Cedar Run Trail to Hawksbill to White Oak Trail Loop

HARD 14 reviews
#49 of 140 trails in

Cedar Run Trail to Hawksbill to White Oak Trail Loop is a 12.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Oldrag, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3480 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

27 days ago

This should be up there with the hardest ones listed!

Breaking all three of these apart makes for a challenging hike as is. Combining them, though, and you're in for a long day.

We started our day at the Lower White Canyon parking lot and worked clockwise - up Cedar, then Hawksbill, and down White. The falls on the way up Cedar are awesome regarding scenery and sound. The Cedar trail presents the usual challenges of hiking upwards - basic rocky trails and increased elevations - nothing surprising if you hike often. Along with a couple extra stops for pics, water, and catching our breath, the climb took roughly three hours.

Hawksbill is kinda where the rubber meets the road - assuming you do Cedar first. It's generally a steep rocky climb and a good workout in itself. Doing so after three hours up Cedar is exhausting! Add in the fact that we went mid-April and it was still 40°. The summit itself is worth the hike (despite being underprepared for another 15° temp drop and what had to be 40mph winds that day). Plan accordingly! There's a decent stone building you can take a break and eat at if you'd like. In and out might've taken an hour and a half with one break.

To get back to the White trail, you head back towards Cedar (sign post) and head left towards/on the Horse Trail for a couple miles. At some point you'll come to one of the streams that looks impassable, but you'll see a footbridge northward of the stream if you look left. The White trail itself is a pretty nice walk, but I do recommend Cedar first. Going up White looked way more intense as an upwards climb and a lot longer. Either way, it's beautiful and we'll worth pausing along the way to catch all the falls. Spring hadn't really hit yet, so we had clear views of everything through the trees, so the falls may be a little more obstructed mid year.

Our whole day logged nearly 15 miles and 7 hours. (We strayed a little here and there though.)

Recommendations:
- 3-4 liters or a filtered bottle for the streams. There were several options to fill up and the way.
- Hiking boots. Hiking shoes are okay, but you're ankles will thank you on the way down.
- Waterproof is worth considering. We went after a storm and surprisingly kept dry feet. But if your a little more adventurous and wander off the path much, you might get a little wet, especially on the White trail.
- If Hawksbill is part of your journey, consider the temp drop and wind. It can rush or ruin your trip if your not prepared.
- Walking sticks are helpful on the way up. They become a nuisance on Old Rag, scrambling, but there not much in the way on this circuit.

Hope this helped! It's hard, but hardly impossible.

hiking
6 months ago

We hiked this in the clockwise route, up Cedar, down White oak. The hike started a bit dreary but cleared up while on the AT where we stopped at one of the overlooks for a quick bite to eat. The transition from the AT to white oak is not intuitive, you pop out by stables take a right down the road to the parking lot where you'll find the next trailhead. Beautiful falls the whole way down, even in the fog :)

backpacking
9 months ago

did this trail, sleepless, starting at 6:30am went up cedar run made it to hawksbill summit around 11 am ish. passed out for an hour in day shelter then proceeded down the AT where we came nearly face to face with a bear. came across some cool snakes and a turkey as well. loads of great water falls going both up and down

11 months ago

Great hike; have done it twice and will return. Clockwise route (up Cedar, down White Oak) is better. Bring 3L of water per person and sturdy shoes.

hiking
Friday, March 17, 2017

Beautiful hike with great views and waterfalls.

10 months ago

Monday, April 17, 2017

hiking
Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunday, September 25, 2016