Cedar Rock Falls is a really beautiful 20′ tall waterfall that is accessible via an easy-moderate 1.8 mile roundtrip hike.
Cedar Rock Falls, in the Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest is one of four waterfalls that can be access via the Cat Gap Loop trail, which begins at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. Cedar Rock Falls is the first of these four falls, and is a 1.8 mile roundtrip hike.
From the parking lot, head to FR475C, which is located on the back side of the Pisgah Center, and near the parking lot. The road is barricaded, and hikers can access the road on either side. You’ll immediately cross a bridge, and Cat Gap Loop Trail begins almost immediately on your right, and has an orange blaze.
The initial part of the trail follows along green fencing, before crossing a bridge, and then another service road at about the .3 mile mark. Cross the road and pick up the orange blazed Cat Gap Trail again.
After about another .5 miles, begin looking for a a smaller trail that will veer off to the left, and head down the ridge. You’ll most likely hear the falls at this point. If you reach a primitive campsite on your left, you went too far.
Follow this unofficial and fairly steep trail down, where you’ll reach a large rock cliff, soon followed by a view of the waterfall. You can climb down the rocks to reach the base of the falls.
Again, Cedar Rock Falls is a small, but beautiful waterfall that is about 20′ high. The creek splits above the falls, and results in two separate cascades down the nearly straight down rock cliffs. One cascade is significantly larger than the other. The falls are surrounded by Rhododendrun and Mountain Laurel.
If you decide to get up close to the falls, be very careful, as the moss and rocks can be very slick. There are many other smaller cascades both at the falls and below the falls that make for good photo spots. There are also a number of large rocks here, perfect for sitting on, and for taking photos.
After visiting the falls, head back up the spur trail the way you came. This waterfall is actually one of four waterfalls along this trail. You can either return the way you came on Cat Gap Loop trail to your car, OR continue down Cat Gap Loop trail for the other three falls.
Directions: From The Blue Ridge Parkway, take Highway 276 towards Brevard. After passing Looking Glass Falls, watch for FR475 on the right, and turn right onto FR475 (very sharp turn). Watch for signs for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, and turn left into the center. Park in front of the center.