Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - 51

ENOUGH LOVE TO
GENERATE A BOOK

DUPONT FOREST

AN APPRECIATION

The majesties and mysteries
go well beyond the park's six
signature waterfalls.
STOCK.ADOBE.COM

By DANNY BERNSTEIN

T

he first hike I took in North Carolina's DuPont Forest started close
to High Falls. Like other visitors,
I gawked and stared at the falls as
I clicked one shot after another.
Water cascaded down the rock
and then plunged in a pool; it
was a spectacular sight. Then I turned
around and spotted a tall chimney on a
hill. The chimney had a fireplace on two
sides. A date had been engraved in the
concrete - April 28, 1941. No other clue,
no plaque, no sign-I was not in a museum. But I knew there was a story here
beyond the waterfalls.

Triple Falls, at 120 feet, is one of the lures of
Dupont State Forest.

Water cascaded down the rock
and then plunged in a pool;
it was a spectacular sight.
I'm a hiker. In the 20 years I've lived
in Asheville, North Carolina I've walked
in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests,
all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail,
and more.
But DuPont State Recreational Forest is
different. Its 12,000 acres, small in comparison to those other lands, encompass
six waterfalls, five lakes, two named cemeteries and many historic artifacts. Located
between Asheville and Greenville, South
Carolina, DuPont Forest conceals a long

human history from Appalachian settlers,
an X-ray film plant, an upscale summer
camp and potential high-end homes to
North Carolina state forest.
DuPont Forest is not untouched wilderness; no public land in the eastern United
States is. When I first asked fellow hikers
about the forest, I got bits of information
based on folklore and hearsay. The facts
differed based on how long my companions had been in the area. I searched for a
book on DuPont Forest. While there must
be hundreds of books on Great Smoky

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

51


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Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020

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