Amenities (food, gift shop, etc.)

We do not have any vending machines, gift shops, or restaurants here at have DuPont State Recreational Forest. Please visit the businesses in our surrounding communities to purchase anything that you may need.

Bathrooms/Restrooms

We currently have traditional restroom facilities at our High Falls/Visitor Center access area and at our Hooker Falls access area. Guion Farm, Lake Imaging, Corn Mill Shoals, and Fawn Lake access areas all have portable toilets. We also have a portable toilet located at the High Falls picnic shelter. All restrooms are open year-round.

 

Be Prepared

Visitors to DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) should be prepared for a rugged outdoor experience. DSRF has no food services and limited options for drinking water and trash disposal, so bring your own food and water and take any trash with you when you leave. Boots or athletic shoes are your best bet if you're hiking at DSRF, and be sure to check the weather to see if you need a raincoat for one our frequent afternoon rain showers. Also, be aware that cell phone service is not available in some locations within DSRF.

 

Best Time to Visit

DuPont State Recreational Forest is a very popular destination. In fact, we have more than a million visitors come see us each year. There's something here for everyone during every season of the year, but there are certain days, times, and months that are more crowded than others. July, August, and October are the most heavily visited months, and weekends are busy throughout the year. Most visitors arrive between 10:00am and 2:00pm, so if you want to beat the crowds, either come early or come late.

  • Best months to visit: November - April
  • Best days to visit: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
  • Best times to start your visit: before 10:00 am or after 3:00 pm
  • Best place to park: See the FAQ parking


Camping

We don't have a campground or allow backcountry camping at DuPont State Recreational Forest. There are, however, several private campgrounds close to the forest, and a quick internet search should enable you to find them. In addition, camping is allowed at Pisgah National Forest, which is less than 15 miles away from us.

 

Commercial Use Permits

DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) provides Commercial Use Permits to individuals, companies, and organizations interested in using the forest and its amenities for business/commercial purposes. Commercial Use Permits are REQUIRED for any person, company, or organization that would like use the DSRF forest and amenities to conduct business or provide services, privileges, merchandise, or any other items for a fee. Commercial users are charged an administrative and use fee for these privileges. You can find out more about our Commercial Use Permits here.

 

Cookouts

North Carolina Forest Service rules prohibit cookouts (wood, gas, charcoal, or any other fuel) at DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF). Holmes Educational State Forest is about 5 miles away from DSRF and is set up for cookouts with grills, stone fireplaces, and a fire ring. In addition, cookouts and campfires are allowed at Pisgah National Forest, which is less than 15 miles away from us.

 

Drones and Radio Controlled Cars

North Carolina Forest Service rules do not allow visitors to use of drones or radio controlled cars within DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) or any other state forest. You can read through all of the rules that apply to DSRF and the other state forests at: www.ncforestservice.gov/Contacts/pdf/dsf/State_Forest_Rules.pdf

 

E-Bikes

North Carolina Forest Service rules classify all e-bikes (including pedal-assist) as motorized vehicles and only allow them on forest roads that are open to the general public. We do not currently have any forest roads open to public vehicles.

There are other options in the area for people who want to ride an e-bike. Pisgah National Forest has many miles of gravel roads that are open to cars, motorcycles, and e-bikes. Like DuPont, however, Pisgah National Forest does not allow e-bikes anywhere that a car is not allowed to go. Pedal-assist (class 1 e-bikes) are allowed at Ride Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC, and all e-bikes are allowed on Fire Mountain in Cherokee, NC, and in Buffalo Creek Park in Lake Lure, NC.

 

Entry/Admission Fees

There are currently no entry fees associated with a visit to DuPont State Recreational Forest.

