Dupont State Forest

Earlier this week I visited Dupont State Forest, a 10,000 plus acre recreational area near Cedar Mountain, North Carolina. I've been to the park several times in the past few years to see Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls. This time, I chose to visit High Falls (since it's on the way) and three waterfalls I've never been to: Grassy Creek Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Wintergreen Falls.

High Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls are all accessible from the High Falls access area.

On the day I arrived, the winds were rather gusty at the elevation of the access area, and showers were expected late in the day. Even on a weekday, plenty of cars and trucks were parked in the access area.

This bathroom facility is new to me.
A welcome enter is under construction and is expected to open in July.
This log building was only partially finished by a private developer when the state took over the land in 2000. A photo and history of the building can be found in the December 2011 newsletter for the Friends of Dupont Forest.

High Falls is my first waterfall. In 2011, I took Buck Forest Road to High Falls. This time, I'm taking a trail, new to me, providing a more direct trail to the waterfall. A nice side benefit is no horses allowed so I don't have to watch out for horse poop.

Once I made it to the overlook, I noticed another change. The rocky trail I used during my last visit in 2011 to access the base of High Falls is now closed with "no entry" signs. Too bad, because the view was fantastic.
from 2011
River Bend Trail is now the approved way to access the base, but the trail ends where the view isn't as good as the one shown in the above photo. A warning at the trail's entrance warns you to come out the same way you came in, just in case you had any sneaky ideas of going back up the old way.
The overlook still has a nice view of High Falls, except for the trees. However, I found a view I liked better from a picnic shelter a short distance away.
The picnic shelter is High Falls picnic shelter, and is on the spot where Buck Forest Lodge stood from 1940 until the 1970s.
The double chimney is all that's left of the lodge.
The phrase "April 28 1941 P.F.R." is supposed to be carved somewhere on the chimney according to Dupont State Forest history buff John Carney, but I didn't find anything obvious this trip.

After a snack under the picnic shelter, I moved on to Grassy Creek Falls off of Grassy Creek Falls Trail.
The trail isn't as well maintained as the other trails, but it's still easy enough to follow. This waterfall is not very visible or easily photographed, even with plant growth just getting started.
Bridal Veil Falls was my next waterfall. The path there took me near Lake Julia...
and a horse barn...
Bridal Veil Falls can be seen in two popular movies: 1992's Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games. This waterfall has a lower section...
and an upper section.
No sanctioned path exists to the upper section, and multiple signs warn you of the possible consequences if you go up the waterfall.
I noticed the clouds were getting darker as I began hiking back to my car. Rain began falling just as I entered the parking area, so I decided to call it a day. Wintergreen Falls would have to wait for another day, leaving it the only waterfall in DuPont I haven't yet visited.

My photo album of this visit is on Google Photos.

Dupont State Forest related websites

History of Dupont State Forest


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