#30 of 34 Asheville Hikes

Hooker Falls

Hooker Falls – Where to Take a Leisurely Stroll in the DuPont State Forest
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
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The Bottom Line:

Are you in the mood for a leisurely stroll through a truly scenic landscape? If so, just jet on over to Hooker Falls located in the DuPont State Forest. An 11-minute trip down the 0.4-mile trail will take you right to the adorable 12-foot-tall waterfall where you can swim, picnic, or just relax before the walk back.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

A DuPont State Forest favorite, Hooker Falls is the place to go when you want to have fun in the sun. You don’t have to do a lot of walking to get there either. From the parking area, the trail is just a 0.8-mile long roundtrip, taking you right to the base of the ultra-cute 12-foot-tall waterfall and back again in just 22 minutes. There’s no admission fee either. So, you can always count on having somewhere entertaining to go when the activity budget dries up.

You’ll start this easy trek from the parking lot for the Hooker Falls Access Area set right off Staton Road. Put all your belongings in the trunk, lock up your car, and then look south to find the trailhead. Need to use the restroom or changing rooms first? They’re located right next to the parking lot.

Upon reaching the start of the trail, it’ll lead you south for a moment before taking an abrupt westward turn. The gravel path is flat and easy to traverse with little to no elevation changes. If it’s been raining recently, the path can get a bit slick though. So, watch your step if you notice that it’s been wet and rainy recently.

Right before the trail turns west, you’ll find an opening in the tree line, letting you see the river in all its glory. You can walk right up to the banks of the river and watch the powerful water rush past. Just don’t sit on the boulders nearby or you could slip into the water and get pushed along by the current. After taking in the breathtaking view, continue on along the trail to follow the river to the base of the waterfall.

Upon making it to the falls, the sky is the limit to what you can do. Swimming is a favorite pastime of locals and tourists alike, as are picnics, sunbathing, and simply enjoying the beautiful views all around. You could also take in the sights and then continue down even more trails through the forest if hiking is your jam.

In fact, Hooker Falls is the fourth and final waterfall on the Little River in North Carolina. The other three waterfalls are Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Triple Falls is accessible from the same trailhead as Hooker Falls. You’ll just need to double back and then head across the pedestrian bridge instead of going to the parking area. The trailheads for the other two waterfalls are just a short drive away.

You’ll just want to make sure you have all the swimming out of your system before leaving Hooker Falls. Since this waterfall feeds into Cascade Lake, its pool boasts a lazy current perfect for a chill swim. The other nearby waterfalls all feed into the river, deeming them unsafe for swimmers of all ages and ability levels.

Just remember that there are no lifeguards on duty or any other supervision, plus it’s difficult to get rescue crews there in a hurry. For that reason, the Forest Service recommends that all visitors stay out of the water and just enjoy looking at the spectacular views. Despite that warning, locals flock to this waterfall pool as soon as the sun starts to shine, making it a popular place for a swim in the crisp, cool river water.

No matter which waterfalls you want to visit, remember the ‘Pack In, Pack Out’ rule. Designed to keep the natural landscapes as gorgeous as ever, this rule just asks that you pack out whatever you brought with you on your adventures. To help protect the landscape, even more, look for opportunities to pick up trash or other debris left behind by other adventurers.

Insider Tips:
-Check the signboards for info about the park during your visit. You’ll often find facts about the history, purpose, and future of the forestland.
-Want even more info about the forest? Go to the visitor center near the High Falls Access trailhead.
-When coming from Brevard, watch for the Little River bridge while traveling down Staton Road. If you pass the bridge, you’ve gone too far and will need to turn around when it’s safe to do so.
-Never jump from the top of the waterfall or swim underneath the cascading water. You could end up seriously injured from the rocks all around if you do.
-You are welcome to bring your dog along on the trail to the waterfall. Just be sure to keep them on a leash and pick up after them while walking through the forest.