Triple Falls Trail: hiking North Carolina's DuPont State Forest to a beautiful triple waterfall

Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest, NC

Hike the Triple Falls Trail at North Carolina's DuPont State Forest to a trio of cascading waterfalls on the scenic Little River.

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 a good reason: with three waterfalls in such a short stretch of river, Triple Falls is a gorgeous hike. And movie buffs, it’s no coincidence that these waterfalls might look familiar: the waterfall was 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 scores views of all three waterfalls on a one-mile, kid-friendly, round trip adventure. The route follows the Triple Falls Trail in DuPont State Recreational Forest, a beautiful, 10,000-acre playground that’s popular with hikers, mountain bikers, and runners, located just east of Brevard, NC. And while the waterfalls are the hike’s main attraction, there’s abundant natural beauty throughout the hike, too: the trail follows the scenic Little River, catching views of the glassy river as it flows over a grassy, bouldered bed.

Triple Falls, NC: the hike

The adventure starts at the Hooker Falls and Triple Falls parking area off Staton Road (view maps and driving directions). The trail immediately crosses the wood and metal bridge spanning the Little River, catching views of the river’s scenic rocky bed from the bridge.

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 expansive 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 trail follows a wide, graveled path, diving deeper into the forest and following the river’s broad meander. 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 Little River flows serenely through DuPont State Forest, a contrast to the incredible waterfalls just up and downriver

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

The hike reaches Lower Triple Falls at .3 mile, catching an up-close view of the tumbling waterfall. The hike doubles back to the main trail and turns left at .4 mile, beginning a climb to the upper and middle waterfalls. The hike catches a view of the three waterfalls from a break through the trees at .5 miles.

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

This route 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 top two 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.

The hike departs the upper falls and retraces its outbound steps to return to the trailhead. The hike reaches the trailhead at 1 mile, finishing the waterfall-filled, scenic adventure.

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 waterfall-filled adventures at DuPont State Forest

Up for an adventure? DuPont State Forest offers 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 broad, 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

Parking

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

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a cell phone signal to find your way, 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.

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