The Hiking Trails of Cedar Creek State Park

Cedar Creek State Park is obviously popular for camping, swimming, and gathering. However, not many realize they can really “get away from it all” by hiking along the seven established trails which wind through the park.

Three of the trails offer casual, relaxed paths through shaded, manicured grounds while the other four offer a challenge not many will accept. All of them are worth exploring.

Fisherman’s Trail

This 1 ½ mile trail begins at the Park’s Athletic Field and meanders along Cedar Creek to the park boundary. Mostly level, the trail wanders along sunny banks, then meanders through the tall shaded grasses by the creek.

Many fishermen use this scenic trail for access to their favorite fishing spot. Travelers along this path could see blue or green heron in addition to riparian zone plants and wildflowers. This trail is a one hour casual stroll.

Park View Trail

This rugged 1 ¾ mile trail begins along the main road to the park, near the bridge at the park entrance over Cedar Creek, then climbs the point and follows the ridge above the road.

The clearly marked path provides a shaded aerobic workout at the beginning climbing up to take in the views, followed by a casual down hill trek to the ponds.

Rewards include scenic views of the park and surrounding forested areas. Wild columbine often bloom along this path, which is a 2 ¼ hour aerobic workout.

Nightingale Trail

A project of the Nightingale 4-H Club, this ½ mile trail is laid out above the park picnic area. This trail is a wonderful location for a relaxing afternoon snack and short walk in the shade.

Mostly level, this path is perfect for exercising seniors or for introducing young children to nature. Wild violets and wild geranium grow along the path, as well as other wildflowers. It’s a nice ¾ hour casual stroll.

Grassy Ridge Trail

Grassy Ridge Trail is a favorite 1/4 mile shortcut from the park swimming pool area to the Grass Ridge Picnic Area.

Shaded, and simple, this path provides a wooded connection between private, family picnics and swimming fun. Also nearby is the playground, the one-room school house and memorial and the Country Store. This short trail takes about 10 minutes.

Stone Trough Trail

Those truly looking for a hiking adventure will enjoy this path which has the additional challenges brought on by the damage created by the 2003 ice storm. The trail has not yet completely recovered.

This 2 ¼ mile loop begins at the campground and runs up Long Lick Run then climbs a ridge. There, it passes a stone watering trough, hand-carved from solid rock and believed to be over 100 years old – but only the most dedicated hiker may find it. This is a two hour challenge.

Two Run Trail

The longest of the trails, this 2 ½ mile trail goes up Two Run to its source, then follows a series of abandoned logging roads and animal trails. The challenging path weaves through sun and shade.

This adventurous challenge varies from a wide clear road to narrow uphill climbs. Hikers can continue along Stone Trough Trail to return to the campground. It takes about three hours to tackle this trail.

North Boundary Trail

An extension of Two Run Trail, the one mile North Trail winds over interesting shale barrens to an area of large timber. Red Trillium grows along the Grassy Ridge Trail, among other wildflowers.

Alone, this trail provides an aerobic workout, but combine it with the Two Run Trail, it becomes a day’s adventure! The up and downhill trek meanders though both sunny and shaded regions. This is a nice one hour workout.

For more on Cedar Creek State Park, visit www.cedarcreeksp.com. For other features of Gilmer County, visit www.gilmerwv.org.