DuPont State Forest - Cedar Rock Mountain (1-17-14)
After the High Falls area, Cedar Rock is probably the most popular destination in DuPont State Forest. It was due to this fact that I was saving a visit for the off-season, when things would hopefully be a bit quieter. The previous day I had made the trek up DuPont's other major peak, Stone Mountain, and had been thoroughly impressed with what I had found. With a second consecutive day of clear blue skies I thought I might try going two-for-two with DuPont.
Cedar Rock Mountain itself isn't all that high, even by DuPont standards, with a summit elevation of only 3,114' that only rises a few hundred feet above the surrounding valley. What makes this peak so unique is its large open slopes of granite dotted with patchy clumps of moss and lichen. These large 'slickrock' openings are what makes the mountain so immensely popular with bikers and I was a bit worried what kind of damage I might find upon visiting. What I found, to my immense relief, was a mountain in fairly pristine condition, despite the crowds that descend upon it, and a natural environment almost entirely unique from other peaks I've visited in the southern mountains. So, two peaks in DuPont in two days and on this second day, like the first, I was in awe of what I found...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.172781, -82.638902
Hike Length: 3.5 miles Hike Duration: 1:45
Trailhead Temp: 45'F
Min. Elevation: 2,700' Max. Elevation: 3,114'
Total Vertical Gain: 525' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 147'
Trails Used (blaze color): Big Rock (unblazed), Cedar Rock (unblazed), Corn Mill Shoals (unblazed), Little River (unblazed)