Hiking in Dupont State Recreational Forest
North Carolina's first State Recreational Forest is located southeast of Brevard in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 10,400 acre Dupont State Recreational Forest (DSF/DSRF) offers almost 100 miles of recreational trails traveling to several unique waterfalls, pristine lakes, and other attractions. Originally a State Forest, DuPont earned the "Recrational" part of its name in 2011 when a bill was passed emphasizing management of the area's recreational aspects, including trails.
Some trails pass over large expanses of solid rock on large granite domes. Others twist through the woods, offering more traditional Carolina style. Nearly all trails are multi-use (biking, hiking, and equestrian) and they are well signed and well marked.
There are five main parking areas at DSRF: at Guion Farm, Hooker Falls, Buck Forest Gate, Fawn Lake, and Corn Mill Shoals. Each has portable toilet facilities and an information board, displaying good advice for using the area, rules and regulations, events, and a good map.
Be sure to watch the video of the Dupont State Forest Watefalls hike, which would make an excellent introduction to the area and what it has to offer!
When traveling on granite, watch closely for blazes painted on the rocks and rock cairns (small piles of rocks) to mark the trail. Avoid stepping on moss and fragile vegetation growing between the rock. The moss will die wherever a shoe treads on it, and the growing conditions are hard enough up there without human intervention. Obey all posted signs including property boundaries. Be very careful near waterfalls! Do not block gates when you park, and wear bright colors during hunting season.
Picnic Shelters, some of which have been refurbished, are now available for anyone to use when not reserved and available for reservation for a fee. Hike in and enjoy a rain-free picnic at High Falls, Triple Falls, Lake Dense, or several other locations on the Forest! A reservation includes a limited number of vehicle passes to the shelter. See the Dupont State Forest Map for locations of the picnic shelters.
For more information on other activities at DSF, including maps, recent news and information on volunteer opportunities, visit the DupontForest.com - a fantastic site. Also, pick up a good topographic map of DSF before your hike. These are found at several local outfitters and are provided by Friends of Dupont State Forest for $12.00.
Dupont State Forest News
Conservation Road below Lake Julia Reopened
Conservation Road, the most convenient route from High Falls to Bridal Veil Falls, has once again been reopened below the Lake Julia dam. It appears that the opening should be permanent this time.
Places to Stay
Public camping is not available within Dupont State Forest itself. Please visit one of the recommended private campgrounds below.
Black Forest Family Camping Resort
Located 4 miles from the trailhead at the Dupont State Forest, making it the closest place to DSF to camp. Tent sites as well as RV sites with hookups are available.
Big Branch Cabins
Experience the best of a Blue Ridge Mountain getaway in beautiful Brevard, North Carolina! Enjoy our charming mountain cabins and our 12 private, wooded acres, bordered by thousands of acres of forestry land. You'll be just a short distance from Dupont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Gorges State Park, and Nantahala National Forest including the spectacular Whitewater Falls, highest in the Eastern US. You can hike the Big Branch trail to stream, or enjoy nature in the surrounding thousands of acres of public forest lands. Our two-bedroom cabins are decorated with unique antiques & include a fully functional kitchen, AC, TV/DVD, bed linens/towels, covered porches, outdoor grills, washer/dryer, and a picnic area.
Hampton Inn Brevard
Fall from your cloud nine bed to the trail when you stay with us at the Hampton Inn Brevard. We are conveniently located at the gateway to the Pisgah National forest where you can actually hike straight from your room to the trail. The hotel is bike friendly and host to numerous cycling groups, races and training programs throughout the year. We also offer a large meeting room for events and can also assist with your group tours.
After wearing out the tread, you'll need a good bed! Rustic elegance abounds in this recently renovated cabin on 22 private acres. Just a 10 minute drive from Dupont State Forest and a 12 minute drive from the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, this home has a fully equipped kitchen, an open living/dining room with gas-log fireplace and hardwood floors throughout. The main floor features two bedrooms with queen size beds (one Tempurpedic) and a full tile bath. Upstairs you'll find a loft with two twin beds and a half bath. Amenities include a covered deck with views of Fodderstack mountain, high speed wireless Internet, satellite TV, DVD player with movies, Wii gaming system, gas grill, full-size washer and dryer, dishwasher, bed and bath linens, lockable storage shed for gear and walking trails on the property. Accommodates 6 people.
For more information on the Dupont State Forest, visit this excellent web site. Get current news, user policy information, maps, and more. Site produced by Friends of Dupont Forest.
There are several parking areas at DuPont State Forest, and the way to get to them varies quite a bit since it's a large forest. The one you will want to use depends on which trails you will be hiking. The following directions are from Asheville; see the maps to get directions from your location.
To the NC 280/US 64/US 276 Intersection:
From downtown (Map Point A), take I-240 west to I-26 east. Go about 12 miles and take Exit 40 for the Asheville Airport/NC Hwy. 280. Turn right toward Brevard, and go south on 280 (a 4-lane highway) for 16 miles to the big intersection with US Hwy. 64/276. Directions below continue from this intersection.
North Side Parking Areas
Hooker Falls Parking Area (Map Point B):
Note (April 2013): The Hooker Falls parking area will be closed for at least two months in the near future for construction of a new multi-use bridge across the Little River, as well as expansion of the parking area itself. While it is closed, please use another parking area in the forest and don't park alongside Staton Road, or you risk getting a ticket.
From the intersection above, turn left on US 64 East and drive 3.7 miles. Turn right on Crab Creek Road. Drive 4.3 miles and turn right on Dupont Road. Go 3.1 miles to the parking area on the right. (The road changes to Staton Road along the way. It will climb and then begin a long downhill, at the bottom of which is the bridge over the Little River. The parking area is on the right just before the bridge.)
Buck Forest Parking Area (Map Point C):
Continue past the Hooker Falls parking area (above) about 1 mile to this parking area on the left. This parking area provides restrooms, a visitor center (under construction), and the easiest access to the center of the forest including High Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and several lakes.
Guion Farm Parking Area (Map Point D):
From the intersection above, turn left on US 64 East and drive 3.7 miles. Turn right on Crab Creek Road. Drive 4.3 miles and turn right on Dupont Road. Go 0.7 miles and turn left onto Sky Valley Road. The parking area is on the right after 1.4 miles.
South Side Parking Areas
From the intersection above, continue straight on the 4-lane highway about 3.5 miles to downtown Brevard. Turn turn left on US 276 (Main St.). Go just under 11 miles on 276 and turn left on Cascade Lake Road, at the Cedar Mountain Fire Department building (with the red metal roof).
Corn Mill Shoals Parking Area (Map Point B):
After you turn onto Cascade Lake Road, the parking area is about two miles on the left, lined with huge boulders and with an information board in the back of the lot. The Corn Mill Shoals Road trail starts across the road from the parking lot.
Fawn Lake Parking Area (Map Point C):
After you turn onto Cascade Lake Road, pass the fire station and make an immediate right onto Reasonover Road. Follow Reasonover for about 2.5 miles to the parking area entrance on the left.