Uwharrie/Dutchman's Creek Trail Loop

MODERATE 12 reviews

Uwharrie/Dutchman's Creek Trail Loop is a 23 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Gilead, NC that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

23.0 miles 3661 feet Loop

dogs on leash





nature trips

trail running





The trailheads are on Hwy 24/27 about 10 miles west of Troy NC. There is a parking lot for several dozen cars. In addition to the hiking trails there are also dedicated biking trailheads in the same location. The Ranger office for the Uwharrie National Forest is located a few miles east of Troy on Hwy 24/27 and is open Monday through Friday. These trails are on USFS land and are more 'wild' than NC State Park trails. There are many campsites scattered along this loop and camping is allowed about anywhere if you can't find one you like. Mountaintops are wooded and there are not any great views but you do get the occasional glimpse through the forest - especially in the winter. Unlike NC State Parks, where you are strongly encouraged to stay ONLY on the trails, this area allows (encourages) people to wander through the forest so there are lots of spurs to nowhere. For the most part, the trails are blazed well. There were a few times I had more than one choice and had to search a little for the blazes but it is still pretty hard to get lost. Some of the uphill/downhill sections of the trail are much more direct than most NC State Park trails.

1 month ago

5 months ago

9 months ago

Great time! Well marked trail!

9 months ago

The trail was nice but I did get turned around a little on the upper part of the Uwharrie, above the loop. It was a cold night to camp but very peaceful! It wasn't very scenic but I loved that there were camping spots just about every mile. I'd do it again!

cross country skiing
11 months ago

Hiked loop 12-5-15 in 6 hours. Trail had many wet spots. Trail markers are scarce in many areas. Otherwise a beautiful hike.

1 year ago

Well marked. Nice camp sites next to the creek.

scenic driving
1 year ago

Friend lost his boxer on July 4th in Uwharrie:


1 year ago

My partner and I took his two girls and my two chihuahuas hiking on this trail. There had been severe weather recently and we knew Morrow Mountain's trails were closed, but when we called the ranger station we were informed that Dutchman trail was in good shape.

It was a bit of a frightening hike for a time because of the storm damage. We were about six miles in when we hit damaged areas and we had to find ways around fallen trees. At one point we came to a cleared area where a tornado had obviously touched down, the ground was swept clean and all the trees were just gone and the trees remaining trees were bent in crazy angles. In the process of going around fallen trees, we got turned around somehow and wound up lost in the woods for a few hours. Once we emerged, we considered it a lesson learned and will print out more detailed maps than we found at the ranger station in the future.

It's still one of my top hikes though because it put our abilities to the test and his girls were troopers through it all even if they were scared for a bit. As for the two Chihuahuas Who Hike, they did great and enjoyed being carried for a random break here and there.

I can't wait to do this trail in its full and not just wander around for miles, lost in the woods.

1 year ago

My parents and I did the Dutchman Creek Loop trail (in about 6 mi on Dutchman's and then back to trailhead on Uwharrie trail 5mi). Both trails were well marked and maintained. We found the Uwharrie the more challenging of the two trails. We did the hike with 25lb backpacks. We camped at Big Island Creek with our hammocks. There was plenty of water in April to filter. Flowers were just starting to bloom and would probably full out in a week. Would love to hike more of the Uwharrie in the future!!

2 years ago

Hiked this beautiful trail a couple of years ago.with the Fayetteville Area Outdoor meetup. It was somewhat strenuous at times and the trail wasn't marked well, especially if you're not familiar with it but maybe they have repainted the markings recently.

2 years ago

A buddy and I attempted to hike all of Dutchman's Creek one day and then hike back on the Uwharrie trail the next day. We got to the Woods Run Trail head a little later than planned due to some issues leaving the triangle in the morning. To make up for lost time we tried to push the pace a little and ended up not taking as many pictures as we liked.

It has been a hot and dry August and we still found that most all creeks still had water in them. All of the creeks were still flowing although barely. Because I filter with a Sawyer Mini I had to be selective in water creek selection in order to find a spot that was deep enough to fill my filter bag from. If you use this type of filter you might want to bring an empty water bottle to scoop water into your filter bag.

The trails were in great condition and are very well maintained. There were signs of recent trail work and nearly every blowdown had been cleared. Dutchman's Creek trail changes quite a bit near the half way point. Where the beginning of the trail is fast and flat the second half of the trail is winding with some decent changes in elevation. Cabbage head rocks litter the trail and large out crops of rocks pop up trail side as you hike.

After hammock camping on a ridge around mile 8 we finished Dutcmans the next day. A couple of miles into Uwharrie Trail my hiking partner was having some foot issues and my knee was getting wonky. We ended up cutting the second half of the Uwharrie trail off by using one of the fire roads to get back to the car.

All in all it was a really fun trail. I would like to hike it in the fall to see the leaves change colors and maybe even get some better views as the leaves drop. The rock scramble on Dutchmans about a mile after its intersection with UT is one of the best features in the area. Be sure to check it out.

4 years ago

On Friday October 14, Shroom (Casey has an odd fascination with colored mushrooms) and I hiked six miles of the Uwharrie Trail, and then the five-mile Dutchman's Creek Trail. Our eleven-mile hike was incredible! Well, the first 5 miles were pleasant, anyway! I keep forgetting to pace myself...it's my one flaw.

The trail begins at Hwy 24/27 between Troy and Albemarle, NC. From there, the trail winds through the Uwharrie National Forest. While there are few panoramic views from the "peaks" of the Uwharrie mountains, there is plenty to look at. I was unable to identify some of the trees we discovered.

There are quite a few primitive campsites along the myriad creeks that flow through the forest. The first one was easily within a mile or so of the trail head. I may take the boys (Ninja and Woody) back there sometime to camp for a night. They would love playing in the creek. We were greeted by a "crawdaddy" in one of the creeks. Haven't caught those in years!

We conquered the towering Dennis Mountain! I believe it was around 760 feet above sea level :). Hardly a mountain, but our legs couldn't tell a difference.

Acorns. HUGE acorns. Everywhere. I'm talking the size of eggs. Ok, maybe walnuts. But they were huge acorns. And not a single squirrel to be seen the entire eleven miles. I am going to catch the ones at my house and move them so they can clear the trails a bit.

Several times throughout the hike, Shroom and I smelled cinnamon. Each time, we saw patches of the same plant. Anyone have a clue what it is? See the photo on this post (the only green plant photo).

When we hit the six-mile mark, we got onto Dutchman's Creek Trail. I must admit, it isn't a very scenic route. Save for the rocks at the top of the first climb, it was lackluster. Maybe when the leaves fall from the trees, the views will be better.

Three miles from the end of our hike, we came to an open section with trees laying everywhere. I can only assume a tornado touched down there. I do recall hearing about tornadoes in the area.