Love waterfalls? Then you need to do this three-mile hike inside DuPont State Recreational Forest.
The DuPont State Recreational Forest is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about a two-hour drive from Charlotte. This 10,400 acres of forest features four waterfalls on the Little River and on the Grassy Creek.
According to their website, “The original 7,600-acre forest was established in 1996 through a generous bargain sale from the DuPont Corporation. In 2000, the forest was expanded by two property additions, including the spectacular 2,200-acre tract in the center of the forest containing High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.”
How do you know the waterfalls are stunning? If they’re good enough to be featured in Last of the Mohicans and the Hunger Games, they’re good enough for your Instagram feed.
I recommend the laid back 3-mile waterfall hike — just one option in the forest’s 86 miles of trail. This hike will take you on a loop of Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls.
The trails are primarily flat, often gravel, and have restrooms and picnic areas at the trailhead parking area. Because it’s so accessible, it gets pretty crowded, so go this spring before the summer crowds.
To do the 3-mile waterfall hike loop, head to the trailhead parking area at 1300 Staton Rd., Cedar Mountain, NC 28718. This will be the second major DuPont Forest parking lot you’ll pass on Staton Road, but is the best for accessing hiking.
From here, you’ll have abundant options. Because it’s a loop, you can go either direction, with clear trail markers letting you know whether you’re headed towards Triple Falls or High Falls first.
It’s exactly what it sounds like—three epic, connecting cascades with glassy pools interspersed.
Trails make it possible to get super close, making this a great location for photography.
This is arguably the most striking of the loop’s waterfalls, and is what you’ll see featured in movies like Last of the Mohicans.
A 120’ granite rock waterfall, High Falls is gorgeous.
To reach the base of High Falls you’ll need to look for the sign on the waterfall loop trail indicating the dead-end path to its base.
Just 5-10 minutes down the path is a peaceful area where you can take the full waterfall in. Back on the loop trail you’ll pass the High Falls viewing area, where you can take the waterfall in from above (and check out the picturesque covered bridge above).
At the base of Hooker Falls is Cascade Lake—a popular swimming location!
If going straight to Hooker Falls is your goal, it has its own parking lot just prior to the general trailhead parking.