Uwharrie National Forest

Hiking

Take a walk in the Uwharries and get closer to nature. Trails are available for afternoon strollers or overnight trekkers. Motorized vehicles, horses and bicycles are not allowed on these footpaths. Please pack out trash, be careful with fires and avoid damage to trees and vegetation. The hiker's code is an old rule but still a good one: take only photographs and memories; leave nothing but footprints.

Densons Creek Trail
Length: 2.3 miles; 0.75 mile short loop
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium to Heavy
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
USGS Map: Troy SE
Trail Beginning/Access: 2 miles east of Troy on hwy 24/27 behind District Office.
Description: Denson's Creek Trail is an interpretive trail constructed by the Youth Conservation Corps in 1974. The trail includes a short loop of 3/4 miles and a long loop of 2.3 miles. A brochure guides the hiker through 17 stops of historical and biological interest.
Attractions And Considerations: Before the Uwharrie National Forest was established, its forests were cut for timber or farms. Today, instead of cutover land, you can enjoy a mix of pines and hardwoods filled with a variety of trees and wildflowers. Along the Densons Creek Nature Trail, you can see where forests replaced farm fields and where an old homestead once stood. You can see a wildlife opening that attracts deer and turkey to the former site of a sawmill.

The trail is behind the Uwharrie National Forest office on NC 24/27, 2 miles east of Troy. This trail has two loops: a short loop of 1 mile and a longer loop of 2.2 miles. Benches along the trail provide a resting spot or a place for watching wildlife. You can pick up a trail brochure that points out the historic site locations and some of the plantlife along the way. Numbered posts correspond to short descriptions in the brochure. You'll also find about a dozen trees identified beside the trail.

The path is well-marked and leads through a mature forest of mixed pine and hardwoods. Mountain laurel bushes line the way, and their pink and white blossoms add a touch of color to the trail come springtime. Tapering ferns cover the moist soil beside the stream. Running cedar carpets the drier sections. The path leads beside an old sawmill site that is now a food plot for wildlife. Early morning hikers may spot deer or a wild turkey feeding here if they are quiet. Stroll past old farms and home sites that have gone back to nature. Enjoy the view of Densons Creek, a tributary of the Little River, from the top of a cliff. This is a nice little adventure for the family.

Uwharrie Fitness Trail
Hikers get in shape while enjoying the woods. This trail is modeled after popular European exercise trails. Forest service rangers and firefighters train here. Visitors are welcome to strengthen their muscles and improve their aerobic conditioning in this peaceful, natural setting. Aerobic exercise has been defined as "an exercise that demands large quantities of oxygen for prolonged periods of time." This exercise strengthens the muscles, the heart and the lungs. Twelve stations along the way are equipped for various callisthenic routines for beginners, intermediate and advanced hikers. Take your time and don't overdo it. This is a good way to shape up for adventure in the Uwharries.

Badin Lake Trail
Length: 5.6 miles; 2.5 mile short loop
Recommended Seasons: Year Round
Use: Medium to Heavy
Difficulty: Easy
USGS Map: Badin
Trail Beginning: Cove Boat Ramp and Picnic Area 15 miles NW of Troy
Access: From hwy 109 North of Uwharrie follow signs to Badin Lake and Cove Boat Ramp and Picnic Area.
Description: The Badin Lake Trail is a loop trail that follows the shore of Badin Lake for half its distance, then loops back through hardwood forest to Cove Boat Ramp. A short loop of 2.5 miles can be hiked as well as the entire 5.6 mile trail. The trail was constructed by the Youth Conservation Corps in 1979 and 1980. High water levels cause some stretches to get boggy, especially near the creeks that empty into the lake. Backpackers looking for a waterfront camping experience will find it here. It is a great place to camp and fish from the shore. Easy access and gentle terrain make the Badin Lake Trail a good choice for family hikes. Keep an eye out for the bald eagles that fly over the lake.
Attractions And Considerations: Badin Lake Trail skirts coves of Badin Lake and offers scenic views of the lake. The area has abundant cedars, mosses, and wildflowers. Evidence of past gold mining can be seen along the trail. Badin Lake Trail ties into the Dutch John trail, which goes 3.4 miles to FS 553. Access to the Badin Lake Trail can be made at the Badin Lake Campground.

Uwharrie National Recreational Trail
Length: 20.5 miles
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium to Heavy
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
USGS Maps: Morrow Mountain, Badin, Lovejoy, Troy
Trail Beginning: Trailhead parking on highway 24/27 10 miles West of Troy.
Trail End: Trailhead parking on SR 1306, 2 miles East of Ophir. Trail continues across Barnes Creek with sharp right but most of trail above this point is on private land.
Access: Three main trailhead parking lots access the trail. These include the beginning and ending points, and one on hwy 109, eight miles North of Troy. Other roads also cross the trail.
Description: The Uwharrie National Recreation Trail offers a variety of scenery, streams and rocky climbs. The trail can be hiked in long or short sections as the trail crosses several access points. The trail is marked with white blazes.
Attractions And Considerations: Dutchman's Creek Trail, marked with yellow blazes, starts at the same point as the Uwharrie Trail and was constructed as a loop system to be used as an alternate route when hiking the southern portion of the Uwharrie Trail. Dark Mountain on the northern portion of the trail offers an excellent western view. Camping areas along the trail include Woodrun Camp, Yates Place, West Morris Mountain and other primitive camps. Old house places, cemeteries, and gold mines exist along or near the trail.

