DuPont State Forest waterfalls: Three Falls Hike (Triple Falls, High Falls & Hooker Falls)

Hike to five popular, gorgeous DuPont State Forest waterfalls, High Falls, Hooker Falls, and three waterfalls at Triple Falls, on a 4.5 mile, ultra-scenic hike on the Little River.

 

trail info

DuPont State Forest is a rolling, 10,000 acre outdoor playground near Brevard, NC. It’s well-loved for great hiking and biking trails, glassy lakes and beautiful views from tall mountain summits. The Little River meanders through DuPont’s rocky, rolling landscape, dropping and cascading in beautiful waterfalls that draw hikers by the masses.

This 4.5 miler at DuPont State Forest treks to the park’s most popular and beautiful falls, catching some spectacular waterfall views and hiking through a beautiful forest. The hike visits the towering single-drop cascade at High Falls, the park’s tallest waterfall, and catches views of the wooden covered bridge just above High Falls. The hike follows the Little River downstream, dropping elevation to visit the gorgeous three-tiered waterfall at Triple Falls, a former movie filming location for The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. And departing Triple Falls, the hike trails to Hooker Falls, a wide, symmetrical waterfall that drops into a deep pool that’s one of the Brevard area’s most popular summertime swimming holes.

Hike Dupont State Forest to three gorgeous waterfalls, including the triple-tier Triple Falls Above: the DuPont State Forest Three Falls Hike visits three waterfalls, including a stunning trio at Triple Falls

If you love chasing waterfalls, this is your hike: it’s a wonderful, waterfall-filled hike to three of North Carolina’s most beautiful waterfalls on a moderate, scenic trail.

DuPont State Forest waterfalls: the hike

The hike departs from the High Falls trailhead off Stanton Road, located near the DuPont State Forest visitor center (view maps and driving directions). The trail hikes eastbound, meandering through a forest filled with twisted-trunked rhododendron and following a crushed white gravel path. The trail crosses a small bridge and continues hiking eastbound toward High Falls.

The High Falls Trail treks through gnarly-branched rhododendron at DuPont State Forest

The hike passes an intersection with Dupont’s Covered Bridge Trail at .35 mile, beginning a steady descent. The hike reaches the High Falls overlook at .5 mile, catching views of the towering, tumbling waterfall and the rustic covered bridge above.

Hike to the towering cascades of High Falls, catching views of the covered bridge, at DuPont State Forest near Brevard, NC

Continuing its descent, the hike reaches the banks of the Little River at .7 mile, hanging a right to hike the River Bend Trail to the base of High Falls. The trail reaches the waterfall’s base at 1.1 miles, catching an up-close view of the impressive 120-foot-tall falls. (Note: the rocks on and near waterfalls can be extremely slippery; don’t climb on or around the falls.)

Departing High Falls, the hike retraces its steps on the River Bend Trail, following the wide-flowing river downstream. The hike re-joins the High Falls Trail at 1.4 miles, trailing northeast along the river’s scenic banks and rolling elevation.

The hike reaches the Triple Falls Trail at 1.75 miles, hanging a right. In a tenth of a mile, the hike turns right to descend the staircase leading to the top two tiers of Triple Falls’ three consecutive waterfalls.

Hike to 3 popular & gorgeous DuPont State Forest waterfalls (Triple Falls, Hooker Falls & High Falls) on a 4.5 mile, ultra-scenic hike

Doubling back to the Triple Falls Trail, the hike climbs the stairs and hangs a right, hiking northeast. The hike reaches a short spur trail to lower Triple Falls, hanging another right to visit the base of the lower waterfall.

DuPont State Forest's Triple Falls waterfall, a movie filming location for The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans, cascades in three gorgeous tiers

Four stunning waterfalls down, and one to go, the hike backtracks to the Triple Falls Trail and hikes downriver through a wide meander. The Little River flows wide and calm, winding between grassy, rocky banks – a contrast to the whitewater-filled waterfalls just upriver. The trail ducks under a bridge at 2.4 miles and then crosses the river on a wide wood and metal bridge.

The hike hangs a left on the Hooker Falls Trail, continuing to follow the river downstream. The trail catches its first views of Hooker Falls at 2.7 miles, spotting the waterfall from a riverside overlook. The hike reaches the base of Hooker Falls at 2.8 miles, catching views of the beautifully symmetrical waterfall as it spills over a 12-foot ledge. The flat, grassy rock outcrops just below the falls make a great place for a mid-hike chill (or a quick picnic with an amazing view).

The Three Falls Hike at DuPont State Forest trails to three gorgeous waterfalls, including the beautiful swimming hole at Hooker Falls

Departing Hooker Falls, the hike retraces back to the trailhead, following the Little River upstream and hiking the outbound trek on the Hooker Falls Trail, Triple Falls Trail and High Falls Trail in reverse. It’s an almost-all-uphill return, but totally worth the workout.

Reaching the High Falls trailhead at just over 4.5 miles, the hike completes. Five waterfalls, under five miles: it’s a hike that’s worth hiking again and again.

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 hiking adventures

Quenched your thirst for waterfalls, and looking for some stunning DuPont State Forest views? Hike the Stone Mountain Trail to an enormous domed summit at the park’s northern edge to catch wide panoramic views from a wildflower-stippled mountaintop, or hike to the grassy, rocky summit of Big Cedar Mountain to score some beautiful views.

 
 
 

DuPont State Forest Waterfalls Three 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

35.191533, -82.621617     //     N35 11.492 W82 37.297

Driving Directions


Elevation Profile

DuPont State Forest waterfalls Three Falls hike: Elevation Profile

DuPont State Forest Waterfalls Three 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.