$4 per vehicle/day. Senior and Access passes are accepted. Cash and checks only.
This is a relatively easy short hike with a great reward at the end. The trail is beneath a hardwood forest canopy with a fair amount of rhododendron, so you can count on some good shade on a hot summer day. This is a popular route, so don't expect a solitary experience.
Straight off the bat from the parking lot behind the pit toilet, there is a great view to the south of a couple of bald mountains. At the end of a short (~0.1 mi) boardwalk section, there is an accessible overlook that has a view of the falls.
The trail can be divided roughly into thirds between two major hairpin bends.
The first third is actually probably the steepest and most difficult with a few roots in the trail to avoid and some stairs. The first third takes you down to Dukes Creek. If you turn right at the bottom of the trail, there is a trail that leads right down to the creek. If you cross it and turn left up the road, you can easily continue over to the Raven Cliff Falls hike. Turn left to continue towards Dukes Creek Falls.
After the first hairpin, the second third of the trail joins an old roadbed. Here the trail is several feet wide with a nice gravel base and the trail is more level. This part of the trail parallels Dukes Creek for a quarter mile or so. There are a number of cascades and one small waterfall that would make this an enjoyable outing even if there weren't the two larger waterfalls at the end.
At the second hairpin turn, you'll reach a sign that points you in the direction of the waterfall. Continuing straight at this point takes you into Smithgall Woods State Park via the Dukes Creek Falls Access Trail
, but you'll need a permit from the park for this. Instead take a sharp right to continue towards the waterfall. You'll leave the old roadbed for a more rustic trail. It is similar in character to the first third with the occasional rooty section and a few rocks to step over. At the end, there is a boardwalk/viewing platform that provides an overlook for the two falls.
To the left is the higher Dodds Creek Falls. Just a bit further back is the wider Dukes Creek Falls.
This is a US fee area. Bring a few bucks or an Interagency Pass to pay for parking.