The 4.5-mile loop hike on Cedar Rock Mountain in DuPont State Forest provides wonderful views and dramatic scenery - and it's not a difficult hike. Rising only a few hundred feet above the surrounding plateau, Cedar Rock Mountain contains some of the most exposed granite anywhere in the region. Hundreds of acres alternate between bare and moss/lichen covered rock. The area has become quite popular with mountain bikers and hikers. Park at the Corn Mill Shoals Access area on Casade Lake Road (directions at bottom of page). Cedar Rock is about 43 miles from Asheville, located between Brevard and Hendersonville.
Cedar Rock is a few miles from the trailhead to Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and High Falls (See our DuPont Waterfalls Guide.) So you hike both trails for a wonderful day outdoors. Merry Falls is also nearby.
The hike includes parts of three trails. So be sure to take directions with you, since signage is limited. From the parking area (Corn Mills Shoals), cross the road and proceed around the gate on the Corn's Mill Shoals Trail. Continue past Longside Trail (on the left). About 1/10 mile past the gate as the road curves right, find Big Rock Trail, an old roadbed on the left leading uphill. Continue up the steady grade about 1/2 mile until the trail leads onto a granite slab. Continue forward and upward, looking for cairns (small rock piles) wherever the trail leads onto the granite.
After reentering the forest, approach a much larger granite dome with excellent views westward of the Pisgah Range. At the top of this granite clearing, reenter the forest and continue over the summit and around several turns until the path leads back onto a large, nearly flat granite area (used as a heliport by the Forest Service).
Looking toward Pisgah National Forest from Cedar Rock.