Dupont State Forest - Cedar Mountain, NC
Hiking at Dupont State Forest
Dupont State Forest
You really should arrive early if you plan to hike the popular waterfall trail. This trail runs along Hooker Falls, High Falls, and Triple Falls. The Hooker Falls parking lot connects the trail all the way to the Visitor Center. You can park at either site.
Dupont State Forest is a 10,000+ acre tract located near Hendersonville, NC. This forest was used to shoot the box office hit “The Hunger Games” and also scenes from “The Last of the Mohicans” and have some spectacular waterfalls to behold. See photos below featuring the Bridal Veil Falls. Behind this waterfall Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe shot a scene for the movie.
The name of this state forest comes from the company DuPont, who arranged the sale of the original 7,600 acres to the state in 1996, and in 2000 was expanded by two property additions which included some spectacular waterfalls. Some parts of the forest formerly contained a manufacturing facility for the production of X-ray film.
I hold in my hand an official trail map which shows all the trails in the forest. At this time, there are currently 91 named trails you can hike. This number could change in the future. It is like a spaghetti bowl since there are many trails that are "unmaintained" that are not listed on the map. My hiking club did 8 miles on this trail. I was unable to publish more photos of the Covered Bridge and the Triple Falls due to operator error -- I had an accident with my camera and unfortunately they were deleted but there will be other trips.
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Dupont State Forest Park - Cedar Mountain, NC
Various Photos at Dupont State Forest ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Filming of The Hunger Games and other Major Motion Pictures
Many scenes from the movie The Hunger Games were shot in Dupont State Forest. The filming at Triple Falls is the location of the trees shooting out fire during the war games. This forest is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Western North Carolina, including Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Hooker Falls. Fans of The Hunger Games will flock to Dupont State Forest to see the lush forest and spectacular waterfalls. The film was also shot in other nearby cities of Asheville, Shelby, and Charlotte. Other films shot in this forest include The Last of the Mohicans, and Max (released in summer 2015).
Hooker Falls is an easy .25 mile walk from the Hooker Falls parking area. It drops about 12 feet into Cascade Lake. It has become a very popular swimming hole; however no lifeguards are on duty, so be aware that swimming is at your own risk. Triple Falls has three distinct cascades which total about 120 feet vertical drop. Scenes from The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans were filmed here. Triple Falls is about a 30 minute walk from the High Falls parking area and can also be reached from the Hooker Falls parking area. There is a scene in the movie The Hunger Games where the actress was running across a waterfall – this was Triple Falls. Do Not Try This Yourself. There were wooden planks laid down and the actress had wires on her in case she slipped. High Falls is the tallest of the Little River falls cascading down 120 feet of solid granite. It can be viewed from the High Falls Trail or from a picnic shelter. Built on the site of the old Buck Forest Hunt Club lodge, High Falls is about a 15 minute walk from the High Falls access area. Follow the signs from the Visitor Center. Bridal Veil Falls drops about eight feet off an overhanging ledge, then the water sheets down a long, inclined plane of granite. It is a longer hike of 2.3 miles from the Fawn Lake Access area, or 2.5 miles from the High Falls access area.
Nearly 80 miles of trails and roads run through this forest. It is widely used for many recreational activities, including mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, wading, kayaking, and where permitted, swimming. There are several magnificent waterfalls to view on these trails such as: Bridal Veil Falls, Corn Mill Shoals, High Falls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and Fawn Lake. The paved and state gravel roads are public roadways and are open to motorized traffic. Many of these roads have been repaired recently by volunteers to minimize soil erosion.
This forest is registered as N.C. Game Lands. Hunting is by special permit only, issued by a permit agent of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Fishing is permitted with a valid N.C. Fishing license. Streams are classified as “wild trout waters”.
The Waterfalls - Hooker Falls, High Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil FallsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Area Around Hooker Falls: The waterfall and the area at the base of the waterfall. Awesome!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bridal Veil Falls
Extreme caution must be used around the waterfalls. The waterfalls are very beautiful to see but they can be very dangerous. People have slipped on wet rocks above and around the waterfall areas and fell to their deaths. Children should be constantly supervised when visiting the waterfalls and pets should not be allowed to roam freely. The slickness of the rocks and the strong flow of water are easy to underestimate. Always stay on the marked trails and enjoy the scene from the overlooks.
Out of all the waterfalls at Dupont, this one is probably the most unique. Behind the flowing water is an area where you can actually walk behind the flowing water. This is where a scene from “The Last of the Mohicans” was filmed. Extreme caution should be used when attempting to cross wet rocks to get there. The hiking trail leading to this waterfall (Conservation Road) is flat and gravel and very easy to walk on. See video footage below of the flowing water!
The AGFA Corporation owns the land that sits north of this waterfall. The Little River flows upstream and downstream through the forest, including the land that belongs to AGFA.
Video Footage of the Bridal Veil Falls
Some Points to Remember
- Be very careful near waterfalls! Rocks are very slippery. People die every year at waterfalls in this area.
- Do not block gated entrances with your car.
- Do not cross the marked boundary of DuPont State Forest. Do not enter AGFA property.
- Wear bright colors during hunting season.
- The longer trails are for experienced hikers with topo maps.
- There are approximately 80 miles of trails and dirt roads in this area; take proper precaution in case you get lost.
Waterfall PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Other Helpful Links
- Hiking the Stone Mountain Loop Trail
Located on more than 13,500 acres in Wilkes and Alleghany counties, Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina offers cascading waterfalls and cool mountain streams, quiet forests abundant with wildlife, scenic hiking trails and a historic mountain
- Greenways in Charlotte
McAlpine Creek, McMullen Creek and Four Mile Creek Greenways are one of the many beautiful wetland nature trails that Charlotteans have access to. Even though it has 3 different names, it is the same greenway.
- NCFS - DuPont State Forest
DuPont State Forest contains 10,400 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Elevations range from 2,240 feet at Cascade Lake to 3,620 feet at the peak of Stone Mountain.
- How Dupont State Forest was Saved
Read the history Dupont State Forest near Brevard and Asheville and how is was saved from becoming a real estate development.
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