Hiking Trail Review
High Falls Trail
DuPont State Forest

High Falls is deservedly one of the most popular destinations in DuPont.

Light plays off High Falls

photo by A. Scott Lavender

This trail is accessible off Triple Falls Trail.  For purposes of this review, I am considering the end of High Falls Trail nearest High Falls Access Area (previously Buck Forest Access Area) as the starting point.


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 .84 miles (approximately 1.68 miles there and back as the trail does not end at an accessible location; exactly 4435 feet or 8870 feet there and back; this trail requires 1020 feet one way or 2040 feet there and back of Triple Falls Trail as both ends of High Falls is off Triple Falls.  Thus, the entire there and back distance is approximately 2.07 mile or exactly 10,910 feet actual distance.  The one way distance for High Falls only differs slightly from the .73 miles listed on the DuPont State Forest trail map published by Friends of DuPont Forest (rev. 2008).

Although High Falls 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.  The trail could even be part of a one-way hike to Hooker Falls Access Area by hiking the far segment of Triple Falls Trail.  Please see the trail map or the trail reviews on this site to piece these together.

Difficulty:  moderate; the trail itself is fairly easy to hike, and “moderate” is the official trail designation; however, I would personally consider this a difficult grade trail due to elevation change and the effective length of the trail due to having to backtrack the entire trail plus part of Triple Falls Trail.


Autumn colour swathes the trail

photo by A. Scott Lavender

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 graveled 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.  Incidentally, the view of High Falls from Covered Bridge Trail is just as awesome as the one from High Falls Trail.

At 985’, a split rail fence is on the right side of the trail.

At 1113’, the trail turns to the right; the trail straight ahead leads to a picnic shelter (see entry at 1667’).  You can hear the falls from this point onward.

At 1625’, there is a fence to the right from here to 1828’.  The falls can be seen from here, but the official observation site is still ahead.

At 1667’, steps go up the hill to the left.  There is a natural wood, single rail fence on the left all along its length.  At 125’ up the trail, there is a wonderful view of High Falls.  At 318’, the trail ends at High Falls Shelter, the second picnic shelter accessible from the trail at 1113’ on the High Falls Trail.

At 1755’, you arrive at the observation area for High Falls.

At 2763’, there is a junction with River Bend Trail to the right.  Turn left to remain on High Falls Trail.

At 2955’, there is a stream to the left.  To the right, there is an unofficial access to the river.  There are several more of these along the route.

At 2982’, another unofficial river access is on the right.  A fence has been constructed on the left to keep people out of a wet area.

At 3513’, there is a spring to the left.  You can hear Triple Falls roaring from here.  When the leaves are down, you can also see the top of the nearest falls from here.

At 4134’, the falls are visible, especially when the leaves have fallen.

At 4435’, High Falls Trail ends at the junction with Triple Falls Trail. 

High Falls peeks through the trees

photo by A. Scott Lavender

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