Birkhead Mountain Trail is a 11.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Asheboro, North Carolina 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.

Length11.6 miElevation gain1,361 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestRiverWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There

The Birkhead Mountain Wilderness was established by the 1984 North Carolina Wilderness Act. The goals are to protect and preserve the natural resources and wilderness for public use. The Wilderness includes 5,160 acres at the northern end of the Uwharrie Mountains, considered to be the oldest on the Northern American Continent. Evidence of early Indians date back over 12,000 years. The Catawba Indians and small tribes inhabited the area when the Europeans began exploring the region in the late 1600s. By 1760, explorers and traders began to exploit the area, some eventually settling in the area. The Birkhead family raised a son, John Watson (Watt), who was born in 1858. The 3,000 acres he acquired over the years were made up of many small tenant farms. Thus the mountain range became known locally as the Birkhead Mountains. This old plantation (Christophor Bingham) is the core of the Wilderness. Evidence of early Indians and settlers can often be found. These archeological and historic artifacts and sites hold clues to Americas past. Federal Law protects such sites and artifacts on public land. If you discover such remains, please leave them undisturbed. All trails within the Wilderness are designated hiking trails, and are blazed in white paint. Travel by horse, motorized vehicles, or bicycles are prohibited.

Ample parking available at the Tot Hill Trailhead. Birkhead Mountain Wilderness is also considered State Game Lands. Hunting is allowed in the area. Orange is not required of the hikers, but is recommended from Sept through Jan.

Uwharrie Ranger District District Ranger, Deborah Walker 789 NC 24/27 East Troy, NC 27371 (910) 576-6391 uwharrie@fs.fed.us North Carolina Div. Of Travel and Tourism, 301 N. Wilmington Street , Raleigh, NC, 27601, Phone: 919-733-4171

Directions from Asheboro, NC: Travel SR 49 southwest about 5 miles turning left (south) onto Tot Hill Farm Road. Travel Tot Hill Farm Road past the aviation museum and cross Hopewell Friends Road for a total of approximately 7 miles. Tot Hill Trailhead on the left across from white rail fence just before Tot Hill Farm golf club.

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Reviews (125)
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Activities (105)
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scott stallings
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Hiking
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Dale Glenn
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HikingGreat!

This is a trail I bailed on about a mile in earlier this year due to hunters being very active. What a nice trail! I loved the elevation gain and boulder gardens. While there are no great scenic vistas, it is a beautiful hike. I was surprised by the amount of mud after a dry week. This one would get messy after rain. There are lots of great campsites along the trail. It is a popular trail. Parking was full when we arrived at 8:30 and there were several cars parked on the road. Will definitely be returning to this trail again (outside of hunting season).

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Josh Poth
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HikingGreat!
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Luke Sineath
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eric gardner
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Hiking
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Brad Gillespie
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Hiking

Very wet and muddy when we went, but it was a really nice hike with great camping.

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Dusty Orton
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Hiking

Nice gradual elevation. Muddy from the constant rain this week. Good hike.

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John Bowman
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Hiking

Great hike today. We really love the Birkhead wilderness.

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M M
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Hiking
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Greg Walker
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HikingFloodedMuddyWashed out

Almost didn’t go due to the weather, but really glad we did. The rain broke just as we got to the trailhead, and left us with hiking through a very scenic foggy trail. There were many washouts along the way, but each had a nearby crossing point via a downed tree, rocks, or narrow fording point. Definitely worth the trip.

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ROBERT MICHELLE ORTLOFF
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Hiking

Very nice trail system. Birkhead Trail very well marked with white blazes every hundred feet or so - only a few small trees to hop over on the trail. Robins Branch and Hannah’s Creek - no blazes but paths are incredibly well worn - no issues at all staying on the trail. Few very nice climbs to get the blood moving - beautiful 360 views at the tops (would not be the case anytime but winter). More people out than anticipated for a cold Sunday but great to see!! Stayed overnight at camp 5 and hiked out to see the sunrise Monday morning.

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Luke Sineath
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Hiking
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Brian Hedges
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Hiking

Nice moderate trail. Views of the surrounding mountains in the winter.

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jason blood
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Paul Silverstein
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HikingBlowdownGreat!

Great trail for a simple day hike or a nice overnight camping experience. Only two areas of decent ascent to get your heart pumping and your body warmed up. A few fallen trees to walk around and the occasional muddy spot, but overall the trail is in very good condition. The parking lot was packed when we arrived by 8 AM. I assumed it was a mix of overnight campers and early arriving hunters.

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Chuck Simpson
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RunningGreat!
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Nancy Sawaya
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Hiking

Easy to moderate trail that is mostly shaded with no views, A good day hike with the dogs. Several stream crossings but they were very low. Trails well marked. Saw less than 12 people on a Sunday.

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Chris Ocker
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Hiking
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James Beaumier
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Hiking

Nice trail. Not great views. Some blowdowns not cleared

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Michael Williams
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Backpacking

Trails were very well marked. Some nice places to set up camp. Not many views from my weekend spent here. Not a bad trail by any means so I dont want to knock as I will most likely return because its close to my home.

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Crystal Willett
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Hiking

completed in different sections.

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Juan Gray
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Hiking

Nice dayhike or short overnight

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Jeff Trogdon
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Hiking

Backpack here once, sometimes twice a week. Been hiking here for many years as it’s convenient to my home. Start at Tot Hill Farm and usually stay on the Birkhead Mountain Trail until the water crossing (Hannah’s Creek) at 5.1 miles, then turnaround and go back. Sometimes I’ll do the loop trail, taking a right at about the 4.7 mile mark for Robbins Branch Trailhead. Continue for about 1.4 miles, take a right at the Trail signs and follow the signs back to Birkhead Mountain Trail again. IF we’ve had rain recently, I recommend staying on Birkhead the whole way. Lots of water crossings and mud on the loop trail. Easy to moderate either way you go. Parking can be an issue on weekends in the warmer months.

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Joe Evans
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BackpackingBridge outMuddy

Fun loop. Entered at the Thornburg trailhead and crossed the bridge which looked to have been recently washed out. There were a lot of creek crossings through the trail. Also, lots of trees down and small paths off the trail around them. Our group backpacked and spent the night but could have easily day hiked the loop.

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Ashley Kenczek
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Hiking

We had a lot of fun here. little one enjoyed looking for crawfish in the river. well marked trail.

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Stephanie Kryger
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HikingMuddy
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