Level of difficulty: Moderate climb with some obstacles
Driving distance/direction from downtown Highlands, NC: Follow Hwy. 64 east about 38.5 miles to the intersection with Hwy. 276 in Brevard. Turn right on Hwy. 276 and drive 11 miles south to Cascade Lake Road. Turn left on Cascade Lake Road and follow for 2.5 miles. Turn right on Staton Road. The parking area is 3.5 miles down Staton Road on the left, just past the DOT bridge across Little River.
Parking: Park at the Hooker Falls parking area.
Hiking distance: 2 miles
Description: The trail to High Falls is a moderate climb with some obstacles. It follows Little River before turning and climbing up to the High Falls overlook and ends at Buck Forest Road. High Falls is the longest waterfall in the DuPont State Forest, with an approximately 100-foot cascade down an inclined granite plane. A trail to the left will lead to the foot of the falls.
Park at the Hooker Falls parking area. Take stairs to Staton Road and cross toward the opposite side of bridge. Take stairs down to connect with Triple Falls Trail going upriver. Come to Triple Falls in about 0.5 miles. Pass Triple Falls and bear left on the High Falls Trail. After about 0.25 miles come to a fork, stay left on the Riverbend trail to get to the base of the falls or continue right on the High Falls Trail for less than 0.25 miles uphill to the side of High Falls.
Footnote: The waterfall was featured in the movie Last of the Mohicans.
Hike descriptions adapted from the Highland Hiker’s Guide to Day Hikes.