Rediscovering Dupont State Forest

Dupont SF - Lake Julia

I’ve been so busy hiking and writing my second book Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage that I haven’t had a chance to go back to some of my favorites from my first book, Hiking the Carolina Mountains. But an assignment from Mountain Xpress got me back yesterday.

Dupont SF - High FallsDupont has such a long, complicated history, all spelled out in my first book.

Dupont was owned by the Dupont Company for over 30 years, making medical films. When the company left,  it sold most of the land to the state, but not all. The rest went to another company, who sold it to a third who sold it to the highest bidder, a developer.

Then the North Carolina public woke up and howled. Mike Easley, then Attorney General, ended up buying it for the state by eminent domain. You can also read all about it on the web on the Friends of Dupont site.

The falls just above here is of High Falls, that would have been part of the housing development.

Dupont SF - Triple Falls

Waterfalls are the big attractions because they are magnificent and close to the road. Getting to Hooker Falls, High Falls and Triple Falls, shown above, doesn’t require much walking. Wintergreen and Grassy Creek are a little further away.

Dupont SF - Lake DenseBut a little further are several lakes. Lake Julia on top is the largest lake. Close by are Lake Dense, shown to the left, and a tiny Lake Alf (below). All these lakes are artificial, built by the Dupont Company when this property was used as an executive retreat.

Dupont SF - Lake Alf

But the surprise is how well maintained and comfortable the whole forest is. Each lake, and there are more, has a picnic shelter and a viewing platform, courtesy of the work by students at Western Piedmont Community College. They also built a marvelous wooden staircase down to High Falls.

This is a great place to take visitors who are willing to walk a few miles or many easy miles.

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