Nestled within the majestic expanse of North Carolina's Dupont State Forest lies Cedar Rock Trail, a rare East Coast gem that offers slickrock surfaces akin to the renowned trails of the American Southwest. With its steep climbs, panoramic vistas, and thrilling descents, Cedar Rock delivers a potent dose of adrenaline for intermediate and advanced riders.
Starting from I-26 South, take Exit 9 towards Asheville Airport and Brevard. Continue for roughly 15 miles until NC 280 morphs into US 276. Follow this road through Brevard for about 9 miles, entering Cedar Mountain, NC. Turn left onto Cascade Lake Road, drive for around 2 miles, and the trail's parking area will be on your left.
From its inception near the Little River Trail, Cedar Rock wastes no time challenging riders with its rocky singletrack that quickly morphs into pure slickrock. Ascending this trail feels like defying gravity as it takes you uphill at almost absurd angles. With little more than rock cairns to guide the way, the climb is steep yet remarkably rideable thanks to the slickrock's excellent traction.
What goes up must come down, and Cedar Rock provides a descent that ranges from high-speed slickrock to blown-out technical singletrack. The descent is a funhouse of ever-changing conditions, rewarding riders with varied skills.
Reviews from experienced cyclists consistently highlight the trail's unique features:
Cedar Rock Trail is a captivating synthesis of Eastern woodland and Western slickrock, with challenging climbs and descents that engage a range of cycling skills. Though the trail may be short, its dynamic conditions and spectacular views make it an indispensable part of the Dupont State Forest network. Make no mistake: Cedar Rock is a must-ride for any intermediate or advanced cyclist traversing North Carolina's varied terrains.