In books, getting to a magical place usually requires a portal or a spell. In Brevard, it only takes a few minutes in a car, maybe a bit longer by bicycle. And if you’re looking for real deal magical, you won’t do better than DuPont State Recreational Forest. Spanning over 10,000 acres of rolling hills, airy crags and lush forests, DuPont’s miles of trails and transportive landscapes offer some of Transylvania County’s most unforgettable biking and hiking opportunities.
DuPont’s magnificent trails, beautiful vistas and spectacular waterfalls have become so ingrained in the experience of Transylvania County that it’s hard to remember how recently the forest became part of the public landscape. In 1996, 7,600 acres, which would eventually become DuPont State Recreational Forest, were purchased from the DuPont Corporation. Four years later, two more tracts were added, including the 2,200-acre area comprising the heart of the forest, which features High Falls, Triple Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
Portions of the forest were already familiar to the general public having played a starring role in 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans
. Such camera-ready sights would lure Hollywood once again, twenty years later, to film The Hunger Games
. The epic scenery impresses. Both Triple Falls and the lively Hooker Falls wow visitors; both are reasonably short hikes from the parking area. Other falls, including High Falls and Bridal Veil, are longer walks, but well worth the adventure. DuPont’s gorgeous trail system is loved equally by pedestrians, mountain bikers and horseback riders, to say nothing of the fishermen who avail themselves of the park’s myriad natural resources.
Because of its easily accessible location — about halfway between Brevard and Hendersonville, NC — DuPont enjoys a fair amount of traffic. The nearby community of Cedar Mountain offers dining options for hungry adventurers, ranging from casual snacks and drinks at the Cedar Mountain Canteen
to sit-down meals at the Cedar Mountain Café
. And it’s a quick drive back to Brevard where there are a host of options for great food, brews, galleries, accommodations and entertainment.
DuPont is easily explorable. Adventurers can pick up maps, get tips on trail courtesy
and more, or join tours and trips through various outfitters throughout Transylvania County
or find information online. Friends of DuPont
hosts events throughout the year, including the annual Forest Festival in September.