A Family Travel Treasure – DuPont State Recreational Forest

Get three spectacular waterfalls all in one area!

As the weather gets hotter and humid, we’re all seeking ways to stay cool. Might we suggest some waterfall hunting? North Carolina has hundreds of waterfalls and quite a few are easy to get to. Take a trip to DuPont State Recreational Forest near Brevard, NC which provides beautiful views and some beautiful swimming opportunities. 

This location is definitely a busy area and for a really great reason. Five waterfalls call this state recreational forest home; High Falls, Triple Falls, Hooker Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Grassy Creek Falls. Though there are really well maintained parking lots and accesses, be ready for some hiking to see all of them.

Three of the five falls have easier access and what we recommend seeing with a little one in tow or short on time. On this particular trip, we spent our time at High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls. With our little adventurer, we really wanted to spend time playing in the water and enjoying the scenery instead of quickly seeing all three falls in a day. So, we spent two days enjoying the state forest and seeing these waterfalls. This came out to be a perfect plan (which doesn’t happen often for toddler parents!).

Our first day in the forest, we packed three PB&J sandwiches, lots of water, some trail mix, and our hiking child carrier. We parked at the High Falls Access parking lot, which also has a visitor center and bathrooms. We hiked out to see the Covered Bridge before finding a spot nestled right in front of High Falls. We all took our shoes off and were led by a super happy toddler ready to play and explore. The majority of our day was spent finding pebbles and small rocks for him to toss in the water over and over again. We spent hours here seeing other hikers and waterfall hunters come and go. Needless to say, our kiddo took a wonderful nap on the way back to the car and in our car ride back to our campsite.

Thomas always knows when I have had a wonderful day. There are telltale signs like continuous smiling and constantly saying “wow, what a day!”. Sitting by the campfire that night, all the signs were there. There couldn’t be a better day than that one. 

The second day was packed with a little more hiking. We parked at the Hooker Falls Access lot and trekked to see Triple Falls first. However, you can’t get close enough to be able to swim or dip your feet in at the falls. To get to a good view of the falls, there was quite a steep hill to climb, too. Though these trails are very well maintained with gravel, do be ready for a pretty moderate to strenuous hike. We did take a break back at the bottom of the hill where the river runs. We let our little adventurer play and stretch his legs before hiking to the other side of the parking lot for Hooker Falls.

Hooker Falls is the quintessential waterfall/swimming hole. I recommend getting there early to get a peaceful swim in before the crowds. People flock here for a nice dip under the falls. Though we decided to not swim on this particular day, we sure wish we brought our bathing suits and towels! We let our kiddo dip his feet and toss more rocks in the water, but we were quite jealous of some of the swimmers taking advantage of this beautiful location. 

One our way home, we kept debating which waterfall was our favorite. It was such a tough decision that we still haven’t come to a conclusion. BUT, we do know that DuPont is a must for families looking for waterfalls or if you’re an NC waterfall hunter.

Where did we camp?

If you’re wondering where we camped, we have a great spot just minutes away from DuPont. We waited quite a bit to book a campsite which left us no park options. However, we always turn to Hipcamp when in a bind and we came across a wonderful spot. Nero Coffee and Camp is definitely a must see. The coffee station each morning made us tired parents feel like we were being pampered. The host was absolutely amazing and even set up miniature gnomes for our toddler to find once we got back from a day of exploring. He was overjoyed to see gnomes around a tiny campfire just like our campfire. She also gave us advice on where to go and what to see in the area. 

Enjoy your waterfall journeys along the Blue Ridge Mountains. DuPont State Recreational Forest is a beautiful location for the family and for all waterfall seekers.

See y’all out there!

Sam Briley

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