11-15-15 High Falls is a beautiful 100' waterfall and is one of the main attractions at DuPont. The waterfall can be accessed from either the Hooker Falls or High Falls parking areas - the latter being the easiest and shortest route for just seeing this waterfall. The hike to the falls from the High Falls access is about 1/2 mile where the hike from the Hooker Falls access is about a mile, but this way you will also pass by Triple Falls and will be close to Hooker Falls. If you want to see just Triple Falls and High Falls, you can do a 2 1/2 mile loop from the High Falls access. Directions to both are below.
Directions to the High Falls parking: From the intersection of US64 east of Brevard and Crab Creek Rd, drive 4.2 miles on Crab Creek Rd and turn right on to DuPont Rd. Drive 4.2 miles (passing the Hooker Falls access) and turn left into the High Falls parking area on Buck Forest Rd. Bear right on the one way loop that brings you around to the parking and the visitor center.
The hike is along the High Falls Trail which begins on the right side of the parking area near the visitor center. In about 1/4 mile (less than 10 minutes or so), the Triple Falls Trail turns to the left, but stay on the High Falls Trail for another 1/4 mile to the viewing area for the waterfall. If you want to do the 2 1/2 mile loop hike and include Triple Falls, continue down the High Falls Trail past the viewing area and look for the Riverbend Trail to the right which goes to the base of High Falls. Bear left here to stay on the High Falls Trail which follows the river down to the top of Triple Falls, then the views of this waterfall. Look for the Triple Falls Trail to the left at the waterfall and take it back to complete the loop.
Directions to the Hooker Falls parking: From the intersection of US64 east of Brevard and Crab Creek Rd, drive 4.2 miles on Crab Creek Rd and turn right on to DuPont Rd. Drive 3.1 miles and turn right into the Hooker Falls Access parking area. Drive through the first parking lot and back to the second (newer) parking area. (If you come mid day in the summer, you may end up back in the old lot because the new one will be full.)
From the south side of the Hooker Falls parking lot, take the new foot bridge across Little River and follow the trail under the road. Connect with the Triple Falls Trail that heads up river. It's less than 1/2 mile to Triple Falls. Continue past Triple Falls a short distance and bear left on the High Falls Trail. You'll be walking along a calm section of Little River between Triple and High Falls. After about 1/4 mile come to a fork - stay left on the Riverbend Trail to get to the base of the falls or continue to the right on the High Falls Trail for less than 1/4 mile uphill to the trail side view of High Falls and the picnic tables above. (There's also a view of the falls from the picnic area, so check it out for more photo possibilities.) There used to be a scramble trail down to the base of the waterfall just past the viewing area, but that has been blocked and you can no longer get down that way. The Riverbend Trail is now the only way to the base. At the previously mentioned intersection, follow the Riverbend Trail for about 1/4 mile until it ends near the base of the falls. You then have to scramble along the rocks to get a closer view. If the water levels are up, the spray from the falls will be pretty bad and the rocks will be wet and slippery. In lower water levels however, the rocks will be dry and you'll be able to get up close to the waterfall.
To get to the covered bridge at the top of the waterfall, continue a short distance up the High Falls Trail past the main viewing area to the intersection with the Covered Bridge Trail. Turn left which heads up to Buck Forest Rd and the covered bridge. There are signs clearly indicating not to go out on the rock at the top of the falls at the bridge, so don't do it! The forest police really don't like to see people doing this and you will probably end up with a ticket or being arrested if you do. If you are also visiting Bridal Veil Falls, you would continue past the bridge, turn right on Conservation Rd and continue from there.
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