“This hidden beauty lies on the outskirts of Casltewood Park.”
— Brian Barton
This is a great technical trail that is hidden and not used by many people. It is the most advanced trail in the Castlewood network. There are great rocky sections and a couple of small steps down. There is some erosion and a spot or two that need some attention, but don't let that stop you from enjoying this hidden gem!
Cedar Bluff Trail is hidden beneath the railroad tracks on the back side of Castlewood State Park. You can get there by way of The main park, Sherman Beach, or the Al Foster trailhead. Either way you go you end up on Stinging Nettle trail and go through the tunnel under the train tracks to Cedar Bluff Trail.
After you go through the old train tunnel to the trail, you'll want to go left to run clockwise. Right off the bat you are going to hit a steep climb up a nice rock outcropping up and around the hillside. At the top of the rocks it mellows out quite a bit and you are just into some steady climbing for a little while. About half way up it gets a little steeper and you hit a real tight switch back and onto some more climbing. You'll eventually come to the top and there is a nice bench for you to take a rest on if need be! From here it's mostly downhill.
Be careful on the tight right hand turn almost toward the bottom because this section is somewhat eroded heading to the creek crossing and there can be some pretty deep ruts.
From here you make a left out of the creek and have another short climb. At the top you'll make a series of quick turns and after the 4th you'll come to a small drop.
At the bottom of the hill make sure you stay left so you can run to the small cliff overlooking the train tracks below and see the river. It is a nice little view and it's an easy run back to the trailhead.