DuPont State Forest will grow by 35 acres, Gov. Mike Easley announced today, thanks to a recent donation from the site’s namesake corporation.
Best known for its scenic waterfalls and shaded hiking trails, the Transylvania County natural area opened to visitors in 1997. The new acreage lies at the heart of the forest, and will link two formerly discrete sections, saving visitors a lengthy detour on Reasonover Road.
“It’s a key piece of the property,” said Assistant Forest Supervisor Bruce MacDonald on Tuesday afternoon. “It ties the north and south sides of the forest together, especially for forest users who are hiking and mountain biking and horseback riding.”
Currently, a private road runs through the 35-acre property, which forest employees have long used through an agreement with the DuPont corporation. Now, said MacDonald, the route will be opened to the public, allowing for quicker access between the forest’s High Falls and Triple Falls areas and Bridal Veil Falls.
The 10,400 acre state forest, which lies between Brevard and Hendersonville, was purchased from DuPont in three major phases, the most recent of which took place in 2000.
Additional acquisitions may be in the works, according to MacDonald. “There’s more of this to come,” he said. “There are still more than 400 acres owned by the DuPont company inside there.”
— Kent Priestley, staff writer