Triple Falls Trail: waterfall hiking at DuPont State Forest, NC

Hike the Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest to a trio of cascading waterfalls on the scenic Little River on a relatively easy, 1 mile, kid-friendly hike.


trail info

Three thundering waterfalls spill in succession, tumbling and cascading from wide, blocky rock ledges. Tall trees frame the waterfalls in lush, green beauty. It’s one of North Carolina’s most popular waterfalls, and for good reason: with three waterfalls in such a short stretch of river, Triple Falls is a gorgeous site to be seen. And movie buffs, it’s no coincidence that these waterfalls might look familiar: Triple Falls is a former filming location for The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.

Hike the Triple Falls Trail to a beautiful three-tiered waterfall at DuPont State Forest near Brevard, NCAbove: the lower waterfall at Triple Falls, a trio of cascading waterfalls in DuPont State Forest.

This hike to Triple Falls spans one mile, round trip. The hike follows the Triple Falls Trail in DuPont State Recreational Forest, a beautiful, 10,000 acre playground that’s popular with hikers, bikers and runners, located just east of Brevard, NC. While Triple Falls is clearly the hike’s main attraction, there’s abundant beauty along the trail, too: the hike follows the scenic Little River along a wide meander, catching views of the glassy river as it flows over a grassy, bouldered bed.

Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest: the hike

The hike from the Hooker Falls / Triple Falls parking area off Staton Road (view maps and driving directions), immediately crosses the wood and metal bridge spanning the Little River. The hike catches views of the river’s rocky bed from the bridge as it crosses.

The Triple Falls Trail crosses the Little River via bridge in DuPont State Forest

Reaching the opposite shore, the hike ducks under a bridge, catching wide views of the Little River. A tributary stream, Hooker Creek, joins the river on the opposite bank, tumbling over a rocky, bouldered bed before flowing into a glassy pool. Tall grasses line the river’s banks.

The Little River flows serenely through DuPont State Forest, a contrast to the incredible waterfalls just up and downriver

The Triple Falls Trail follows a wide, graveled path, diving deeper into the forest and following the contours of a wide meander on the river. The forest is lush, shaded by tall trees above and covered in vibrant green moss and orange-brown leaves below. Leathery-leafed and gnarly-branched rhododendron are abundant, lining the sides of the trail.

The hike arcs southbound, reaching a trail junction at .2 mile and veering left to visit the lower Triple Falls waterfall. Just below the falls, the river’s flow is serene, bordered by blocky rock, grasses and tall trees.

Hike the Triple Falls Trail in North Carolina to a trio of beautiful waterfalls and abundant forest beauty

The hike reaches lower Triple Falls at .3 mile, catching an up-close view of the tumbling waterfall. Doubling back to the main trail, the hike hangs a left at .4 mile, making a climb to the upper and middle waterfalls. It’s a steady climb to the upper falls, but relatively short, climbing 100 feet over the next .1 mile.

The hike catches a view of the three waterfalls from a break in the treeline at .5 miles.

Hike Dupont State Forest to three gorgeous waterfalls, including the triple-tier Triple Falls

The hike turns left at .55 miles, descending to the upper and middle waterfalls on a series of wooden stairs and landings. Reaching a wide, expansive rock outcrop, the hike catches gorgeous views of the upper tiers of Triple Falls and the lower waterfall downstream.

The Triple Falls waterfall cascades down over large, blocky outcrops in DuPont State Forest.  Look familiar? Triple Falls was a filming location for The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.

Departing the upper and middle falls, the hike retraces its outbound steps on the Triple Falls Trail to return to the trailhead. The hike reaches the trailhead at 1 mile, completing the hike.

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

Up for an adventure? DuPont State Forest is filled with more than 80 miles of outstanding hiking, biking and running trails. Don’t miss the short hike to Hooker Falls, accessible from the Triple Falls trailhead: it’s an easy .6 mile hike to a wide, cascading waterfall on the Little River (and a popular summertime swimming hole). Or if you’re up for chasing some serious waterfall beauty, hike the forest’s Three Waterfalls Hike to visit Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and the towering cascades of High Falls on a 4.5 mile roundtrip.


Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest: Directions & Details


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

35.201867, -82.619750     //     N35 12.112 W82 37.185

Driving Directions

Elevation Profile

Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest: Elevation Profile

Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest 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.