The hike up the Big Rock Trail to the view on Cedar Rock is only about 3/4 mile, so it would be a fairly easy out and back if you were running short on time. It's a steady uphill hike, but not really steep. Once up on top, there's a very large area of exposed bedrock with 'islands' of plant life. Please only walk on the rock areas! The view looks towards the Blue Ridge Parkway and on a clear day you can see Mount Pisgah and the surrounding mountains. Looking Glass Rock is also in the view, but from a totally different angle than you are probably used to. Below is a single image, but below that is some video I shot with my GoPro and Feiyu Tech G4 hand held stabilizer on the way up to the view.
|view from Cedar Rock|
As you can see in the video, it was very windy up on top. I muted the sound on the video because there was too much wind noise. We spent quite a bit of time up here for obvious reasons, but had to eventually move on. The Big Rock Trail continues up for a short distance and then meets the Cedar Rock Trail. We turned right at this point and headed down more bedrock/plants area. The trail is well marked with rock cairns so you don't stray off the path. There are more views on the way down, but not as good as the earlier view.
|view from Cedar Rock Trail|
I have more video that I haven't processed yet, so if you are reading this, check back in a day or 2 to see if I've added it. Once you leave the exposed area, the rest of the hike is through the woods. You'll follow along a section of the Little River which is on the left and just out of sight. At some point, we're going to head back and do a bigger loop. Instead of turning right on the Cedar Rock Trail, you can turn left and reconnect with the Little River Trail at a different point.