Rising only 200′ 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 Big Rock trail rewards visitors with a westward view across a strange slickrock landscape. The area has become quite popular with mountain bikers and hikers.
Cross the road and proceed around the gate on the marked Corn 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 pile of rocks) 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 helispot by the Forest Service). This is a three-way intersection where Big Rock Trail terminates into Cedar Rock Trail. Left to the north leads down the mountain to the powerlines with a loop to the right and Little River Trail. Right in the southeast direction follows Cedar Rock Trail down to Little River Trail near the Little River.
Return or see Cedar Rock Mountain/Corn Mill Shoals Loop description.