Dupont State Forest
With the easily accessible Lake Julia and Fawn Lake and a variety of waterfalls, DuPont State Forest makes for an excellent location for an outdoor adventure. DuPont State Forest is home to some of the finest waterfalls in Transylvania County. Hooker Falls is easily accessible, with only level quarter-mile hike leading to it from the parking lot. The wide pool beneath the falls is an excellent place to swim and cool off during the warm summer months. Down a separate path across the road you can find Triple Falls, and above it, High Falls. Triple Falls is a quick succession of three separate waterfalls, all of which combine to create a beautiful, rushing cascade with abundant views. Farther up the Little River is High Falls, a hundred-foot waterfall clearly visible from the trail for an excellent photo-op. Other waterfalls scattered throughout the Forest include Bridal Veil Falls and Wintergreen Falls.
The Forest includes over 80 miles of roads and trails for use by visitors. Travelers can hike on foot, ride mountain bikes, or even take in the natural beauty of the forest from horseback. The elevation of DuPont ranges from 2,240 feet at Cascade Lake up to 3,620 feet at the height of Stone Mountain, which offers impressive views of the surrounding area from its peak. With plentiful hardwoods, DuPont becomes a photographer’s and sightseer’s playground in the autumn months as the leaves change to a range of colors. DuPont State Recreational Forest contributes a great deal to our local economy, drawing many thousands of visitors to the area and encouraging them to stay, eat, shop, and spend at our local businesses.
There is now a Friends of DuPont Forest Business Membership Program that allows business owners to contribute to the success of the Forest, which in turn, brings so many customers to their doors. Click here to learn how to join.
Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest is one of our area’s leading attractions. Established by the federal government in 1918, it encompasses 500,000 forested acres of spectacular scenery including whitewater rivers, waterfalls, and hundreds of miles of trails. Offering opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, bicycling, and rock climbing. It also offers picnic areas and opportunities for long drives with magnificent scenery.
Pisgah National Forest is also home of America’s first school of Forestry, now a 6,500 acre Historic Site within Pisgah National Forest, paying tribute to German forester Carl Schenck, its first manager. Tours of the Cradle of Forestry in America are available and various activities take place there throughout the year.
Some of Transylvania County’s most popular destinations within Pisgah National Forest are Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, the Fish Hatchery, and the riding stables.
Gorges State Park
Encompassing almost 7,500 acres in the Sapphire area of Transylvania County, Gorges State Park offers spectacular waterfalls, rugged river gorges, and one of the most intense concentrations of rare species in the Eastern US.
Visit the newly established 7,100 square foot Visitor Center, complete with two large picnic shelters, an exhibit hall, a classroom, an auditorium, and expansive viewing decks to take in the spectacular scenery of the park. Completed in 2012, the center was built to national green building standards.
Just outside the City of Brevard, Bracken Mountain Recreation Area is a mecca for mountain bikers, runners, and hikers. A 395 acre wooded tract, the Bracken Mountain property originally served as the city’s water supply until 1979 when Brevard began to draw from Cathey’s Creek. City fathers wisely decided to retain the property for future recreational use by residents and visitors.
Adjacent to both the Brevard Music Center and Pisgah National Forest, Bracken Mountain currently offers a 3 to 4 mile loop for hiking or biking as well as a 4 to 5 mile loop. A longer trail, at approximately 17 miles, connects to the Bobby Setzer State Fish Hatchery in Pisgah National Forest.