Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail In Arkansas

Here is everything you need to know about the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Arkansas
  • Length: 1.5 miles.
  • Type: hiking
  • Surface: boardwalk
  • Managed By: US Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Not available.

The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is a historically significant trail located in the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Virginia, United States. The trail follows the path of the historic Cedar Creek, which played a pivotal role in the American Civil War.

During the Civil War, the Cedar Creek area witnessed one of the most significant battles in the Shenandoah Valley. On October 19, 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early launched a surprise attack on the Union Army, led by General Philip Sheridan. The battle began at dawn and quickly turned into a fierce and bloody conflict. The Confederate forces initially gained the upper hand, pushing the Union Army back in disarray. However, General Sheridan, who had been away from the battlefield at the time of the attack, returned and rallied his troops. In a dramatic turn of events, the Union forces counterattacked and ultimately emerged victorious, driving the Confederates from the field.

The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail was established to commemorate this historic battle and provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the battlefield and learn about its significance. The trail covers approximately four miles and features a series of interpretive markers that provide detailed information about the battle and the key events that took place at various locations along the trail. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of the soldiers, gaining a deeper understanding of the strategies, tactics, and sacrifices made during this critical moment in American history. The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail serves as a reminder of the bravery and resilience displayed by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Cedar Creek Visitor Center: This is the main access point for the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. The visitor center provides information about the trail and the surrounding area.

2. Belle Grove Plantation: Located near the northern end of the trail, Belle Grove Plantation is a historic site that offers access to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail.

3. Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park: Situated near the southern end of the trail, Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park provides access to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. The park also features interpretive signs and exhibits related to the Civil War.

4. Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters: This access point is located near the middle of the trail and serves as the headquarters for the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation. Visitors can access the self-guiding trail from this location.

5. Bowman-Shannon Cultural Arts Center: Situated near the southern end of the trail, the Bowman-Shannon Cultural Arts Center offers access to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. The center also hosts various cultural events and exhibits.

6. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park: This national park encompasses the entire Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. There are multiple access points along the trail, including the visitor center, Belle Grove Plantation, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park.

7. Cedar Creek Bridge: Located near the middle of the trail, the Cedar Creek Bridge provides a scenic access point to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. The bridge offers beautiful views of the creek and surrounding landscape.

8. Cedar Creek Campground: Situated near the northern end of the trail, Cedar Creek Campground offers camping facilities and access to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. Campers can easily explore the trail from this location.

9. Cedar Creek Winery: Located near the southern end of the trail, Cedar Creek Winery provides access to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting and then explore the trail.

10. Cedar Creek Lake: Situated near the middle of the trail, Cedar Creek Lake offers access to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, or simply relax by the lake before or after exploring the trail.

Transportation Available

1. Cedar Creek Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation to and from Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail.
2. Local Taxi – Taxi service available for quick and reliable transportation to Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail.
3. Bike Rental Shop – Rent a bike and enjoy a scenic ride to Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail.
4. Public Bus – Public bus service with a stop near Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail for easy access.
5. Ride-Sharing Service – Use a ride-sharing app to get a convenient and affordable ride to Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail.


The amenities available at the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while exploring the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and location, there might be camping sites available nearby or within the trail area for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can relax, have a meal, or enjoy a picnic with family and friends.

5. Interpretive Signage: The trail may have informative signs or interpretive panels along the route, providing educational information about the natural features, wildlife, or history of the area.

6. Benches or Seating: There might be benches or seating areas strategically placed along the trail for visitors to rest, take in the scenery, or enjoy a quiet moment.

7. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness and preserve the natural environment, there should be trash receptacles available along the trail for visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

8. Drinking Water Stations: Depending on the trail’s length and location, there may be drinking water stations or fountains available for visitors to stay hydrated.

9. Information Kiosks: At the trailhead or various points along the trail, there might be information kiosks providing maps, brochures, or other helpful resources for visitors to navigate and learn more about the trail.

10. Accessibility Features: The trail may have accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps, accessible parking spaces, or paved paths to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the trail.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check with the trail management or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Cedar Creek Lodge – Cozy lodging option near the trail.
2. Cedar Creek Campground – Campsites available for outdoor enthusiasts.
3. Cedar Creek Diner – Restaurant serving delicious meals near the trail.
4. Cedar Creek General Store – Convenient store offering snacks and supplies.
5. Cedar Creek Medical Center – Emergency medical services available nearby.

Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail Difficulty Notes

The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for individuals of various fitness levels. The trail spans approximately 2.5 miles and features a combination of flat terrain and gentle inclines, providing a manageable challenge for hikers. Along the way, visitors can explore the diverse ecosystems of Cedar Creek, including wetlands, forests, and prairies. Interpretive signs and markers are placed throughout the trail, offering educational information about the area’s flora, fauna, and history. Overall, the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail provides an enjoyable and informative hiking experience that can be comfortably completed by most outdoor enthusiasts.

Features And Attractions

The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is located in the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Virginia. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail:

1. Cedar Creek: The trail follows the banks of Cedar Creek, a picturesque waterway that played a significant role in the Battle of Cedar Creek during the American Civil War.

2. Belle Grove Plantation: This historic plantation house, built in the 18th century, is a prominent landmark along the trail. It served as a headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War.

3. Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Visitor Center: Located near the trail, this visitor center provides information about the Battle of Cedar Creek and the surrounding area. It offers exhibits, maps, and interpretive displays.

4. Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park: Situated near the trail, this park features preserved earthworks and fortifications from the Civil War era. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

5. Bowman-Hite Farm: This historic farmstead, located along the trail, showcases the agricultural heritage of the region. It includes a restored farmhouse, barns, and outbuildings.

