DuPont State Forest Field Report
Today’s stop at DuPont Forest was a repeat visit. The park was really busy especially for a Thursday afternoon. Much busier than the last visit during the colder months. As I drove past the parking areas, I noted that they were all full of cars, and when I arrived at High Falls Access Area, the parking lot was almost full with just 3 parking spaces available. This was around noon on Thursday, on the weekend it would be even harder to find a spot.
The plan today was to explore the High Falls Loop. It’s a relatively short (less than 2 miles) moderate trail that leads to High Falls and then down along the Little River towards Triple Falls.
From the parking area, I followed a short footpath through the woods and across a small wooden footbridge to the actual start of the High Falls Loop.
Like all trails at DuPont, the loop trail is wide and made of compacted soil, gravel, or sand. I found the occasional rock or root crossing the part, especially on spur trails, but the main trails don’t have a lot that might trip you up. After the spur trail to the base of High Falls, the path was made of large pieces of gravel that were a little hard to walk on, but the trail soon reverted to compacted sand
After follow the path for a short distance, I took the spur trail to the right to the covered bridge about a quarter mile away. The bridge crosses the Little River right at the head of the falls and is a great little side trip. The gravel road at the end of the parking area also leads to and crosses the bridge.
After returning to the loop, it’s less than a half mile to the falls. Along the way, I was advised that the picnic shelter at the falls had the best views, so instead of following the path directly to the falls, I took the side trip to the picnic shelters. The view is worth the deviation and the walkway back down to the trail has some good spots to stop and take a photo of the falls.
I could see some people at the foot of the falls, and started looking for how they got down. Turning right along path after the steps to the picnic shelter, I found what looked like a small “unofficial” path down. It was narrow, steep, and overgrown. I decided not to follow as I was carrying my camera, bag, and tripod at the time, and that turned out to be a good decision. I later found a better way to the base of the falls.
Continuing down the trail, I found a spur to the base of the falls. It’s a regular DuPont trail although there are some roots crossing the path, so watch your step. Once you get to the river bed, you can make your way along the rocky shore to the base of the falls. The way can be slippery, so be careful. People were wading in the river near the falls and some got close enough to take selfies at the base of the fall.
After returning to the main tail, the path runs beside the river and remains relatively level for a time. As I approached Triple Falls, the path begins to climb, but it’s not too steep. As I neared the top of the hill, the trail split into two directions. The High Falls path looped back to the parking area, and the other path runs past Triple Falls and down to the Hooker Falls Parking Area.
After taking a short side trip to have a look at Triple Falls, I returned to the High Falls Loop. The trip back starts off climbing a hill that can be quite steep at time, but it soon levels out. The path back is through the woods, so they’re no river of waterfall views. Eventually, I found myself at the short trail leading back to the parking lot.
DuPont forest is always a great trip. The only problem is that it can get really busy. During the week you’ll probably be able to find a parking spot, but on the weekends, you may be out of luck.
If you plan to visit, be sure to get here early or have a backup plan. Even better plan your visit for a weekday. When ever you visit, you’re sure to find plenty of things to fill an entire day and probably plan return trips to see everything.