By Dasha Morgan
On Saturday, September 28th, the Friends of DuPont Forest hosted the 2nd Annual DuPont Forest Festival to celebrate the wilderness and beauty of DuPont State Recreational Forest. There will be live demonstrations, bike clinics, yoga, food trucks, wildlife presentations and more. This will take place at the Guion Farm Access Area in the DuPont State Forest from 10AM to 2PM The event is free and open to the public.
DuPont Forest, outside of Brevard, has some incredibly beautiful waterfalls, trails, and lakes to be explored. Trail maps and guide maps are easily found both online and at the entrance. There are some spectacular mountain and lake views, where you can hear wonderful forest sounds and see botanical treats. There is Hooker Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Wintergreen Falls, Triple Falls and many more, all sending the sounds of rushing clear clean water to your ears. Lake Denise and Lake Alford are a bit off the beaten path. Lake Imaging is a charming setting with a picnic shelter and fishing dock—as does Lake Denise.with picnics shelters and a fishing dock. Lake Julia is 99 acres and the largest lake in the forest. What is known as the Lodge is the present Ranger Station that is located near the end of Lake Julia Road.
Some may remember the Buck Forest Lodge and Hunt Club, as does this writer. Buck Forest Hunt Club was a fishing and hunting club organized in the High Falls area; the lodge was built in 1941. Its members brought their families to enjoy just being outdoors,—perhaps fishing, swimming or even some shooting and then enjoying a delicious hamburger, hot dog and corn, prepared on the stone grill and eaten in the open fresh air, which overlooked the Falls, The more than 5,000 acres were owned by Frank Coxe, James and Dorothy Stikeleather, and the Yancey family. The club lasted until 1956, when the DuPont Company bought the land. Sadly, all that remains are the chimney near the picnic shelter with a wonderful view of High Falls, as much was burned down.
History of Dupont Forest
The 10,300 acre DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) was acquired in three major phases, spanning from 1995 to 2000. The 7600 acre forest was purchased by the State of North Carolina in 1996 and 1997 after DuPont sold its industrial operation and surrounding land holdings. The 2700 acres surrounding the industrial facility was sold to Sterling Diagnostic Imaging in 1996. The Conservation Fund, a national non-profit organization, negotiated an agreement between DuPont and North Carolina officials which facilitated the public purchase. DuPont transferred all excess property to the Conservation Fund under favorable terms (a combination of land donation and land sale). The State later purchased most of these lands from the Conservation Fund for approximately $2.2 million. Local environmental groups were instrumental in bringing these three parties together in 1995.
The Friends of DuPont Forest welcome new members, and contributions help conserve the beauty, wildlife, and adventure of Dupont State Forest. Friends of DuPont Forest invest in special projects that enhance recreation in the Forest, while protecting its natural and historic resources. They encourage youth programs through educational projects. One of their recent projects was providing seed money ($50,000) for the new Hooker Falls restrooms. Many other unusual activities are planned throughout the year—for all seasons. To join ($25 for an individual or $35 a family membership) or get more information go to Dupont Forest.com