• Roger W. Downes

The Best Waterfalls Are The Least Visited...

Bridal Veil Falls is well worth the 4.4-mile round trip hike...

When I am out shooting photos in the forests of Western North Carolina one of the biggest questions I hear from tourists is, “Where can I go to see the most waterfalls within a few hours?”

Before I answer their question, I typically smile to myself and think, “You can’t really toss a stone in any of our forests without hitting a waterfall,” but then I reply politely, “The DuPont State Recreational Forest outside of Brevard. DuPont offers multiple stunning waterfalls all within a few miles of each other on trails that the average person can traverse.”

The following question I typically receive is, “Which waterfall is your favorite?”

To that I always answer, “Which of your children is your favorite?”

Only a handful of times have I been disappointed by their answer, but the typical puzzled reply is, “I love all my children the same, I don’t have a favorite.”

I then smile gently and say, “Same applies to all the waterfalls in Western North Carolina for me. They all offer a different experience, so it is impossible to pick just one.” I then suggest visiting Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls because they are all so close to each other and easy to find along the Triple Falls Trail out of the Hooker Falls Parking area.

However, some of the waterfalls further off the beaten path in DuPont offer more of an intimate experience, because tourists typically don’t take the time to visit them. One of those would be Bridal Veil Falls, which requires visitors to hike in via a 4.4-mile round trip journey. That may seem like a long way to hike but the terrain is mostly flat along gravel laid utility roads with beautiful marshes, creeks, rivers, and lakes to enjoy along the way.

Your journey begins at the DuPont State Recreational Forest Visitor Center at 89 Buck Forest Road in Cedar Mountain.

· Once you find yourself a parking spot follow Buck Forest Road east out of the parking area.

· You will see a gate stopping visitor traffic from traveling down the utility road, just hike around it on the right (which you are allowed to do) and follow Buck Forest Road to the High Falls Covered Bridge (about 2,500 feet from the gate).

· Once at the covered bridge take a moment to snap a few selfies of you and your hiking buddies. If you look north out of the bridge, you will see where the water suddenly takes a 150-foot plunge to the rocks below. Do not wade in the water here, the current is very strong, and people have been swept over the falls to their deaths.

· As you stand on the bridge and look to the north you will see a mountain off in the distance with a television tower on it. This is Mount Pisgah which you can venture to the top of from the Blue Ridge Parkway (one of the most visited National Parks in the United States.)

· After your covered bridge visit, continue east on Buck Forest Road for a short distance to the next right, Conservation Road.

· Follow the gravel paved road for 1.09 miles to the next right, which will be Bridal Veil Falls Road.

· From there it is a short 3,000 feet to the base of the falls.

Here is are the google map directions to Bridal Veil Falls so you can easily plot your hike.


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Thank you for taking the time to read about the adventures I take, the people I meet and the places I see.  

Please get out into the natural world and enjoy all the beauty and spender that is God's artistry...

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