A Super Fall Waterfall Tour By Shuttle Bus
For us aging photographers with limited hiking abilities, this waterfall tour is not to be missed. The Friends of DuPont Forest will be hosting the Tour de Falls at DuPont State Recreational Forest on October 8-9, 2016. This semi-annual event allows for access to the interior of the Forest via bus system along with guided tours by knowledgeable volunteers.
If you (or a friend or family member) are not able to hike to the waterfalls at DuPont State Forest, you can ride a shuttle bus to see them! The Friends of DuPont State Forest coordinates the Tour de Falls, a 12-mile waterfall tour by shuttle bus to four popular spots: Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia. Shuttles run every 30 minutes from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM, allowing you the chance to enjoy each site for as long as you like. Bring snacks and water, since there are no food concessions. And don’t forget your camera! Take short hikes to enjoy the beauty of the falls and lake. Volunteers on each shuttle and at the four stops to provide information about the history of the forest and the work now being done to preserve and protect it. Triple Falls and High Falls have covered shelters with picnic tables. The tour takes 3 hours or longer, depending on how much time is spent at each stop.
Tour de Falls is intended to provide families and those with limited hiking abilities a chance to see the beauty of DuPont Forest and some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Southeast. Visitors are encouraged to take short hikes to enjoy the beauty of the falls and lake, all of which provide scenic backdrops for family photos.
Visitors should bring snacks and water, as there are no food concessions. Triple Falls and High Falls have covered shelters with picnic tables. Light refreshments will be available in the lodge overlooking Lake Julia, which is the last stop on the tour.
Where To Pick Up The Tour
Parking for the event is located near 89 Buck Forest Road, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718 (GPS 35.191111, -82.622778) near the High Falls access and parking area.
The parking lot for the tour is located near the High Falls access area at 89 Buck Forest Road, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718. Advance reservations are not taken. A donation of $6 for ages 6 to 17 and $12 for ages 18 and up is requested. They accept donations by cash or check, but cannot process credit cards. Buses are not handicap-accessible. Pets are not allowed on the buses.
Friends of DuPont Forest is a non-profit organization that works to enrich the recreational experience and preserve the natural resources in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Donations are used to finance construction projects such as shelters and steps at the waterfalls, to maintain 80 miles of trails, and to support research and educational projects that protect historical and natural resources within the Forest.
For the location and directions to DuPont State Forest, see the Getting to DuPont State Forest section at the end of this article.
Don’t Miss These Spectacular Waterfall Views
When you’re done with the tour, you can stop at the Visitor’s Center, to use the restrooms and chat with the friendly and accommodating staff about other attractions in the area. For example, you might want to make one more stop to shoot Looking Glass Falls in the nearby Pisgah National Forest.
You will want to be able to capture both wide angle and telephoto shots at the waterfalls. The lightest rig would be a DSLR with a super telephoto lens (e.g. 18mm – 200mm or 300mm) or a point-and-shoot or mirrorless compact camera with a wide range zoom. Image stabilization, either in the lens or in the camera will help. A monopod (the buses may be too crowed to take a tripod) will also help with those longer exposure that result in a silky water texture. Even though any hiking will be relatively short, lightweight trekking poles will be useful, especially for negotiating grades.
Resources – Gear
Getting to DuPont State Forest
Directions from Asheville: Take I-26 east to Exit 40, and take NC-280 toward Brevard. At the Wal-Mart in Brevard, turn left (east) on US-64 and go 3.7 miles to the Texaco station in Penrose. Turn right on Crab Creek Rd. and continue 4.3 miles. Turn right on DuPont Road for 4.0 miles (turns into Staton Road). Go past the Hooker Falls and High Falls access area and turn left at the “Parking for Tour de Falls” sign.
For internet mapping or turn-by-turn GPS, enter the intersection of Staton Road and Cascade Lake Road. From there, head northeast on Staton Road for 1.5 miles until you reach the High Falls access area.
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