Hooker Falls Trail: hiking DuPont State Forest waterfalls

Hike the exceptionally short and easy Hooker Falls Trail to an exceptionally beautiful waterfall and swimming hole at DuPont State Recreational Forest near Brevard, NC.

 

trail info

It’s been said that North Carolina’s Transylvania County is the “land of waterfalls,” thanks to the abundance of exceptionally beautiful waterfalls nearby. Hooker Falls is one of the county’s most popular. The waterfall is easily accessed by a just-over-half-mile roundtrip hike that’s both easy and short.

Little River spills in a beautiful, symmetrical waterfall at Hooker Falls, located in DuPont State Recreational Forest south of Asheville, NCAbove: the Little River spills in a beautiful, symmetrical waterfall at Hooker Falls, located in DuPont State Recreational Forest south of Asheville, NC.

And Hooker Falls is beautiful: it’s a wide, symmetrical, spilling single-cascade waterfall, the last in a series of four on the Little River in DuPont State Forest. Below the falls, the river pools in a deep, wide basin that’s one of summertime’s most popular swimming holes near Brevard.

Hike the Hooker Falls Trail to the popular Hooker Falls swimming area and waterfall at Dupont State Forest, NC

It’s not a long hike, but a worthwhile one – and the Hooker Falls Trail, while short, offers connections to the expansive, 80+ mile trail network at DuPont. Whether you’re jonesing for a refreshing, chilly-water waterfall swim, chasing waterfalls, or just looking for a beautiful, scenic picnic spot, Hooker Falls is worth a visit.

Hooker Falls Trail: the hike

The hike begins at the generously-sized Hooker Falls trailhead and parking area at Dupont State Forest (view maps and driving directions). At the trailhead, facing the bridge over the Little River, the Hooker Falls Trail departs to the right, hiking downriver to the southwest.

The trail follows a wide gravel road, meandering along the river’s contours in a forest of rhododendron and hemlock. The Little River flows trailside, tumbling over a rocky bed littered with large stones and small boulders.

The Little River flows over a boulder-filled bed upriver from Hooker Falls at DuPont State Forest

The hike reaches an overlook at .25 mile, catching a side view of the spilling falls. Hooker Falls cascades down a dozen feet from a flat, stair-stepped cliff, tumbling onto a flat, level rock outcrop below.

Departing the overlook, the trail continues its northwest trek, hiking to a wide, open area just below the falls. Large, mostly level, blocky rocks – their fractures filled with soft green grasses – make a great place to hang out and enjoy the waterfall’s beauty.

The Hooker Falls waterfall tumbles over a wide cliff at DuPont State Forest near Brevard, NC

Upriver from Hooker Falls, the Little River drops in several other ultra-popular waterfalls, all exceptionally larger (though unlike Hooker, swimming isn’t allowed at the other waterfalls in DuPont State Forest). Departing Hooker Falls, the hike retraces its outbound steps to the trailhead, completing the hike at just over .6 mile.

Note: while swimming is allowed below the waterfall, don’t climb on – or around – the rocks surrounding the waterfall. And please pack out everything you packed in to help keep the forest beautiful.

Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.

More DuPont State Forest waterfall adventures

In the mood to chase some beautiful waterfalls? The Triple Falls Trail departs from this same trailhead, crossing the bridge over the Little River to visit Triple Falls and High Falls, two of DuPont’s most popular waterfalls. From the bridge, it’s just over four miles, roundtrip, to visit all three tiers of Triple Falls, High Falls and the covered bridge – and well worth the hike.

 
 
 

DuPont State Forest Hooker Falls Trail: Directions & Details

Parking

Free parking is available at the trailhead. Check the DuPont State Forest website for hours and closures.

Please Remember

Always leave no trace and follow these trail etiquette tips.

GPS Coordinates

35.202017, -82.620033     //     N35 12.121 W82 37.202

Driving Directions


Elevation Profile

Hooker Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest: Elevation Profile

DuPont State Forest Hooker Falls Trail Map

Trail data and photos © Summit19 Studio LLC. This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
 
Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.

Eric is also a freelance writer, photographer and creative director.