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Cedar Rock Falls NC – Pisgah National Forest

Cedar Rock Falls is a really beautiful 20' tall waterfall that is accessible via an easy-moderate 1.8 mile roundtrip hike.

Hike Details

Location: Pisgah National Forest, Ranger District near Brevard NC

Roundtrip Distance: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Handicap Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: Yes

Features: Waterfall, bridges, forest

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.

Recommended Gear: Standard Day Hiking Gear

Cedar Rock Falls NC

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.

The Trail to Cedar Rock Falls 

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.

Cedar Rock Falls Trail Spur

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.

Cedar Rock Falls

Cedar Rock Falls, Pisgah National Forest

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 Rhododendron 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.

Sideview, Cedar Rock Falls, Pisgah National Forest

Cedar Rock Falls is a surprisingly nice falls, that is also fairly popular.   We saw a number of people visiting while we were here.

Upper Cedar Rock Falls  

Upper Cedar Level Falls, Pisgah National Forest

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.  

Upper Cedar Rock Falls is just a short distance up the trail.  Other waterfalls on up include Grogan Creek Falls, which is a unique and stunning waterfall.

Our Waterfall Guides

See our full guides to more than 40 waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on our Waterfalls Page.  Information, Directions, Photos, Video, and more!

Cedar Rock Falls Video

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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