002 – High Falls – DuPont Forest

Accessibility – Average

Height – 110′

Distance – Approx 1 mile each way

Beauty – 9

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 3

GPS Info: LAT 35.1927 LONG -82.6136

Last updated: 02/12/2016

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High Falls, Like Triple Falls slightly downstream is located in DuPont Forest just outside of downtown Brevard NC. It is one of 7 major waterfalls in the confines of the park. The hike to High Falls begins at the Hooker Falls parking area on Station Rd. (DuPont Rd.) and it passes Triple Falls on the way. If you are coming from Cascade Lake Rd. the parking lot entrance is on the left after 3.2 miles just after passing over the river. If your approach is from Crab Creek Rd. it’s 4.2 miles to the parking area entrance on the right. If you arrive late in the day, you will find the parking area full, forcing you to roadside park on Station Road. If you wish to bypass Triple falls, you can park at the Buck Forest Road parking area about a a mile closer to Cascade Lake Road. I’ve parked here twice and both times I had to do so on the side of Station Road. Even the expanded parking area hasn’t been able to keep up with the number of visitors. At Buck Forest Road there are facilities and a visitor’s center. The High Falls Trail intersects with the parking area near the gate on Buck Forest Road.

Coming from the Hooker Falls parking area, cross the bridge and head upstream following the obvious path and abundant signage. The hike to the 120 foot high waterfall that is capped by a covered bridge is about a mile, all uphill, steep in places. After making a stop at Triple Falls and climbing those steps, turn left and continue up the hill a short distance to the High Falls Trail. A quarter of a mile later, at the fork, stay left on the Riverbend Trail if you want to get to the base of the falls. If you want to get to the overlook bear right onto the High Falls Trail. A short distance beyond the overlook is another trail leading to the base of the falls. It isn’t as well-maintained as the primary trail and like many unofficial scramble paths, parts can be slippery. If you continue up the High Falls Trail to the next intersection and turn left onto Buck Forest Rd, this will lead you to the covered bridge. From the bridge you can hike to Bridalveil Falls or Grassy Creek Falls. Making a right will lead to the Buck Forest Parking area.

My then 3-year-old daughter completed the hike to the covered bridge with minimal complaining, spurred on only by the promise of a ride on my shoulders on the way back down. The trail is well marked with only a few rocky areas. There has been a lot of trail improvement in the three plus years since my first visit, so if you haven’t been here in a while, things may look differently. The best photo opportunity is from the overlook on the trail. On warmer days you will see people down at the base of the falls, which can present some challenges for photographers. Once again, if you’re looking for a waterfall to enjoy in peace and quiet, this isn’t it. You will be enjoying this one with lots of friends. The last time we were here there was a line of people waiting for their turn to take pictures and selfies at the overlook.

If you continue upstream as far as the bridge, you will see several access points to the river, all of which are fenced off and plastered with warnings to stay out of the water. There is a reason for this.

High Falls from the overlook - October 2015
High Falls from the overlook – October 2015
High Falls from below the overlook - October 2012
High Falls from below the overlook – October 2012
High Falls from the Covered Bridge - July 2015
High Falls from the Covered Bridge – July 2015

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