Hiking Trail Review
for
Bridal Veil Overlook Trail
in
DuPont State Forest




This trail is accessible off Corn Mill Shoals Road Trail off Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail off Conservation Road Trail off Buck Forest Road Trail.  For purposes of this review, I am considering the end of Buck Forest Road Trail at the High Falls Access Area (previously Buck Forest Access Area) as the starting point.



Directions:


There are two ways to access the trail: one from U.S. 276 in Cedar Mountain, N.C. and the other from Crab Creek Road.


From Cedar Mountain, N.C.:  Take U.S. Highway 276.  Turn onto Cascade Lake Road.  Drive 2.5 miles.  Turn right onto Staton Road.  Travel 1.4 miles.  High Falls Access Area (formerly Buck Forest Access Area) in on the right.  This is a large parking area with public restrooms and the visitor centre.


DuPont Road from Crab Creek Road:  Take Crab Creek Road (this road is also known as Kanuga Road in Henderson County should one be coming from Hendersonville).  Turn onto DuPont Road.  Travel 1.2 miles.  DuPont Road ends and Staton Road begins (i.e. DuPont Road becomes Staton Road—this change is due to the road crossing the county line between Henderson and Transylvania Counties).  Travel 4.0 miles.  Turn left into the High Falls Access Area.  There is a large parking area with public restrooms and the visitor centre.




Large rock outcropping. Photo by Bret James Stewart


Blaze Markings:  unblazed


Length:  

Approximately .5 miles or exactly 2645 feet one way or approximately one mile or exactly 5290 feet there and back.  This trail also requires exactly 2843 feet one way or 5686 feet there and back of the Corn Mill Shoals Road Trail, exactly 2917 feet or 5834 feet there and back of the Bridal Veil Falls Road trail, 5785 feet one way or 11,570 feet there and back of Conservation Road Trail, and 3649 feet one way or 7298 feet there and back of the Buck Forest Road Trail.  Thus, the entire there and back distance is approximately 6.8 miles or exactly 35,678 feet actual distance.  The one way distance for Bridal Veil Overlook Trail matches the distance listed on the Western North Carolina Trail Guide: DuPont State Recreational Forest trail map published by Pisgah Map Company (rev. 2014).



Difficulty: 

moderate; this the official trail designation; however, I would personally consider this a difficult grade trail due to the effective length of the trail due to having to backtrack the entire trail plus part of Corn Mill Shoals Road Trail, all of Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail, and part of Conservation Road Trail and Buck Forest Road Trail.



Bridal Veil Falls on the Little River is a popular destination in DuPont, and it easy to see why.  The falls do, indeed, resemble a veil, with some creative license.  This use of “bridal veil” occurs with other waterfalls in Western North Carolina.  Bridal Veil Overlook Trail did, indeed, overlook the falls from the mountainside above it.  At the time we hiked it, the trees and brush had grown to the point the falls could not be seen, though they could be clearly heard.  The trail itself begins in the power line cut, moves onto a graveled road, then again becomes a regular trail when it re-enters the power line cut.  It culminates in a walk up a rock face to a mountainside observation point that is well above Bridal Veil Falls.

I hiked this trail in early May with my friend, A. Scott Lavender.  The temperature was nice, and the early blooming plants out in full swing.  We saw lightning bugs on our way out, which were the first ones I had seen for the season as well as indicating how late it was when we made our way back to the car after hiking.

As Bridal Veil Overlook Trail is not directly accessible, this trail review includes the segments of Corn Mill Shoals Road Trail, Buck Forest Road Trail, and Conservation Road Trail as well as the entire length of Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail.












View from top of Bridal Veil Overlook. Photo by Bret James Stewart




The Buck Forest Road Trail Portion:


It is unclear from the map at which end of the parking area the Buck Forest Road Trail begins.  We began measuring at the edge of High Falls Access Area (which is also Buck Forest Road) at its junction with Staton Road.


At 477’, a nicely done kiosk provides typical information for hikers.


At 669’, there is a junction with High Falls Trail to the left.  Stay straight.


At 2044’, there is a junction with Triple Falls Trail to the left.


At 3330’, the famed covered bridge across the Little River at the top of High Falls begins.


At 3649’, there is a junction with Conservation Road Trail to the right.  Take it.


 


The Conservation Road Trail Portion:


We began measuring even with the trail sign.


At 436’, there is a junction with Pitch Pine Trail to the left.


At 716’, it is noticeable that the underbrush has been burnt.  This was a controlled burn, and its evidence is visible here and there for some distance.


At 2039’, a nice pine grove begins on the right.


About 2250’, there is a junction with Joanna Road Trail to the left.


At 3398’, there is a junction with 3 Lakes Trail to the left.


At 3910’, the spillway from Lake Julia begins.


At 4050’, there is an unnamed trail.  Stay straight.


At 5785’, there is a junction with Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail to the right.  Take it.


 


The Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail Portion:




We began measuring even with the trail sign.


At 423’, there is a horse corral to the left.   The horse motif continues for some way with fencing and a barn on the left.


At 522’, a rock face is visible to the right.


At 2146’, there is a picnic table at the end loop of the gravel road.


At 2260’, there is a horse tie-out so that only foot traffic proceeds to the falls.


At 2460’, there is an observation deck for Bridal Veil Falls.  Diagonally across from the trail to the deck, there is a short access trail to the Corn Mill Shoals Trail sign (also accessed just before the observation deck) just before it.  Hike to the trail sign.


The Corn Mill Shoals Road Trail Portion:

We began measuring at the trail sign. 

At 2346’, there is a junction with Shelter Rock Trail to the left.

At 2843’, there is a junction with Bridal Veil Overlook Trail to the right.  Take it.


The Bridal Veil Overlook Trail Portion:

We began measuring at the trail sign.  Note that the sign reads Bridal Overlook Trail.

At 2245’, there is a horse tie-out before the rock face at the final climb.

At 2645’, the trail ends at the overlook.








View of rocks stacked next to the trail.

Photo by Bret James Stewart.



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