Day Trip: How to Spend an Afternoon at DuPont Forest

Fish, hike, ride, swim or just relax in nature's playground close to home.
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Whew! It is hot out there. Grab the family and find some sweet relief at DuPont State Recreational Forest – a quick 120 miles from Uptown Charlotte. More commonly referred to as DuPont Forest, the name originates from the DuPont company which arranged the sale of land to the state.

This 12,500-acre forest located in Henderson and Transylvania counties has been a film location for blockbuster movies like The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. Come see for yourself all the fun ways to spend the day.

Go Swimming at Hooker Falls

Leave the neighborhood pool behind and have a dip in the refreshing watering hole at Hooker Falls. It is easy to get to via a 1/4 mile trail directly off the parking area. You’ll come to an observation deck on your way to the falls (hello perfect picture spot!) then continue on the trail to the waterfall and refreshing pool below. There are plenty of rocks for sitting or having a picnic complete with amazing view. A separate, paved trail is wheelchair and scooter accessible.

Enjoy Waterfall Spotting

What’s better than one waterfall? Three waterfalls! A moderate, three-mile roundtrip hike will bring you up close and personal to Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls. The gravel path is well-maintained and includes few moderate inclines, making it a great hike for people of all fitness levels. Be sure to keep an eye out for the unique flora, fauna and animals who call DuPont Forest home.

Throw in a Line

Grab a rod and reel and try your luck in one of the five lakes and ponds designated for fishing. If the warm water game fish are biting you could pull in a largemouth bass, bluegill or red-breast sunfish!  Anglers over 16 years old must possess a valid North Carolina fishing license and trout fishermen must have a special trout fishing license.

Explore on Foot or Bike

DuPont Forest includes over 80 miles of trails from easy to strenuous so you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for. With the exception of a few places – including  Triple Falls Trail and the pedestrian bridge at Hooker Falls – mountain biking is welcome on nearly all the trails. Pro tip – if you want to hike or bike, park at Corn Mill Shoals, Fawn Lake, Lake Imaging or Guion Farm. High Falls and Hooker Falls parking areas can get pretty packed – especially on hot summer days.

All this outdoor adventure is FREE and the park is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is no camping in the park however its close proximity to home means you can sleep in your own bed or head 50 miles further to Asheville and make it part of a getaway weekend.