Although the temperatures may be rather chilly, Winter is a prime time to find extra special views! Whether due to the leaves being off the trees or brilliant skies (not to mention less creepy crawlers!), hikes during this season can easily become a highlight.
DuPont State Forest in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina near Brevard, is a wonderful source for finding a wide variety of trails. It is also slightly lower elevation than much of Western North Carolina so the temperatures tend to be a little milder than other areas. Not only will you enjoy the mountain views along the way but DuPont State Forest has numerous waterfalls that are stunning no matter the season. Let’s take a quick deep dive into the various waterfalls you can see while hiking at Dupont.
First, there is the High Falls waterfall that drops 120 feet. Then there’s Triple Falls and you guessed it, this waterfall features three in one, with the water dropping down three separate waterfalls. Grassy Creek Falls features water flowing down the side of a wide wall of granite. Wintergreen Falls is another with a picturesque waterfall and swimming hole. Hooker Falls, like Wintergreen Falls, has a pool of water at the bottom and is one of the more popular spots to take a dip in the water (granted, when its warmer!). Hooker Falls has a wider waterfall, which is only 12 feet high. Finally, perhaps the most unusual looking waterfall, Bridal Veil Falls features a wide slide of granite which the water falls down, providing beautiful white water tumbles. This waterfall, or the ledge above it, was even featured in Last of the Mohicans.
These hikes are a great escape from the gym for those looking to keep up their New Year’s Resolution. The park is about an hour from Greenville, 40 mins from Pickens and Sunset, SC. If the drive is too far for you to want to do in a day trip, we recommend cozying up to a fire in a beautiful mountain cabin. Brevard is a beautiful small mountain town and has numerous shopping and dining opportunities, so stay the weekend! Pilot Cove is a beautiful retreat with a modern take on a mountain cabin. Forget having to look at deer mountings or bear rugs, these cabins are designed like luxurious hotel rooms, set on the hillside and tucked into the trees.
Perhaps you are wanting to get out of the house but looking for something not as strenuous? In that case, we highly recommend a drive to the Poinsett Bridge of Greenville County (pictured) which always makes for a lovely trip. Even with the trees not in bloom, this unforgettable gothic style bridge is picture worthy any time of year, and makes for a noteworthy site. It is, after all, the oldest bridge in South Carolina and perhaps in the southeastern United States! Bring a camera and take a stroll, appreciating the architecture and simplistic beauty of this Upstate gem.
No matter what these crisp and cold days bring, we hope you enjoy a few of our favorite Upstate SC and Western NC outdoor spots. Now get outside and create some new winter memories!