North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures
Help Protect the Vulnerable Wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
 

Cedar Rock

Cedar Rock

Approximate size: 8,694 acres

Old growth acreage: 123 acres

Location: Transylvania County, NC, 5 miles west of Brevard; Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest

USGS Topographic Maps: Shining Rock, Rosman

This area, and the mountain of the same name, lie on the south side of the Davidson River, south of the Daniel Ridge area. It is part of a very popular hiking and camping complex. The major trail terminus for the complex is at the Davidson River Fish Hatchery and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Education Center on FR 475 just west of the very popular Looking Glass Falls on US 276.

An extensive trail system includes the Art Loeb Trail which winds completely around the base of Cedar Rock, with connections to the Fish Hatchery area to the north and to Cathey’s Creek and the Kuykendahl Group Campground to the south toward Brevard.

There is a shelter near Butter Gap. The Art Loeb National Recreation Trail is a memorial to a Carolina Mountain Club activist and runs from Cold Mountain at the north end of Shining Rock Wilderness south over the balds, crossing the Parkway and then easterly to Brevard, for a distance of about 30 miles.

Hellgramites are the larval stage of the Dobsonfly which can grow to 4 inches long. They are an important food for bass and other fish. They require very clean, unpolluted water to survive.

Cedar Rock Mountain itself is a massif with spectacular bare rock faces, much used by climbers. It offers wonderful views of the Blue Ridge, the Davidson River Valley and its companion mountains, Looking Glass Rock and the John Rock Scenic Area. Visitors standing here on these billion-year-old granite rock faces, rounded by exfoliation from millions of years of weathering can appreciate that these are but the stubs of ancient mountains worn down after being thrust up by massive tectonic plate collisions some 300 million years ago.

This is primitive land, never glaciated, never submerged, where the forces of evolution have worked to produce biodiversity only the tropics can rival.

 

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