 

Events (Meetings, Ceremonies, Weddings, Elopements, Retreats, etc)

DuPont State Recreational Forest welcomes meetings, weddings, elopements, ceremonies, and other "events" at our Guion Farm Picnic Shelter and its surrounding meadows. Individuals, companies, groups, and organizations that would like to hold an Event will work through either the Commercial Use Permit program or the Non-Commercial Special Use Permit program. You can find out about both of these permit programs on this webpage, and you can find out about the guidelines and restrictions that will apply to events on our Events Policy webpage.

There are also several venues close to the forest, and a quick internet search should enable you to find them. You may also find the information that you need at the Henderson County or the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authorities' websites.


Forest vs. Park

DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) is part of the North Carolina Forest Service, which is a division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. Because we are a forest rather than a park, we have fewer amenities like gift shops, lodging, or restaurants. We use scientifically-based principals such as prescribed burns and tree thinning to actively manage the forest, and we collaborate with conservation and wildlife organizations to protect our natural environment.

 

Horseback Riding

Most of our trails are multi-use trails open to equestrians, hikers, bikers, dog-walkers, and other forest visitors. Only three trails are closed to horses and bicycles: Hooker Falls Trail, High Falls Trail, Grassy Creek Falls Trail, and the upper section of Stone Mountain Trail. ATVs, UTVs, e-bikes, and other motorized vehicles are not allowed to use any of the trails and roads within DSRF.

DSRF visitors are encouraged to share the multi-use trails and roads as follows:

  • Everyone yields to equestrians,
  • Bicyclists yield to hikers and equestrians (please notify others of your approach and passing),
  • Hikers yield to equestrians (have pets on a leash and clean up pet waste), and
  • Equestrians control their horses at all times.

Parking for horse trailers is currently available at the Guion Farm and Lake Imaging access areas.

 

Hours of Operation

DuPont State Recreational Forest is open to visitors from 5am to 10pm every day of the year. Occasionally we need to close specific trails, and we post this information on our website. For more information about trails, scroll down to the Trail FAQs.

 

Information about External Vendors

If you're looking for information about area business that provide guided hikes, host weddings, offer RV or tent camping, etc, your best bet will be to conduct an internet search that includes DuPont State Recreational Forest and the type of activity that you are interested in. You might also find the information that you need at the Henderson County or the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authorities websites.

 

Limited Mobility Permits

You can request a Limited Mobility Permit to drive your private vehicle from the High Falls/Visitor Center access area into the Covered Bridge and the High Falls Shelter. Permits are free of charge and are offered on a first-come/first-served basis as follows:

January: No Limited Mobility Permits are offered

February – March: Permits are issued for 10:00am or 11:00am on Saturdays and Sundays

April – December: Permits are issued for 9:30am or 11:00am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

You can find out more about our Limited Mobility Permit program here.

 

Parking – Tips and Suggestions

DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) has several parking areas that accommodate a wide variety of visitors. All DSRF parking lots are free of charge and are open to cars, motorcycles, and small vans. DuPont is a popular place, so the best way to make sure you'll have a place to park is to arrive by 9:00am, to come on a weekday, and/or arrive after 4:00pm.

Hikers wanting to see Hooker Falls will find the Hooker Falls parking area to be their most convenient access point. Depending on their plans, hikers wanting to see High Falls and/or Triple Falls will find that the High Falls/Visitor Center parking area or the Hooker Falls parking area will be good choices.

Bikers will find that the access areas at Guion Farm, Fawn Lake, Lake Imaging, and Corn Mill Shoals are their best choices.

Equestrian trailers will find parking at both the Lake Imaging and Guion Farm access areas.

RVs parking is limited at DSRF,and RVs must avoid taking up multiple parking spaces. Large vehicles like RVs are best accommodated at the Guion Farm access area.

Busses need to obtain a Special Use Permit for parking at DSRF.

 

Picnics and Picnic Shelters

You're welcome to find a quiet place in DuPont State Recreational Forest (DRSF) for your picnic or use the picnic tables available at the Hooker Falls parking area, at the High Falls/Visitor Center parking area, or in multiple locations around Lake Julia.

