DuPont State Forest Waterfall Hike with Dad

DuPont State Forest Waterfall Hike with Dad

My Dad came to visit last week and we hiked through DuPont State Forest and saw some of the waterfalls featured in the first Hunger Games movie

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DuPont State Forest has always been one of my favorite places to take visitors because you can see three gorgeous waterfalls (Hooker Falls, Triple Falls & High Falls) in a relatively short hike.  The trails are well maintained and it is a great beginner hike. 

My Dad never thought he could make the hike to the falls before, so we never even tried.  But recently he has taken up walking with a group in Orlando and has started to rack up some miles!  With his new athletic prowess, I asked him if he would be interested in trying a mini hike on his visit.  He said yes and I was so excited! 

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We arrive to DuPont after I got off work and decide to try to make it to at least two of the falls that are within a mile of the parking lot.  Two of the falls (Hooker Falls and Triple Falls) are pretty easy to get to, but the third one (High Falls) is just a little steeper of a walk.

Before heading off we scope out the new bridge that connects the High Falls and Hooker Falls parking area.  Before you had to walk along a two lane mountain road to get here, so this is so much safer.  This area has been getting so much more traffic since they shot the Hunger Games here a few years ago, so it’s nice that some improvements were made! 

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Now, Dad’s walking group actually walks at Walt Disney World (one of the perks of living in Orlando!), so he is loving how different this hike through nature is.  These mountains are even prettier than Thunder and Space Mountain!

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The skies are perfect Carolina blue and the crisp mountain water is crystal clear.

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The path is well traveled and well maintained.  The short hike is relatively flat and it is an easy walk.  I have never done this hike in the spring before all the leaves come out, and I enjoy how different it looks.IMG_6235

In no time, we hear and see the rushing water.

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After a quick photo op, Dad says he’s feeling good and would like to try to hike to the next waterfall.

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We turn around and walk back to the new bridge. Our next stop is Triple Falls, which is a true crowd pleaser!  I’m so excited Dad is willing to try the next one.

Along the way I can’t get enough of the budding rhododendron.  Can you imagine how beautiful these will be in June?

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We follow another clear, but busy path along the river.

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After walking for a few minutes we see the sign to Triple Falls and an ominous arrow pointing up.  I explain to Dad that the next waterfall is harder to reach because of the incline up, but that it’s not THAT bad.  It’s only about four tenths of a mile.

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We take our time walking up the hill, taking a few rest breaks along the way.  Dad is used to walking on perfectly flat Florida pavement!

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And just as the hill gets really steep, we see this through the trees.

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Triple Falls is simply stunning.  The short hike has a great pay off with views like this.

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This is one of the areas they used for the Hunger Games.

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Dad and I pose for some photos and take in the views.

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We talk about trying to reach High Falls, but I know the trail gets much rockier and steeper as it goes along so we decide to try another day.  I think Dad could really benefit from a hiking stick!

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We head back down and back to the parking lot.  The hike ends up being about 1.60 miles, which is AWESOME for my Dad!

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We both had a great afternoon enjoying the beauty of the mountains!  I am so proud of my Dad for finishing a hike to TWO waterfalls.  I love living in a place that you can see things like this in an afternoon after work!  I am so lucky.duponthike1

And just one small note on waterfalls…

***STEP ON SOAPBOX** Every year at least one person gets hurt or killed on a Western North Carolina waterfall because they don’t respect how dangerous they can be.  Please don’t climb on the wet rocks or to the top of the falls.  Enjoy them from the bottom!! **STEP OFF SOAPBOX**IMG_6236

Your turn!…

What is cool to see or do in your “backyard?”

Where do you like to hike to?

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16 Comments

  1. Laura Stailey April 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    I was looking at these pictures this morning taken about this time last year. Oh my look at the difference in your dad in just one year! I can tell he’s really put a lot of effort into losing weight. And from what I can tell, he’s doing it sensibly. More movement, good eating but not deprivation, keeping socially active. I’m sure this is very pleasing for you. Jud and I leave for Boston this weekend. He’ll run his 5th Boston Marathon on Monday the 20th. He’s looking at possibly doing the Havana (Cuba)Marathon in November, providing that the US and Cuba get trade negotiations worked out. Wouldn’t that be a hoot to go there!? Hope your ankle heals quickly and you’re back on the run soon. Take care.
    Laura Stailey

  2. Stan July 5, 2014 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Thatlooks like a great spot to shoot part of our upcoming movie Two Nations! Love the beautiful river and scenery in these photos
    Stan recently posted…Coming soon Two Nations the Movie!My Profile

    • JulieWunder July 6, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Fantastic! You will love the area!

  3. […] DuPont State Forest Hike […]

    • stan July 6, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

      I will Miss you! and am SAD to hear this. You were my favorite meteorologist of ALL time on WLOS TV, and I have watched it on and off for many years.
      Best of luck in whatever path your life takes!!!
      stan recently posted…Note from Shawn Michael PerryMy Profile

      • JulieWunder July 6, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

        Thank you much and I appreciate your support!

  4. Stan Williams April 22, 2014 at 7:11 am - Reply

    That is a beautiful place! and it looks like a great place to hike! I will have to go there Soon, while I am still in the area…
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jaime April 21, 2014 at 2:32 am - Reply

    So glad your dad was able to do this hike with you! I need to get over to Biltmore before the flowers all die this spring. It’s one of the main reasons we have our annual passes. I also love playing tourist in downtown Asheville. 🙂
    Jaime recently posted…Race report: Fiddlin’ 5kMy Profile

  6. Bethany April 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I certainly miss the beauty from living up there. That was such a great hiking area that I used to enjoy!

  7. Nicki April 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    I’m putting this on my list for next trip to western NC. I can hike around the Finger Lakes here but love new areas.
    Nicki recently posted…Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler – Race RecapMy Profile

  8. Robin @ Simply Southern Baking April 15, 2014 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Love the waterfalls there. I’ve not hiked up to High Falls though. Glad you had such a good time with your dad. 🙂
    Robin @ Simply Southern Baking recently posted…Sweet Potato Chip Cinnamon Crunch Krispie TreatsMy Profile

  9. Dad April 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    If anyone is interested in the walking group that Julie mentioned, one can join it on Meetup at this location: http://www.meetup.com/Walking-for-Fun-at-Disney/

  10. Marie g April 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    So happy your Dad was visiting and you took him to explore some of our beautiful waterfalls. We are so blessed to live in such a area of beauty. Thanks for posting the pictures.

  11. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie April 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    I love going on walks with my dad. I’m glad you were able to spend time with your dad this weekend! Also, thanks for sharing the gorgeous pictures – my inner Hunger Games fan freaked out a little.
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Let the Search Begin!My Profile

  12. Angela April 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    great pics!
    Angela recently posted…Beet Smoothie!My Profile

  13. Dad April 14, 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Lots of fun. I bought my Walking Stick which should help my knees coming down those steeper rocky areas. I’m ready to go to the next water fall.

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