RALEIGH, NC- December 18, 2020 - DuPont State Recreational Forest is celebrating another milestone this year.

The beloved state forest opened around 2,500 acres of forestland, including the waterfall section of the Little River, 20 years ago.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the N.C. Forest Service, the Friends of DuPont Forest and other stakeholders have celebrated, enjoyed and shared DuPont State Recreational Forest with an estimated 7 million visitors since 2000

“DuPont State Recreational Forest is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes and resources in our state, attracting visitors from across the world,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Water features including High Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Lake Julia, Lake Dense and Lake Alford became part of the visitor experience 20 years ago. Through active forest management and stewardship, the N.C. Forest Service, the Friends of DuPont Forest and other partners work together to ensure that DuPont State Recreational Forest will be preserved and will remain a natural treasure for generations to come

Friends of DuPont Forest Executive Director Sara Landry said, “Twenty years ago, a diverse group of hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and conservationists rallied public support to convince then North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt to condemn the private development around the waterfalls. They called themselves the Friends of the Falls and we are forever indebted to them for the gift of DuPont State Recreational Forest. Friends of DuPont Forest’s nearly 700 members are committed to carrying on their legacy and working with the N.C. Forest Service to protect the forest for future generations.”

Some of the milestones celebrated during the last 20 years include:

the land acquisition approval by the N.C. Council of State in October 2000;
the opening of the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center in 2013;
the installation of the pedestrian bridge across the Little River near Hooker Falls in 2013;
the construction of the High Falls restroom in 2006 and the opening of the Hooker Falls restroom in 2019; and,
the construction and ongoing maintenance of a world-class, multiuse trail system.

To learn more about DuPont Recreational State Forest or to plan your visit, visit www.dupontstaterecreationalforest.com.

The Friends of DuPont State Forest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for the trails, protecting the forest and inspiring love for our public lands. To learn more about, support, or to become a member of the Friends of DuPont Forest, visit www.dupontforest.com.

# # photo credit: unsplash