls, whereas the route through the forest is more direct, but does not include one of them.
With an impressive 120+ foot drop, Triple Falls is a graceful waterfall flowing over a gradual, stepped granite incline. The result is a fabulous, eye popping series of three cascades. Enjoy a stroll out on the rocks at the middle fall area. It’s stunning. The third waterfall along the river, Triple Falls can be accessed via either the Hooker Falls or High Falls parking areas. If accessed via the High Falls parking area, the trail at the junction (mentioned previously) heading towards Little River follows the river to Triple Falls and also passes by High Falls.
High Falls is a gorgeous, dramatic cascade which flows over a steep section of granite downstream of a picturesque covered bridge. With the covered bridge providing lots of man-made old world charm, this second waterfall along Little River is extraordinarily scenic. Easiest access is from the High Falls parking area. If time allows, and we hope it does, enjoy Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls in one hike as either a loop or out and back (Waterfall Map link below).
Bridal Veil Falls
Last, but certainly not least, a glorious slide of water, Bridal Veil Falls is the first of the Little River waterfalls in DuPont State Recreational Forest. After dropping over a small ledge, white water cascades down a long inclined plane of granite creating the appearance of fine lace on the rock. It is a magnificent sight to behold. An absolute “don’t miss” in DuPont State Recreational Forest, hike here from either the High Falls or the Fawn Lake parking/access areas. If hiking from the Fawn Lake parking area there are additional side trails which circle Fawn Lake, pass by Lake Julia and Lake Denise, or include an overlook of the falls (General Map link below).
HIKING THE OTHER WATERFALLS
The remaining two waterfalls in DuPont State Recreation Forest are Grassy Creek Falls and Wintergreen Falls. A lovely slide of water flowing down a granite slab along Grassy Creek, Grassy Creek Falls can be accessed from the High Falls, Guion Farm, or Lake Imaging parking areas. Sitting at the bottom of Grassy Creek Gorge, Wintergreen Falls is a 20 foot cascade over a mix of flat and jumbled rocks which narrows as it makes its final, forceful descent through a chute worn in the rocks. Wintergreen Falls has its most direct access from the Guion Farms parking area. Hikes to either of these waterfalls can be made longer or shorter, depending on the route taken. The General Map (link below) shows the various options for these hikes.
HIKING DUPONT STATE FOREST – WATERFALL SAFETY
Waterfalls, for all of their beauty, can also be dangerous. Swimming or wading within 300 feet above any of the waterfalls in DuPont State Recreational Forest is prohibited, as is jumping or diving from them. Further, climbing on rocks is allowed only in designated areas and only with a permit. Why, you ask? For safety. Flowing water, even if only ankle deep, can knock a grown person off their feet and send them downstream. When it comes to waterfalls, downstream is over the falls. Further, rocks are often wet and slippery near waterfalls which increases the possibility of falling. Please observe these rules to help keep everyone safe around waterfalls.
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DuPont State Forest Hiking Slideshow
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