In addition, we have covered picnic shelters located at Lake Imaging, Lake Dense, Guion Farm, High Falls, and Triple Falls. These shelters are available on a first-come/first-served basis or may be reserved for a fee. You can find out more about reserving a picnic shelter here.

North Carolina Forest Service rules prohibit cookouts (wood, gas, charcoal, or any other fuel) at DSRF. Holmes Educational State Forest is about 5 miles away from DSRF and is set up for cookouts with grills, stone fireplaces, and a fire ring. In addition, cookouts and campfires are allowed at Pisgah National Forest, which is less than 15 miles away from us.

Finally, because wildlife has too much fun with trash cans in the forest, make plans to take all of your picnic trash with you when you leave.

 

Trail Closures

Occasionally we need to close trails here at DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF). Sometimes we close a single trail that we're working on, but other times we need to close an entire type of trail. You can find out the latest trail closure information on the DSRF website.

In the event that single-track trails are closed due to trail conditions, the following trails usually remain open:

  • The Airstrip (the paved airstrip is open; the trail is closed)
  • Bridal Veil Falls Road .6 miles
  • Buck Forest Road 3.2 miles
  • Camp Summit Road .5 miles
  • Conservation Road 2.6 miles
  • Corn Mill Shoals Trail 2.7 miles
  • Fawn Lake Road 1 mile
  • Hickory Mountain Road .9 miles
  • High Falls Loop 2.05 miles (Sometimes the Spur to the base can be flooded and might be closed, visitors should pay attention to barricaded areas. The staircase to Triple Falls may also be closed upon flooding and rising water levels at the bottom of the staircase.)
  • Holly Road 1.4 miles
  • Hooker Falls Trail .3 miles
  • Joanna Road 4.2 miles
  • Lake Imaging Road 1.5 miles
  • Lake Julia Road .4 miles
  • Rock Quarry Road 1.3 miles
  • Sheep Mountain Road 1.6 miles
  • Tarkiln Branch Road 1.4 miles
  • Thomas Cemetery Road 1.6 miles
  • White Pine Trail .5 miles
  • White Pine Loop .2 miles
  • Wintergreen Falls Trail .5 miles (sometimes has tendency to flood, visitors should use caution and pay attention should the area be closed.)

Trails Use

DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF)'s multi-use trail system includes single-track trails as well as double-track and gravel roads and are open to hikers, bikers, equestrians, dog-walkers, and other forest visitors. Only four trails are closed to horses and bicycles: Hooker Falls Trail, High Falls Trail, Triple Falls Trail, and Grassy Creek Falls Trail.

ATVs, UTVs, e-bikes, and other motorized vehicles are not allowed to use any of the trails or roads within DSRF.

DSRF visitors share the multi-use trails and roads as follows:

  • Everyone yields to equestrians,
  • Bicyclists yield to hikers and equestrians (please notify others of your approach and passing),
  • Hikers yield to equestrians (have pets on a leash and clean up pet waste), and
  • Equestrians control their horses at all times.


Waterfalls

DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) is home to several waterfalls. The easiest waterfall to reach is Hooker Falls, which is located a third of a mile from the Hooker Falls access area. Other popular waterfalls in DSRF include Bridal Veil Falls, High Falls, Triple Falls, and Wintergreen Falls.

All of our waterfalls are natural features rather than man-made structures. Please follow all safety guidelines and respect all barriers, fences, and wires when viewing these beautiful but hazardous features of DSRF. In particular:

  • Do not swim or wade above waterfalls
  • Do not climb on rocks or waterfalls.
  • Do not jump, dive, or slide off waterfalls.
  • Do not enter areas marked "Do Not Enter" or "No Entry."
  • Use caution walking on wet rocks. They are slipping hazards.
  • Do not assume rocks at the base of a waterfall are stable enough to walk on.
  • Do not assume that pools of water underneath waterfalls are free of debris.
Be aware that most DSRF waterfalls have limited cellphone service. Emergency response times may be extended for these locations.