Hikers can thank an old-time trapper's son, Joe Moffit of Asheboro, for this trail. He blazed it almost 25 years ago. Moffit grew up in the Uwharries during the Great Depression and learned to live off the land at an early age. Moffit was a scoutmaster when he started the Uwharrie Trail project in 1972 to help his Boy Scouts earn their Eagle rank. They completed the 33-mile path in 1975 and founded the Uwharrie Trail Club.

There are plenty of streams in the forest but all drinking water should be treated with a water purification kit to prevent trail diarrhea. Ticks plague the forest and can be kept at bay with repellent or the mesh clothing. Always keep a watch for the trophy timber rattlesnakes and copperheads that live in these woods.

For more information, contact: Uwharrie National Forest. Rt. 1, Box 237, Troy, NC 27371, (910) 576-6391, or The Uwharrie Trail Club, P.O. Box 2073, Asheboro, NC 27203.

Dutchman's Creek Trail
Length: 8 miles one way
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium to Heavy
Difficulty: Easy
USGS Maps: Morrow Mountain
Trail Beginning: Trailhead parking on highway 24/27 10 miles West of Troy
Trail End: Yates Place Camp on SR 8 miles NW of Troy
Access: Trail access can be made at the trail head parking lot on 24/27 and at Yates Place camp on SR 1146. SR 1146 can be reached by taking hwy 109 North of Troy then turning right onto 1134.
Description: Dutchman's Creek Trail offers a variety of scenery, hills and streams. The trail loops around the southern end of the Uwharrie National Recreation Trail and is marked with yellow blazes.
Attractions And Considerations: Dutchman's Creek Trail can be used in conjunction with the Uwharrie Trail as a nine-mile loop trail or shorter five-mile loop. Primitive Camping is available at the Yates Place at the northern end of the trail.

Hannah's Creek Trail
Length: 1.3 miles
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium
Difficulty: Easy
USGS Maps: Eleazer, Farmer
Trail Beginning and Ending: This trail starts near the south end of Robbins Branch Trail and ends near the south end of Birkhead Mountain Trail.
Access: Take hwy 109 North from Troy to Uwharrie, take a right onto SR 1303 to Eleazer, take SR 1107 to FS 6532, which has a parking area at the end. Follow Robbins Branch Trail until it runs into Hannah's Creek Trail.
Description: This trail follows Hannah's Creek most of the way across.
Attractions And Considerations: Foot travel only. This is part of the Wilderness Area. No horses, bicycles nor motorized vehicles allowed. General hiking and backpacking are encouraged.

Robbins Branch Trail
Length: 3 miles
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium
Difficulty: Moderate
USGS Maps: Eleazer, Farmer
Trail Beginning: At the Wilderness parking area at the end of FS 6532
Trail End: At the Birkhead Mountain Trail 3.9 miles North of Strieby Church
Access: Southern end of trail can be reached by taking hwy 109 North from Troy to Uwharrie, turn right onto SR 1303 to Eleazer, right onto SR 1107, straight at the stop sign up to FS 6532 on the right. There is a small parking lot at the end of this gravel road. The southern end of the trail begins here. The northern end can be reached by taking hwy 220 from Asheboro, turning left onto SR 1114 and again turning left onto SR 1142 up to where USFS land and Talbot's Branch intersect the road.

Birkhead Mountain Trail
Length: 4.5 miles
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium to Light
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
USGS Maps: Eleazer, Farmer
Trail Beginning: Forest Service Boundary at end of dirt road leading from 1109, 8 miles north of Ophir.
Trail End: SR 1142 near Talbots Creek 7 miles South of Asheboro.
Access: Southern end of trail can be reached by taking hwy 109 Northfrom Troy to Uwharrie, SR 1303 to Eleazer, SR 1107 to SR 1143, SR 1109 to Strieby Church. Dirt Road continues to Forest Boundary. Northern end of Trail can be reached by taking Business 220 South from Asheboro, SR 1142 to Talbots Creek. No parking lots available.
Description: The Birkhead Trail offers a variety of scenery, streams, rocky climbs and historical stops. The trail is marked with white blazes.
Attractions And Considerations: Points of interest along the trail include gingham Graveyard and Birkhead Plantation Ruins. Primitive Camps constructed by Boy Scouts are located along the trail. Much of the trail follows ridge lines and offers good vistas. In order to avoid backtracking along the trail, you may want to park a vehicle at each end.

Morris Mountain Trail
Length: 2.3 miles
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Light
Difficulty: Easy
USGS Maps: Lovejoy
Trail Beginning: West Morris Mountain Camp one mile north of Uwharrie.
Access: From Troy, take hwy 109 to Uwharrie. Turn right on SR 1303 and follow camping directional sign to West Morris Mountain Camp.
Description: Morris Mountain Trail is a 2.3-mile loop trail marked with yellow blazes. The trail offers a variety of scenery and gradual climbs.
Attractions And Considerations: Morris Mountain Trail can be accessed by the Uwharrie Trail. The loop trail ties into the Uwharrie Trail north of hwy 109. Primitive camping is available at the West Morris Mountain Camp.

Uwharrie River Trail
Length: 2 miles
Recommended Season: Year Round
Use: Medium
Difficulty: Easy
USGS Maps: Badin
Trail Beginning: End of FS Road 555 12 miles NW of Troy
Access: From hwy 109 north of Uwharrie, follow signs to Badin Lake. Take first right off of FS Road 576. Trail begins at the end of FS Road 555.
Description: The River Trail winds along the banks of the Uwharrie River for about 2 miles. The trail is unmarked and is not regularly maintained.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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