Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Hiking

Ten miles of hiking trails meander through the forests and glades. Hiking trails are open year-round. Visitors frequently enjoy glimpses of fox, deer, squirrel, rabbits and turkey throughout the park. Each trail is blazed with a rectangular colored blaze-mark located on trees along the trail. Please note the color of the blaze-mark for the trail that you hike. Remember to stay on the trail for your own safety. Trail maps are available in the park office.

Cedar Glades Trail - 0.50 Miles - Easy - Located next to the park office parking lot, the trailhead kiosk presents a fine introduction to this interpretive trail. The path meanders gently through cedar woodlands and past glade openings. Along the way, several educational signs explain the unique ecology of the cedar glades and identify plant and animal species found here. Interesting in all seasons, a bright array of mosses and lichens on the woodland floor take center stage in winter. The loop trail returns to the park office.

Dixon Merritt Trail - 0.60 Miles - Easy - This little trail explores cedar woodlands between Cedar Forest Road and the meadows. Tucked behind Picnic Shelter 1, the level trail works its way 0.20 mile to a short loop then returns. Along the loop is a wet weather wash and small seasonal pond that may contain eggs of amphibians in spring. The trailhead is not far from Hermit Cave.

Hidden Springs Trail - 4.20 Miles - Moderate - Hidden Springs Trail is the longest loop trail in the park, averaging 2.5 hours to complete. The varying terrain includes a lovely section of oak-hickory forest as well as glades and cedar woodlands. There are a couple of wet weather surface streams, a rarity in the park where most water remains underground. Near the halfway point, the trail crosses one of these streams twice and passes by a deep round sinkhole for which the trail is named. Listen for the sound of water gurgling through limestone passages below. A portion of this trail slips onto state forest land, crossing old county roads and passing through reclaimed home sites. Benches along the trail allow hikers a chance to rest and enjoy the quiet forest. Hidden Springs Trail crosses Cedar Forest Road twice. Please use caution. The trailhead is located across from the picnic shelters parking lot on Stables Lane just off Cedar Forest Road.

Limestone Sinks Trail - 0.40 Miles - Easy - As its name implies, the Limestone Sinks Trail showcases several unique karst features associated with limestone including variously shaped sinkholes, outcrops and a rockhouse. One highlight is a very old, very large and fantastically burled chinkapin oak tree. There are two connections to nearby Hidden Springs Trail. The trail’s small parking area sits at the Cedar Forest Road juncture across from the pool parking lot. Limestone Sinks is the shortest loop trail in the park.

Cedar Run Trail - 1.90 Miles - Easy - In fields behind the nature center, this trail forms a large loop routing through open meadows and a cedar forest. The meadows are actively managed to promote native grasses and flowering plants in an effort to improve habitat for quail and other wildlife. Level to gently sloping terrain and mowed grass surface provide an excellent trail for runners. Parts of this trail may be shared with horseback riders.

Cedar Forest Trail - 1.90 Miles - Easy - The trailhead is near the Cedar Forest Road split to the campgrounds with ample parking across the street. An old service road leads to the loop trail, which is a rocky path winding to the crest of a hill and back. Extensive limestone outcrops characterize much of the trail. Hikers pass through beautiful sections of cedar woodlands and oak-hickory forest. toadshade trillium, white trout lily, round-leaf ragwort, spring beauty and rue anemone animate sections of the understory in spring, followed in summer by St. John’s wort, heartleaf skullcap, rose pink and wingstem. Colorful coralberry, hearts-a-bustin’ and eastern wahoo fruits can be found in autumn. The trail circles back to the service road.

Horse Trail - This trail offers access into the Cedars of Lebanon Forest. The trail is limited to horseback riders due to safety reasons.

Jackson Cave - One of the park’s premiere attractions is Jackson Cave. Over a mile in length, it serves as a main surface vent for ground water during wet weather as part of an underground karst network linking sinkholes and other cave openings. It is named for Thomas Jackson, former landowner and noted Civil War sharpshooter. Park staff lead tours inside Jackson Cave. Please note, the cave is open at park manager’s discretion.