Hiking Trail Review
for
Buck Forest Road Trail
in
DuPont State Forest 


Note:  All corresponding photos are by A. Scott Lavender

This trail is accessible from the High Falls Access Area on Staton Road. For purposes of this review, I am considering the end of Buck Forest Road Trail at the junction of the High Falls Access Area (previously Buck Forest Access Area) and Staton Road as the starting point.


Buck Forest Road is accessible by Staton Road and Sky Valley Road at DuPont State Forest, in Western North Carolina.


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.

Blaze Markings:  unblazed

Length:  approximately 3.5 miles (approximately 7.0 miles there and back as the trail does not end at an accessible location; exactly 18,710 feet or 37,420 feet there and back.  The one way distance for Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail is slightly longer than the distance of 3.2 miles listed on the Western North Carolina Trail Guide: DuPont State Recreational Forest trail map published by Pisgah Map Company (rev. 2014), but this may be due to beginning at the junction with Staton Road rather than the other possible location of the gate at the junction with High Falls Trail.

Difficulty:  easy; this is the official trail designation, and I agree if done one way; as a there and back hike, I consider it to be moderate difficulty due to effective length


View of the entrance off Staton Road

Photo by A. Scott Lavender


The Buck Forest Road Trail runs from the junction with Staton Road to a junction with Sky Valley Road at Guion Farm. 

There are a number of trails off the trail, so it is a major access trail to other areas such as Conservation Road Trail and Lake Imaging Road Trail.  The covered bridge over the Little River is its signature feature.  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. 


Buck Forest Road Trail Covered Bridge

Photo by A. Scott Lavender


The Buck Forest Road Trail:

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. 

At 6419’, there is a bridge over Grassy Creek.

At 6513’, there is a junction with Lake Imaging Road Trail to the left.  The trail appears to have been redone around this area, possible in conjunction with the controlled burn to the left (see below).

At 11,554’, there is a junction with the Isaac Heath Trail to the left.

At 12,069’, there is a junction with Thomas Cemetery Road Trail to the right.

At 13,432’, there is a junction with Jim Branch Trail to the left.

At 15,998’, there is an unofficial trail.  Stay straight.

At 17,019’, there are junctions with White Pine Trail to the left and Thomas Cemetery Road Trail to the right.

At 18,525, there is a junction with Hickory Mountain Road Trail to the left.  An access trail to the right goes across the field to Guion Farm Access Area.

At 18,928’, the Guion Farmhouse is to the right.  Note the large hardwood trees in the filed around it.

At 18710’, the trail ends at a junction with Sky Valley Road (not a trail). 

If you left a car at Guion Farm Access Area, turn right and hike an additional 1292 feet to the parking lot.


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