Asheville TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co

DuPont State Forest is a 10,000-acre outdoor wonderland filled with fantastic hiking and mountain biking trails near Brevard, NC. Natural beauty fills the park’s sprawling acres. Enormous waterfalls plunge from towering, rocky cliffs, landing in deep pools of blue. Glassy lakes reflect the rolling terrain on the opposite shore. Moss-covered rock outcrops, gnarly rhododendron tunnels, and sun-dappled forests offer habitats for DuPont’s abundant wildlife. And several wind-swept mountain summits rise above it all, catching abundant sunlight on their rocky, cratered domes.

The forest is nestled in the Little River Valley south of Asheville, and its ultra-scenic terrain has been featured in a number of films, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. It’s a fantastic venue for a mountain bike ride or waterfall-chasing hike. The park features around 80 miles of trails that wind, dip, and weave through its acres, following pathways that range from short and family-friendly to adventurous and challenging. But whatever your adventure, be sure to be out by 10:00 pm: there’s no overnight camping allowed within the forest.

Hike, run, or mountain bike through DuPont State Recreational Forest near Brevard, exploring tumbling waterfalls, rocky mountaintops, and some of Western NC's most beautiful terrain. #hiking #trailrunning #asheville #nc #northcarolina #travel #outdoors #adventure

DuPont State Forest: our favorite trails

Follow our favorite trails to towering waterfalls, through whitewater-filled stream valleys, to a covered bridge, and to lofty, sun-drenched mountaintops in this exceptionally scenic park. Wherever your adventures take you, please remember to leave no trace to help preserve DuPont’s outstanding beauty.

  • Hike to five gorgeous waterfalls in under five miles on the DuPont State Forest Waterfalls Hike, visiting High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls

    DuPont State Forest Waterfalls Hike

    4.5 MILES

    Hike to three of DuPont’s most beautiful falls on this outstanding hike just under five miles. The adventure begins at Hooker Falls, a popular summertime swimming hole. Following the Little River upstream, the hike explores the stunning triple cascades at Triple Falls, a filming location for The Hunger Games. And the hike finishes with a visit to the base of the enormous, towering High Falls, catching views of the park’s wooden covered bridge just above the falls. (If you love waterfalls, this hike can’t be beat: it’s one of our all-time favorite waterfall hikes in the Southeast.)

  • Hooker Falls

    .6 MILE

    It’s an ultra-short, kid-friendly hike – and the tumbling, sheet-like waterfall at trail’s end is so worth the journey. Hike the Hooker Falls Trail to DuPont’s popular summertime swimming hole, following the Little River downstream through a scenic, mossy forest filled with hardwoods and gnarly-branched rhododendron.

  • Hike to the tumbling cascades of Bridal Veil Falls in DuPont State Recreational Forest near Brevard, NC

    Bridal Veil Falls

    4.6 MILES

    Hike to one of DuPont State Forest’s most beautiful waterfalls, the sheer cascades of Bridal Veil Falls. This hike crosses the park’s covered bridge over High Falls, visits Lake Julia, the park’s largest lake, and visits this outstanding, two-tiered waterfall. The hike catches outstanding views of the upper freefall at Bridal Veil Falls, famously featured in The Last of the Mohicans, from a wooden observation deck, and then explores the lower, sheeting cascades as the Little River flows over an enormous domed rock outcrop.

  • Cedar Rock Mountain on the Big Rock Trail

    1.8 MILES

    Climb through dense tunnels of gnarly-branched rhododendron on this scenic hike to the summit of Cedar Rock Mountain. This loop follows the Big Rock Trail to the mountain’s cratered summit, catching elevated views and exploring the mountain’s unique, ruggedly beautiful terrain.

  • Hike the Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest to a trio of beautiful waterfalls south of Asheville, NC

    Triple Falls

    1 MILE

    Three exceptionally beautiful waterfalls. One mile, round trip. It’s no wonder that this is of the most popular hikes at DuPont State Forest, and it’s long been one of our favorites for a short, ultra-scenic adventure, especially with younger family members. The hike crosses the Little River over a large span bridge, and then follows the river upstream, catching view after view of its forested shores. The trail visits the lower falls, framed in enormous boulders and rock outcrops, and then descends a long wooden staircase for up-close views of Triple Falls’ top two tiers.

  • Stone Mountain

    2.7 MILES

    While it’s well-loved for its waterfalls, DuPont’s incredible terrain also features several stunning mountaintops with some pretty exceptional views. This hike climbs Stone Mountain, the highest summit in the park, winding through a hardwood forest. At the mountain’s summit, broad rock outcrops lined with pockets of mosses, grasses, and tall wildflowers offer beautiful 180-degree views over the park’s rolling, lush terrain.

  • Hiking gear list: our favorite, trail-tested backpacks, boots, and hike essentials


    Hiking gear list: our favorite, trail-tested gear

    Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our hiking gear list features our favorite, trail-tested hiking gear for day hikes on local trails and in the backcountry. We print and stitch our Asheville Trails shirts and hats locally in Asheville and Atlanta, and they’re our favorite for trail adventures all over the South. And no matter what you pack in, pack it all back out. Please leave no trace and help preserve the beauty of Western NC.

Leave No Trace: Asheville Trails is an official Leave No Trace partner

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.