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One of the best western North Carolina hikes, hitting all of the waterfalls in DuPont State Park.


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Map Key

14.1

Miles

22.7

KM

Loop

2,862' 872 m

High

2,235' 681 m

Low

1,472' 449 m

Up

1,503' 458 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Swimming · Views · Waterfall

Chestnut Oak Road no longer exists along its entire route from Joanna Road to Buck Forest Road and is a virtually impassable bushwack. Another user commented that Oak Tree is an alternate, but from the map, it still puts you on Chestnut Oak Road. Staying on Pitch Pine, then right on Conservation Road and right again back to Buck Forest Road is a better way to get to Grassy Creek Falls Trail .

Overview

The DuPont Waterfall Bonanza is a ~14 mile loop that goes by all of the waterfalls in the park. The waterfalls are easily accessible and offer a great way to cool off. The trails are well-maintained and marked and, since many of the trails are deeper in the park, not crowded.

Description

Starting from the main parking lot, a brief road section leads to the trailhead. The loop then continues for several miles on well maintained singletrack that is easily hike-able. The waterfalls are in the later half of the loop, so there is plenty of time to anticipate them. Access to the falls is on short out-and-back trails off the main trails and the turns are well marked.

Here are turn-by-turn directions, with highlights for the waterfalls.

From Hooker Falls parking area:

Go up to the highway Staton Road and go right. Hike along side the road. At 1 mile, turn right on Sheep Mountain Trail #66 -- gravel road with a gate. In 1.4 miles, turn left on Pine Tree Trail #53. It will soon cross the highway. In 1.3 miles, turn left on Longside Trail #47. In 0.9 miles, turn left on Corn Mill Shoals Trail #19 (It will pass several junctions and cross a slippery river, shin-deep).

In 2.7 miles, turn left on Bridal Veil Falls Road #6 (NOT Bridal Veil Falls Overlook). Hike up the slick rock to Upper Bridal Veil Falls and go underneath the falls for a massaging shower. This is where scenes from The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans were filmed. Return by staying on Bridal Veil Falls Road #6.

In 0.6 miles, turn left on Conservation Road #18, then after 0.4 miles, turn right on Three Lakes Trail #76 (Hike past Lake Julia, Lake Alford, and at the dock at Lake Dense. Hike off the end of the dock at full speed for a plunge!)

Rejoin the trail and turn right on Pitch Pine Trail #54. After 0.4 miles, again turn right on Joanna Road #40
Another 0.6 miles later, turn left on Chestnut Oak Road #17. After 0.5 miles, turn right on Buck Forest Road #8 (Remember this spot. You'll return.)

Turn left on Lake Imaging Road #41 after 0.2 miles. In 0.1 miles, turn left on Grassy Creek Falls Trail #27
A short 0.2 miles gets you to Grassy Creek Falls (not suggested for swimming).

Backtrack the way you came to stay on Buck Forest Road #8. In 0.8 miles, cross a covered bridge, and turn right on Covered Bridge Trail #20. After 0.2 miles, turn right on High Falls Trail #33. Pass by the overlook of High Falls.

In 0.8 miles, merge right with Triple Falls Trail #77 (Pass view of Triple Falls). Finally, after 0.5 miles, return to the parking lot to finish. There's an optional 1-mile out-and-back to Hooker Falls.

History & Background

DuPont State Forest has been used to film numerous movies. On the hike, you'll see locations that look familiar from Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans. You can even recreate the "behind the waterfall" scene in the latter.

Contacts

Shared By:

Craig Marshall with improvements by Sara Duncan

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 11 votes

#3004

Overall
  4.1 from 11 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#120

in North Carolina

#3,004

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Photos

Triple Falls at DuPont State Forest.
Jan 30, 2017 near Brevard, NC
High Falls stands magnificent in the distance from the overlook.
Jan 30, 2017 near Brevard, NC
DuPont State Forest
Apr 20, 2018 near Brevard, NC
Enjoy this covered bridge on Buck Forest Road above High Falls at DuPont State Forest.
Jan 31, 2017 near Etowah, NC
The falls during the winter
Apr 22, 2018 near Brevard, NC
Lake Dense, first lake encountered on this route.
Feb 24, 2023 near Etowah, NC

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