Lake Norman & Mooresville

Hike or swim at dupont forest

DuPont State Forest in Henderson and Transylvania counties

Visitors can print out trail and waterfall maps at www.dfr.state.nc.us/contacts/dsf.htm. 828-877-6527. E-mail: dupontsf.dfr@ncdenr.gov.

Hours: N/A

Activities: Visitors can pack a picnic and explore DuPont State Forest's 10,400 acres and four major waterfalls along the Little River, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Attractions include hiking up 3,620 feet to the peak of Stone Mountain, or cooling down in the swimming hole at Hooker Falls. Another waterfall located on the Little River is Triple Falls, which was featured in the movie "The Last of the Mohicans," and boasts an impressive 120-foot vertical drop. The forest has more than 80 miles of roads and trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

Target Audience: All ages are welcome, but children must be supervised around waterfalls. Climbing, swimming or wading above a waterfall is prohibited.

Directions from uptown: From South Church Street, turn right onto I-277 S. Continue onto US-74 W. Turn left onto the Interstate 485 Inner N ramp. Take exit 10B to merge onto I-85 S toward Gastonia/Spartanburg. Take exit 10B to merge onto US-74 W/Andrew Jackson Hwy toward Kings Mountain/Shelby. Continue to follow US-74 W. Merge onto I-26 W. Take exit 53 for Upward Road toward Hendersonville. Turn left at Co Rd. 1722/ Upward Rd. Turn right at US-176 W/Spartanburg Hwy. Turn left at N Carolina 225 S. Take the first right onto Co Rd. 1170/White St. Turn left at Kanuga Road. Continue onto Co Rd. 1127/Crab Creek Rd. Turn left at Co Rd 1259/Dupont Road. Continue onto Staton Road. From the Staton Road and Cascade Lake Road intersection, head northeast on Staton Road for 1.5 miles until you reach the High Falls access area.

Distance from Charlotte: About two hours.

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