Joanna Mountain is a dominant peak near the center of DuPont State Forest in the high country of North Carolina. Joanna is one of the more prominent peaks in the forest, and has a number of rock faces, mainly facing south and east. The summit is without views and is accessible only by a short bushwhack, most easily done from the Joanna Mountain Trail. The best views on the peak are from the cliffs just below the summit and looking down on Lake Dense.
Located near Brevard, this approximately 11,000 acre tract of land was
once completely owned by the DuPont Corporation. The center of the tract was the location of the Agfa Plant, just one operation among many owned and operated by DuPont.
When the plant was to be shut down, the land around it was about to be sold to a local real estate developer. The area is home to an amazing series of waterfalls jammed into a compact area and is of an exceedingly high caliber for visual beauty. Fortunately, enough was done to galvanize the right people to stop the sale and allow the state to step in and procure this acreage as a state forest.
In addition to the Agfa Plant, DuPont had also built an amazing web of gravel roads and trails throughout to allow access to any of the four lakes that had been created there, and to the lodge and cabins also available for use to DuPont employees. There was even an airstrip and hangar for those arriving by small plane. All of this land is now community property administered by the state of North Carolina in a quasi-park status.
There are no camping facilities within this state forest, but there
Corn Mill Shoals
are a number of parking areas that allow access to any of dozens of trailheads. Bathroom facilities are still under construction, so one must risk the use of portapotties only under extreme desperation. Some of the parking areas are often jammed with humanity during weekends and holidays as folk take leisurely strolls to the most accessible of the more spectacular waterfalls.
Almost all of the trails in the forest are multi-use. You are as likely to encounter horseback riders and mountain bikers as you are hikers. In fact, hikers are often in the minority on many of the trails. Also, a lot of the trails consist of the old gravel auto roads, so if you don't like road-hiking, this park is not for you.
Currently, no camping is allowed in the park. This is under study and
there may be an official campground located within the forest at some future date. There are a number of private campgrounds and public campgrounds within a short distance of DuPont State Forest.