DuPont State Recreational Forest Begins Phased Reopening

A rushing river running through DuPont State Forest.
DuPont State Forest

DuPont State Recreational Forest and the neighboring Holmes Educational State Forest have begun a phased reopening in Western North Carolina.

To encourage responsible use and to maintain required social distancing, the phased reopening will begin by allowing public access only to areas of the forest that promote movement-focused activities. Some areas and facilities of the forest will not be available to the public during phase one of the reopening, but will become available in accordance with Governor Cooper’s phased plan for reopening the state.

“N.C. Forest Service staff are working hard, taking every precaution, to make sure our state forests are available for families and visitors to safely enjoy some of North Carolina’s most beautiful views,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Now, we need the public to join our efforts. We must take care of public lands and each other by following social distancing guidelines and recommendations from our public health experts.”

Minimal services, facilities and assistance will be available for visitors. Responsible recreation is critical during this time. Visitors are asked to be good stewards and good neighbors. Visitors may find limited parking at busy times. Please only park in designated parking areas.

What can visitors expect during a visit to DuPont State Recreational Forest during phase one of the reopening?

  • DuPont State Recreational Forest is open daily, 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.
  • Most of the trail system is open, and visitors should come prepared to access trails and to keep moving. Come prepared to share trails with all types of users. Trail courtesy is critical during this time to ensure safe access for everyone.
  • Parking is limited to Fawn Lake Access Area, Guion Farm Access Area and Corn Mill Shoals Access Area. Expect crowding and limited parking.
  • Portable toilets are available. Permanent restrooms are not available.
  • Gathering areas of the forest remain closed to encourage movement and separation. These areas include the following:
    • High Falls Access Area, Hooker Falls Access Area, and Lake Imaging Access Area
    • Visitor Center and Office
    • Triple Falls Trail and Staircase, Base of High Falls Trail and the area at the base of Bridal Veil (Waterfall viewing areas remain available. Remember social distancing. Remain patient. Wait your turn.)
    • Three Lakes Trail
    • All picnic areas
    • Swimming areas and waterfronts
    • Hooker Falls, Fawn Lake, Lake Dense and Lake Alford

What can visitors expect during a visit to Holmes Educational State Forest during phase one of the reopening?

  • Holmes Educational State Forest is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
  • Most of the trail system is open, and visitors should come prepared to access trails and to keep moving.
  • Portable toilets are available. Permanent restrooms are not available.
  • Gathering areas of the forest remain closed to encourage movement and separation. These areas include the office, forestry center, group campground, picnic shelter and picnic areas.

Visitors are asked to adjust expectations, to be prepared, to stay local and to continue complying with CDC recommendations and guidelines. Additionally, please follow individual best practices and social distancing recommendations.Visitor behavior will be a key factor for providing continued public access and preventing additional closures during this period of phased reopening.

For updated information about public access to North Carolina State Forests during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ncforestservice.gov/COVID19.htm and follow on Facebook.