Southeast of Brevard and north of Cedar Mountain, the Dupont State Forest has 93 miles of trails and roads, of which, 33 miles are rolling single and doubletrack. When you come to DuPont State Forest , many riders want to see the waterfalls. There is a great loop that allows you to see four of the major waterfalls. This loop does involve crossing Little River. The rocks can be slick and the water can be up to two feet deep when the rainfall has been heavy. If your horses have crossed large streams before, there shouldnt be a problem. There are also two wooden bridges. If your horse has not crossed a wooden bridge before, you may want to lead them across the first time. The bridges are wide and very solid. Rangers and volunteers carry free maps. If you need a map, ask any ranger. Large maps are posted at the kiosks. Many loops can be developed by connecting the trails. This loop takes about 2 hours, depending on your speed and how long you stay at the viewpoints. It will get you familiar with many other connecting trails.
To assure continued equestrian usage of trails, it is extremely important that equestrians show good citizenship. All trails are open to horses except for Triple Falls Trail past the picnic shelter and a few foot trails that are clearly marked. Use Galax Trail as an alternate route to Triple Falls. Equestrians are asked to keep their horses at least 50 ft. from picnic shelters and other structures. Tie-outs for horses are provided near the waterfalls and other points of interest.
All access areas are clearly marked with brown signs just before the site (except for Lake Imaging). Park in the spaces designated for horse trailers and in a manner that assures maximum usage of the space provided. The two best parking lots for horse trailers are the Lake Imaging Parking Lot, located on DuPont/Staton Road 1/2 mile north of Hooker Falls Access Area; and the Guion Farm Parking Lot, located on Sky Valley Road. All parking lots are open to horse trailers, but the use of Hooker Falls and Buck Forest Access Areas is discouraged, because they are smaller and can be very crowed on weekends.
Directions to Lake Imaging parking area near Hooker Falls access:
From Cedar Mountain, head north on US 276, Greenville Highway, for 1/2 mile. Turn right onto State Route 1536 (Cascade Road) and travel 2.5 miles to State Route 1591 (Duponte Road). Turn right and travel 2.4 miles to the Lake Imaging parking area. Hooker Falls trail access is back 1/2 mile.
Overall, The Waterfall Loop is the 4th most popular horse trail of all 18 horseback rides in North Carolina.