Hiking Trail Review
for
Covered Bridge Trail
in
DuPont State Forest


This trail proves that good things do come in small packages.  Soaring mountain views, spectacular waterfall views, and a great view of the iconic covered bridge make this trail a must-do.



High Falls

photo by A. Scott Lavender


This trail is accessible off High Falls Trail off Triple Falls Trail.  For purposes of this review, I am considering the end of Triple Falls 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 you 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.

Blaze Markings:  unblazed

Length:  approximately .22 miles (approximately .44 miles there and back as the trail does not end at an accessible location; exactly 1180 feet or 2360 feet there and back; this trail requires an additional 1841 feet one way or 3682 feet there and back  as it incorporates 1020 feet (one way) of Triple Falls Trail and 821 feet (one way) of High Falls Trail to access the beginning of the trail.  Thus, the entire there and back distance is approximately 1.14 miles or exactly 6042 feet actual distance.  The one way distance for Covered Bridge Trail matches the .22 miles listed on the DuPont State Forest trail map published by Friends of Dupont Forest (rev. 2008).

Although Covered Bridge Trail does not begin or end at an accessible location, there are various ways to make the trail a partial loop by using portions of Triple Falls Trail, High Falls Trail, and/or Buck Forest Road Trail.  Please see the trail map or the trail reviews on this site to piece these together.

Difficulty:  moderate; this is the official trail designation, and I agree. 



The namesake covered bridge

photo by A. Scott Lavender


This short trail connects Buck Forest Road Trail and High Falls Trail.  The covered bridge is actually on Buck Forest Road Trail just past the junction with Covered Bridge Trail, so the name is a slight misnomer.

I began measuring distance at the trailhead at the gate at the far end of the parking area.

 

The Triple Falls Portion:

This portion of the trail is gravelled with white stone.

At 143’, there is a junction with a trail leading 273’ to the visitor centre.

From 543’ to 592’, there is a nice railed bridge crossing a creek.

At 1020’, there is a junction with High Falls Trail to the right.

 

High Falls Trail:

At 642’, there is an intersection with the Triple Falls Trail you just left.

At 821’, there is a junction with Covered Bridge Trail to the right.

 

Covered Bridge Trail:

I began measuring at the middle of the junction with High Falls Trail.

At 330’, a cleared area for a fuel line on both sides of the trail, creating peripheral views in both directions.

From 600’ to the end of the trail, you can hear High Falls.

At 1180’, the trail ends at a junction just before the bridge, so the bridge is technically not on the trail.  There is an access to the river, a nice wood and stone bridge, a quarantined pedestrian area, and a nice view of the river and the top of High Falls.




Bands of colour and light around the ridgeline

photo by A. Scott Lavender


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