• Roger W. Downes

DuPont Forest's Hidden Waterfall

We all know the Christmas Song, Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, which sings…

“You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen,

Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen

but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?”

Now that you are singing the lyrics quietly to yourself, think of the DuPont State Recreational Forest waterfalls like Santa’s reindeer. For instance, you know Triple Falls, Hooker Falls, High Falls and Bridal Veil Falls but the one you may not know is Wintergreen Falls, a.k.a Rudolph.

There are a lot of reason why Wintergreen Falls isn’t as well known. One, she is hidden away down a maze of trails where most visitors don’t tread. Two, she isn’t on the main waterfall tour of the Triple Falls Trail which takes visitors to Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls within a three-mile hike. Three, she is smaller standing online twenty foot tall and thirty feet across, a mere dwarf to High Falls 150 foot drop and Hooker Falls large spans across the Little River.

But that doesn’t mean Wintergreen Falls isn’t as amazing as her bigger sisters. As a matter of fact, her disadvantages could be the very reason she is a local favorite. Since she is secluded on her own well marked trail many waterfall enthusiasts visiting from out of state will opt for the more popular Triple Falls Trail boasting Wintergreen’s bigger sisters. This location disadvantage, if you will, gives the bold adventurer willing to hike to her roaring waters a much quieter and intimate visit, far away from the hordes of scrambling tourists fighting for the best spot to take their selfies.

Your journey to Wintergreen Falls is a quick 1.5-mile hike over moderate terrain wit rocky paths and inclines to Grassy Creek. However, this path is filled with amazing woodlands that seem to go on forever like in a fairy tale scattered with mountain boulders that stir your inner child’s imagination as your mind crafts out creatures in the stone’s natural formations.

As you can see, unlike her bigger sisters Wintergreen Falls offers many opportunities to reconnect quietly with God and his artistry. I personally found her to offer a much calmer experience while sitting with my 10-year-old son upon her rocky creekside the other morning.

However, don’t allow that peaceful atmosphere to loll you into a false sense of security, enticing you to wade out into her waters. The current is very strong both above and below the falls, while her banks are wet and slippery. All of that combined can results in serious injury or death. Please enjoy the falls from a safe distance and avoid the temptation of swimming or climbing around her.

Finally, please make sure whatever you take in on your hike you take out. That includes food of all kinds, even if you think an animal will eat, odds are they won’t because it is dripping in your scent. All your trash will do is muddy up the next visitors experience, so please treat each trip into the forest better than you would your own home.

Safe journeys!


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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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