​Hiking Safety

All DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) trails are available for hiking. Staying on marked trails is recommended for natural resource protection and safety concerns. Even on well-maintained trails natural hazards may be present. Stay alert for tripping dangers such as roots, rocks and uneven surfaces, as well as slippery conditions in wet areas. Other outdoor hazards you may experience include:


Strong winds

Heavy rain

Venomous snakes and insects

Poisonous plants

Falling limbs

Temperature extremes

Respect the Trails

Heavy rain, snow and freeze/thaw temperature changes can make the trail system vulnerable to damage from bicycle, equestrian and hiking traffic. The system will usually remain open but closures may be enacted if damage such as rutting and compaction occur. If you enjoy DSRF’s trails, please consider giving them a break after rain and snow events.

Trail Etiquette

Hikers should be aware that most of DSRF's trails are considered to be multple-use trails. Very few are excluded from biking and horseback riding. Other trail users will be encountered frequently and hikers may experience trail congestion in some areas of the Forest, especially in the popular waterfall corridor. Make yourself known to other users if you feel they do not sense your presence, especially equestrians and bikers.

Important Forest Rules

  • The Forest is open daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Do not climb on rocks or waterfalls.
  • Jumping, sliding, and diving from waterfalls are prohibited.
  • Swimming or wading upstream of waterfalls is prohibited (within 300 feet of the waterfall).
  • All pets must be on a physical leash and under control at all times.
  • Camping is not allowed on DSRF.
  • Areas or trails designated "No Entry," "Do Not Enter," or "Authorized Personnel Only" are prohibited to trail users.
  • Alcohol and illegal controlled substances are prohibited.
  • Campfires and cooking fires (charcoal, gas, wood, or other fuel) are not allowed on any part of DSRF.

The North Carolina Administrative Code provides State Forests the authority to implement rules that provide for public safety and natural resource protection.

For more information about hiking in DuPont State Recreational Forest and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click here.