DuPont State Forest is awesome for an infinite number of ways, so it’s tough to choose only three reasons your next trip should be to DuPont. This 10,000+ acre jewel tucked away into the grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains is beloved by hikers, cyclists, and equestrians as well as motorists. Among the best-loved features of the Forest are its waterfalls, mountain lakes, and rock faces.
There’s something about falling water that rejuvenates the soul. People focus on the sight of a waterfall, but don’t forget the sound, the smell of the churning water, and the refreshing feel of the cool mist roiling up from the plunge pool. This overall portion of Western North Carolina is known as the “Land of Waterfalls”, and DuPont shows you why. The density of falls in the Forest is spectacular. The most popular waterfalls in DuPont are High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls. Hooker is a only a short walk from the parking area and is handicapped accessible. It is suitable for the entire family. Be sure to bring your camera.
What is more peaceful than a mountain lake reflecting the surrounding trees in its tranquil waters? DuPont has five man-made lakes, each with its own personality. These lakes are available for viewing, swimming, and fishing. Some are readily accessible and others take some enjoyable hiking to reach. The flagship lake of the Forest is the 100-acre Lake Julia. Hooker Falls, mentioned above, falls into Cascade Lake, the most accessible of the lakes. The remaining lakes are Lake Alford, Lake Dense, and Fawn Lake.
If I had to come up with one word to describe the allure of DuPont it would be “rock.” This area has phenomenal areas of exposed rock. Virtually every ridge and mountain has areas of exposed rock somewhere. Many of the trails are paths atop the rock. Rocky sides of surrounding mountains create an unforgettable panorama. For those wanting full-blown granite domes, Cedar Rock Mountain and the aptly-named Stone Mountain are a must. There is something raw and primal about the admixture of the rock and surrounding forest that keeps people coming back for more.
To learn more about these and other features of this beautiful corner of the world, you can check out my Blue Ridge Hiker website for information about the trails and the features along them (all the items featured in this article is along a trail). Friends of DuPont State Forest also has a lively site that keeps up-to-date activities as well as general information. Of course, the official DuPont website is helpful.