Thank you for your interest in equestrian usage of the DuPont State Recreational Forest. We are very fortunate for the opportunity to participate in a multiple use trail plan. DuPont’s trails are used by hikers, bikers, horseback riders, fishermen, and hunters (during season). Multiple use allows all visitors of the forest access to the many wonderful trails at DuPont State Recreational Forest.
To assure continued equestrian usage of trails, it is extremely important that equestrians show good citizenship. All trails are open to horses except for Triple Falls Trail from the picnic shelter to Staton Road and a few foot trails that are clearly marked.
Maintain a safe speed, especially when near highly visited areas such as waterfalls, when approaching intersections and where line of sight is limited. You are likely to meet other horses, bikes and hikers. All trails are two-way. A little courtesy goes a long way toward making our forest experiences great for everyone who shares Du- Pont’s trails.
Please observe the following rules and guidelines.
Equestrian Rules and Guidelines
- Coggins papers are required for horses brought onto the property. Rangers will make random checks at the parking lots. If you do not have current (within 1 year) Coggins papers in your possession, you will be asked to leave the premises. This is for the protection of all the horses in the forest.
- Buddy up with two or three equestrians, reducing vulnerability if you have an accident. Carry a cell phone. In case of emergency call 911. Be able to give your location in relation to the closest trail intersection. If you do ride alone, tell someone what trails you will be on before you go out.
- Wearing a helmet is advised for safety.
- Stay on trails marked with brown wooden trail name signs. Equestrians are prohibited on unmarked trails, trails with the horse symbol crossed out, closed trails or trails marked for hikers/foot traffic only.
- Horse watering areas are designated at the NW side of the covered bridge on Buck Forest Road, at Lake Julia, at Fawn Lake and on Barn Trail. There is a stream accessible to horses on the west side of Lake Imaging that should be entered and exited from Lake Imaging Road. Other watering areas are stream crossings on Tarkiln Branch trail, Hooker Creek ford, Grassy Creek Trail, Briery Fork Trail, Joanna Road (east of Grassy Creek Trail intersection), Grassy Meadow Trail, Corn Mill Shoals Trail, Buckhorn Trail, Reasonover Creek Trail.
- Please do not ride horses on dams at Lake Julia, Lake Imaging and Lake Alford.
- Horses are not allowed within 50 feet of picnic shelters and other structures. If tie-outs are not available, please use crossties to protect trees.
- Do not ride horses out into any lakes.
- Remove horse manure and straw from the parking lots and place it in the manure boxes provided. The parking lots are also multiple use and equestrians must be considerate of all user groups
General Rules and Guidelines
- Wet rocks are very slippery. Be very careful near waterfalls! Observe all posted restrictions. Visitors often sustain serious injuries on rocks near waterfalls.
- Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
- Do not enter private property adjacent to DuPont State Recreational Forest.
- Use or public display of alcohol, marijuana, or illegal drugs is prohibited.
- Bring adequate drinking water. The only public water fountains are at the Aleen Steinberg Visitor’s Center.
- Keep DuPont State Recreational Forest clean! Please pack out your trash. There are no trash containers.
- The trails are open from daylight to dark except by special permit. Please plan carefully and leave the parking lot before dark.
- Stay on trails marked with brown wooden trail name signs. Do not ride on unmarked trails, closed trails or trails marked for hikers/foot traffic only.
- Do not cut brush or alter trails unless you are part of volunteer group working under the direction of the N.C. Forest Service. Do not disturb plant life.
- Check kiosk in access areas for trail closings, special events and dates of hunting season. Wear blaze orange during hunting season.
- Use of earphones is not recommended. One must be aware of other people approaching in the forest and natural hazards.
- Trail users are strongly advised to obtain a forest map before going on trails. Free maps are available from Forest Service Staff and from volunteers in the forest. Larger, waterproof maps are available from www.dupontforest.com, local retailers and visitor centers as well as volunteers at the forest.
- There are no public camping facilities in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Camping is only permitted for organized groups that volunteer to do trail work or helping out with special events. Do not camp in the parking lot. For information on volunteer opportunities contact the Forest Supervisor’s office at (828) 877-6527.
Suggested Waterfall Loops
When you come to DuPont State Recreational Forest, many riders want to see the waterfalls. There are great loops that allows you to see four waterfalls. There are two wooden bridges. If your horse has not crossed a wooden bridge before, you may want to lead them across the first time. The bridges are wide and very solid. Many loops can be developed by connecting the trails. These loops takes about 2 hours, depending on your speed and how long you stay at the viewpoints. It will get you familiar with many other connecting trails.