Hiking Trail Review
for
Holly Road Trail
in
DuPont State Forest

This is bound to be a family favourite--easy to hike, lots of great scenery, easy access, and kiosks that explain common forestry practices in DuPont.  A great combination.



Holly Road Trail winds off into the forest.

photo by A. Scott Lavender


This trail is accessible from the Hooker Falls Access Area.  There is a kiosk present and a shed with a bench in case you want to rest before you start hiking.  This is a great trail for families.  It is easy to hike and includes a number of signs explaining forestry practices in DuPont. 

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 2.3 miles.  Hooker Falls Access Area is on the left.  This is a medium-sized parking area.

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 3.1 miles.  Turn right into the Hooker Falls Access Area.  There is a medium-sized parking area.

Blaze Markings:  unblazed

Length:  approximately 1.3 miles (approximately 2.6 miles there and back as the trail does not end at an accessible location; exactly 6914 feet one way or 13,828 feet there and back.  This only differs slightly from the one way distance of 1.4 miles listed on the DuPont State Recreational Forest trail map published by the North Carolina Forest Service (20012).  The trail can be one way by leaving a car at the Lake Imaging Access Area only 225 feet down Staton Road from the terminus.  It can also be made a loop by adding 2715 feet of Staton Road back to Hooker Falls Access Area.  There is plenty of space along the road to hike back safely, even with children.

Difficulty:  easy; this is the official trail designation and assumes a one way trip.  This trail is moderate, in my opinion, if hiked as a there and back. 



I should point out that Scott did not

A moss-covered hand?  A horror movie prop along the way.

photo by A. Scott Lavender


As I mentioned above, this is an easy trail with little slope.  There are signs detailing the best forestry practices used in DuPont actually at areas where the item in question is in effect, which really helps with comprehension.   The area has been logged (as one of the signs explains), so it is second growth forest.  There are nice areas of pine that make this a quiet walk (unless you brought the kids).  I hiked this trail in early May with my friend, A. Scott Lavender.  It was sunny but not hot, with lots of sun-dappled forest floor to intrigue us.

 

I began measuring distance at the gatepost at the end of the parking area. 

 

At 84’, there is a junction to the left with Hooker Falls Road.

At 259’, Holly Road Trail is gated.

At 397’, there is a junction with Moore Cemetery Road Trail to the left.  I recommend this side trek to a small cemetery containing Confederate graves.

At 684’, there is a Y-junction in the road.  Holly Road Trail goes to the right and generally parallels Staton Road the remainder of the way.

At 1174’, there is a sign on the right regarding the turn out or “wing ditch” to deal with water run-off.  Here’s your vocabulary word for the day.

At 1669’, a sign on the left explains how gravel is used along trails for stabilization and circumventing mudholes.

At 1949’, a small branch with banks deeper than it seems it should have crosses beneath the trail.  A sign on the left tells you how culverts are used to allow easy crossing for people/vehicles and to prevent water from backing up on the road.

At 2994’, notice the cool double-tree on the right.

At 3198’, a sign on the right reveals how “daylighting” to prevent mudholes and run-off after rain works.  Here is a backup vocab word if you need it. 

At 3391’, a sign on the left entitled Broad Based Digs explains how water can be diverted into the wood and absorbed into the ground without causing erosion.

At 4030’, another sign on the left deals with Sediment Pits (a.k.a. Silt Traps) and how they capture run-off, trap sediment, and allow water to evaporate without erosion.

At 4288’, a small creek runs under the trail.  A sign on the left explains the concept of Geotextiles.  This was a new one for me.  It refers to using a composite net to separate the top layer of gravel from the subsoil to prevent both compaction and the gravel from washing away.

At 4402’, a sign on the right explains streamside management zones (buffers, essentially) to protect streams.

At 6263’, there is a sign on the right with some information about responsible timbering practices. 

At 6914’, the trail ends at a junction with Staton Road.




A tall view of the trail; he caught me (Bret James Stewart) in the picture.

photo by A. Scott Lavender


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