6. Cedar Creek Bridge: The trail crosses over Cedar Creek on a picturesque wooden bridge. This spot offers scenic views of the creek and its surroundings.

7. Cedar Creek Overlook: This viewpoint provides a panoramic vista of the Cedar Creek Valley. It offers stunning views of the rolling hills, farmland, and the creek itself.

8. Belle Grove Loop Trail: A short side trail branches off from the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail, leading to the Belle Grove Loop Trail. This additional trail takes you through fields and woodlands, offering a chance to explore more of the park’s natural beauty.

9. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Visitor Contact Station: Located near the trail, this contact station provides information, maps, and exhibits about the park’s history and natural resources.

These are just a few of the highlights along the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. Exploring this trail will allow you to immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No pets are allowed on the trail during the nesting season (typically from April to August).
– No camping or overnight stays are permitted on the trail.
– No hunting or fishing is allowed on the trail.
– No motorized vehicles or bicycles are allowed on the trail.
– No littering or dumping of any kind is permitted.
– No removal or disturbance of plants, animals, or natural features is allowed.
– No fires or open flames are allowed on the trail.
– No amplified music or excessive noise is permitted.
– No feeding or approaching wildlife is allowed.
– No smoking or vaping is permitted on the trail.
– No alcohol or illegal substances are allowed on the trail.
– No unauthorized commercial activities or events are permitted.
– Visitors are responsible for their own safety and should stay on designated trails.
– Visitors should respect other trail users and yield to hikers going uphill.
– Visitors should follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailhead or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. Located in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, this trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and the serene Cedar Creek. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to visit the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is during the fall season. From late September to early November, the trail is transformed into a vibrant display of colors as the leaves change from green to shades of red, orange, and yellow. The crisp autumn air and the stunning foliage make this time of year perfect for hiking and photography enthusiasts. It is important to note that this is also a busy time for the trail, so visitors should plan accordingly and arrive early to secure parking.

Another great time to visit the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is in the spring. From late April to early June, the trail comes alive with blooming wildflowers and the sounds of birds chirping. The weather is mild, and the trail is less crowded compared to the fall season. This is an ideal time for those who prefer a quieter and more peaceful hiking experience.

It is important to be aware of seasonal closures and restrictions when planning a visit to the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail. During the winter months, the trail may be closed or have limited access due to snow and ice. It is always recommended to check the park’s website or contact the visitor center for the most up-to-date information on trail conditions and closures. Additionally, some sections of the trail may be closed temporarily for maintenance or repairs, so it is advisable to plan ahead and check for any closures before visiting.

Overall, the best times to visit the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail are during the fall and spring seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty of the area is at its peak. However, each season offers its own unique charm, and the trail can be enjoyed year-round by those who are prepared for the weather conditions and any potential closures.


1. Paved Path: The Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail features a fully paved path, ensuring smooth wheelchair accessibility throughout the trail.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trail entrance, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Wheelchair-Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with wheelchair-friendly facilities are located near the trail entrance.
4. Braille Signage: Braille signage is installed along the trail, allowing visually impaired individuals to access information about the surroundings.
5. Audio Guide: An audio guide is available for individuals with visual impairments, providing a narrated description of the trail’s features and points of interest.
6. Rest Areas with Benches: Rest areas with benches are strategically placed along the trail, offering individuals the opportunity to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
7. Handrails: Handrails are installed at certain sections of the trail, providing additional support and stability for individuals with mobility challenges.
8. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options are available, allowing individuals to enjoy a meal or rest in a comfortable setting.
9. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.
10. Visual Contrast: The trail features visual contrast elements, such as color variations and textures, to aid individuals with visual impairments in navigating the path.

Safety Information

1. Slippery trail conditions – Caution is advised due to potentially slippery surfaces along the trail.
2. Uneven terrain – Watch your step as the trail may have uneven surfaces.
3. Limited cell phone reception – Be aware that cell phone reception may be limited or unavailable in certain areas of the trail.
4. Wildlife encounters – Exercise caution and maintain a safe distance if encountering wildlife along the trail.
5. Poison ivy presence – Be mindful of poison ivy plants and avoid contact to prevent allergic reactions.
6. Weather changes – Be prepared for sudden weather changes and dress accordingly.
7. Limited restroom facilities – Restroom facilities may be limited along the trail, plan accordingly.
8. Tick presence – Take precautions against ticks and perform regular tick checks after visiting the trail.
9. Trail closures – Check for any trail closures or advisories before visiting as maintenance or safety concerns may temporarily close sections of the trail.
10. Limited lighting – The trail may have limited lighting, so plan your visit accordingly.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. The trail is located within the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, which is managed by the National Park Service. As a result, the park has implemented various conservation measures to ensure the preservation of the trail and its surrounding environment.

One of the key conservation efforts is the establishment of strict regulations and guidelines for visitors. These rules aim to minimize human impact on the trail and its fragile ecosystems. Visitors are required to stay on designated paths, preventing trampling of vegetation and disturbance to wildlife habitats. Additionally, the park enforces a “leave no trace” policy, encouraging visitors to take their trash with them and avoid any activities that could harm the natural surroundings.

Furthermore, the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park actively engages in habitat restoration and management programs. These initiatives focus on maintaining the biodiversity of the area, including the preservation of native plant species and the protection of critical habitats for wildlife. Regular monitoring and assessment of the trail’s ecological health are conducted to identify any potential threats or issues that may arise, allowing for prompt conservation actions to be taken.

Overall, the conservation status of the Cedar Creek Self-Guiding Trail is commendable, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the National Park Service and the park’s commitment to preserving the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the area.

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