Hiking Trail Review
Cascade Trail
DuPont State Forest

An easily-accessible trail with all the things DuPont has to offer:  rocks, rock faces, creeks, mixed forest types, and fun!

Along the meadow

photo by A. Scott Lavender


There are three ways to access the trail: one from U.S. 276 in Cedar Mountain, N.C. and the other two from Crab Creek Road.  The two from Crab Creek Road are DuPont/Staton Road and Cascade Lake Road.  The former should be chosen by those wanting ease and speed; the latter should be chosen if you want to drive a slower gravel road with less ease and more scenery.

From Cedar Mountain, N.C.:  Take U.S. Highway 276.  Turn onto Cascade Lake Road.  Drive 2.7 miles to the Cascade Trail sign on the right.  There is a small parking area on the left.

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).  At 5.4 miles, turn right onto Cascade Lake Road.  Travel .2 miles to Cascade Trail on the right.  There is a small parking area on the left. 

Cascade Lake 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 Cascade Lake Road.  Travel 1.2 miles.  The road turns at a confusing junction with Hart Road.  Hart Road is paved and goes to the right.  Cascade Lake turns to gravel at this point and goes to the left.  Remain on Cascade Lake Road.  Travel 5 miles to the Cascade Trail on the left.  There is a small parking area on the right.  This route is the secondary route and takes significantly longer to travel.  It is less than two vehicles wide most of the way, so take your time and be aware. 

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 7040 feet one way or 14,080 there and back; this matches the DuPont State Recreational Forest trail map published in 2012.  

Difficulty:  moderate; this is the official trail designation.

The recently expanded Cascade Trail now connects Cascade Lake Road to Sheep Mountain Trail and contains a junction with one end of the Pine Tree Trial.  The hike is largely uphill, though the grade is not excessively steep.  Those wanting a one way hike can combine various portions of the Pine Tree Trail, Sheep Mountain Trail, Staton Road, and Cascade Lake Road.  Those not wanting to make a loop have several places they can leave a second car.  Please see the trail map and/or this site to piece this together.

The centerpiece boulder

photo by A. Scott Lavender

I hiked this trail in early May with my friend A. Scott Lavender.  It is primarily an old roadbed and mostly gravelled.  It has a nice mix of most of the attributes that make DuPont so nice.  There is mixed hardwood forest with the occasional large tulip poplar, areas of pine, laurel (Rhododendron maximum), ivy bush (Kalmia latifolia), exposed rock, a meadow, and creeks.  There is no notable cascade on the trail, so I am assuming the name of the trail derives from its access on Cascade Lake Road.


I began measuring distance at the edge of Cascade Lake Road. 


At 250’, there is a small area of exposed rock to the left.

At 840’, the trail crosses through a wet-weather spring just off the meadow.

From 955-1185’, the trail traverses an open field with a large rock to the right.  The trail curves around this feature, so it remains to your right the entire time.

At 1268’, note the interesting rock to the left.

At 1450’, there is a man-made rock arrangement on the right.  This almost appears to be a small platform, but I think it is just a stack or relatively flat rocks placed to prevent erosion.

At 1736’, there is a confusing junction with Pine Tree Trail; due to the sign’s placement, it is unclear which trail is which.  Turn right to access Pine Tree Trail.  Turn left (really, this is staying straight) to remain on Cascade Trial.

At 1948’, an area of exposed rock is visible to the left.  This also serves as the trail until 2033’.

At 2174’, a small area of exposed rock is visible.

From 2248’ until 2439’, there is a large area of exposed rock with a pine grove beginning on the opposite side.

From 2439’ to about 2900’, you are in the pine grove.  There is some holly and hardwood.

At 4890’, you can hear and barely see a small creek to the left.

At 5466’, a wooden plank bridge crosses a decently sized creek (different than the previous).

At 7040’, the trail ends at a junction with Sheep Mountain Trail.

Natural "stairway" to laurel

photo by A. Scott Lavender

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