High Falls at DuPont State Forest
Towering 120 feet over the river below, High Falls Waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls in North Carolina and part of a trio of falls along the Little River in DuPont State Recreational Forest.
During times of drought, the falls slow to a graceful cascade over the granite plane, but heavy rains upriver turn High Falls into a raging torrent with water crashing down on the rocks below.
Getting to High Falls
From High Falls Parking Area
The easiest and most direct way to get to the falls is start from the aptly named High Falls Access parking area. From there follow the signs to a short half mile trail that will take you to the start of the High Falls loop.
Like all the trails at DuPont, you’ll find it wide and easy to walk on. Most of the loop is compacted soil with stretches of gravel or sand. Not a lot or roots or rocks in the path to trip you up.
Covered Bridge Detour
If you want to visit the covered bridge above the falls, the best way is to go down Buck Cove Road at the end of the parking lot. Visiting the bridge is a great way to start your trek to High Falls. On one side of the bridge, the river is calm and majestic.
On the other side of the bridge, the current picks up some speed and then just disappears. From the top, you can see the path below and the picnic shelter overlooking the falls, but no other clue as to what is just feet away.
As you approach the covered bridge from the road, there’s a trail head on your left heading back to High Falls Loop. Follow it until it ends and turn right to continue to the falls.
Where to get your best view
A little further down, the path will split with one way leading to the falls and the other leading to the picnic shelter. Don’t be fooled. The shelter overlooks the falls and you can get some great views as you follow the path by the picnic shelter back down to the main trail.
You’re now getting your first sight of this magnificent waterfall. And if it’s been raining upriver, you should be treated to a roaring spectacle. Now, of course, you want to get closer. If you didn’t take the trail to the picnic shelter, you will have passed an old treacherous looking trail on your right. Do NOT take that trail, there’s a better and safer way.
Continue down the trail past the overlook to another path signed “Base of Falls”. The base of high falls is one of the most popular places in the forest, so you’ll have lots of company. Folks manage to carefully work their way around the banks of the river to the very base of the waterfall.
One more waterfall before we go
After you return to the trail, you’ll walk along the Little River for less than a mile when it loops back through the woods to the parking area. Again, don’t be fooled, you’re only a few yards away from another spectacular waterfall.
You should already hear the roar from Triple Falls. Turning right at the loop will put you on the same path that leads to the Triple Falls parking lot and then on to Hooker Falls.
For your return hike, you can either follow the loop through the woods, or go back the way you came. But you came out here to see waterfalls, and there aren’t any on the return loop. So if you want to travel beside the river and get another look at High Falls, just go back the way you came.
At Same Location