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Birkhead Mountain Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews

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.

Distance: 11.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,361 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash




nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


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.

bridge out
6 days ago


28 days ago

Met great people along trail. There is a nearby airstrip and there are small planes landing and taking off during night. It has been dry, we were lucky to take smaller loop off main trail and got good water at campsite 3 ? Parking lot is small and can be tight This same trail can be accessed at other trail heads: Robbins Branch and Hanna’s Creek? Our backpacking camping trip was enhanced by using AllTrails Pro. Best to start with fully charged batteries on phone and possibly a battery back up. And best to start with at least some water if going camping after many days of no rain Lots of campsites along trail and good trees for hammock campers.

1 month ago

I would recommend this trail for nice easy hike or trail run. nice change in elevation. took my dogs and they liked it too

4 months ago

Pretty monotonous trail—the entire 11 miles looks just like the first .1 mile. Also more “easy” than “moderate”. Not a lot of climbing at all. Pretty clean and well-marked.

4 months ago

Great day hike. I started at Tot road and hiked Birkhead trail to Hannas creek to Robbins branch back to Birkhead. Total of 11.3 miles about 12.5 if you go to camp 3. The trail is very well marked and has a few moderate climbs, but nothing major. I usually go on a week day and there is nobody there, so it's great for my dog's as I can let them of the leash. There are several creek crossings so if you do take a dog there is plenty of water. The only bit were you can lose the trail if your not careful is when you hit the creek on Robbins branch. There are a lot of trees down along the creek so it can be a bit tricky. You just need to follow the creek and you should be o.k..

5 months ago

moderate trail, with a few steep areas. a good part of the loop, with nice rock formations and great camping sites.

7 months ago

This was a moderate trail, with some incredible beauty. I hiked it following a couple months of rain, so the the land was wet. There’s a lot of great history here... much of the paths across the peaks are paved with the flakes of thousands of years of took making by Native Americans. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the trash. I hiked back Robbins Branch approximately 1/3 mile to a beautiful little spot. Once I took my pack off, I saw that within the past week someone had cut down a bunch of small trees to build a shelter. There was duct tape, zip ties, bottle caps, tin cans... they even scared the bark of a number of larger trees with a hatchet. On my way north along Birkhead Mountain Trail, I picked up 2 grocery bags worth of garbage. Beer cans, a burned sweater, pieces of a burned tent, food wrappers, etc... it was pretty disgusting to see the land so misused. I do plan to return, though with more bags to haul other people’s trash out. Leave no trace!

7 months ago

Really enjoyed this late February hike. The trails were well marked and very easy to follow. My dog and I had the trail to ourselves. Campsite 5 was perfect with the best tree ever for lounging after a long day on my feet to enjoy supper.

8 months ago

This is a favorite for a good day hike or an overnight camping trip. Good any time of year, but best in winter.

8 months ago

Good running trail.

8 months ago

I probably shouldn't have gone this distance. Nice trail with wonderful sunrise if you get there early enough. Many small creek crossings.

11 months ago

Great day hike, I’ll be coming back with a tent next time. A few notes as of 11/22/2018: -Several newly downed trees from Florence cross the trail, be ready to use smaller temporary trails that are already forming while being ready to make some of your own. I didn’t have to detour much to go around any obstacle, even the new ones. -There is a fork coming from the Tot Hill head immediately after a small bridge, not far into the hike at all. I accidentally took a left, not seeing the first marker and trail to the right. I also see a lot of recordings of people doing what I did. When I went, the trail continued along the stream then slowly faded and disappeared. I had a map/compass and was able to find the trail again by heading west over a hill but it is an easy mistake to make and would be annoying to hit with a group or a heavy pack. The best thing? I went the full 12 miles and only saw one person. Very peaceful, very worth the short drive.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

About 2.5 miles and there is a tree across the path pretty good to get around it and a nice hike very peaceful worth doing at least once

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A great walk in the woods if you are looking for a moderate trail that has elevation, tranquility and solid markings. A little wet in places, but should dry out fast. Made the turn at Mile 4; didn’t see much of a scenic payoff for going another mile in. Gravel parking lot at Tot Hill holds about 8 cars.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

nice trails, few downed trees, snakes and ticks.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Good trial. Not to hard, not to easy( for someone who hasn't done a hike in years). more trails split off the main so there is plenty to do.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Good trail that will give you a nice workout. Many places to set up camp along every mile of the trail and it was very peaceful. Would definitely go again. Only downside is there was no water as all the creeks were dry so be sure to hike in what you will need.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Very pleasant wooden hike. Trail is well defined and well marked up until the creek (4.5 miles from Tool Hill trail head). The trail does continue after the creek, but I did lose it after a bit. No big vistas or epic views, not strenuous. Nice way to spend some time.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

This is a wonderful wilderness area not far from the Triad. Multiple established campsites and a couple streams. The only downfall was when I came in September the streams weren't flowing they just had puddles enough to collect water and for the dog to drink but it was in a flowing creek. Beautiful area well worth the trip for an overnight camp

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

12 mile loop. So many spiders hitting you in the face due to narrow trail at points. One downed tree was difficult to maneuver under. A good challenge, and I'm glad I did it, but this is not a hike I'd do again. Or maybe just not in July. Did not see big foot, but if he exists, he would definitely live here. Saw a turtle, though.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Had an amazing time backpacking with friends. Went in early spring, and brought our dog along for the trip. Found an awesome camping spot along a small creek, and were able to set up hammocks, tents, and have a great campfire while only seeing 5 people throughout the entire trip. Our dog had a great time as well. Highly recommend, and will be back!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

The trailhead was a little difficult to find and some blazes were missing throughout the trail, but it was a challenging hike with some great scenery!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Great trail for a day hike with the family. There are some small elevation changes but nothing too drastic. You can connect with other trails off this one to make a loop or you can do an out and back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Great workout for beginners.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

This was a great hike on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in time I will take it slower to enjoy more of the beautiful scenery.. this first hike was more for time

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I just relocated to NC and have been on this trail a few times already. I love that you don't have to go too far before you get the quiet nature. Beautiful hike and the trail is well marked. I'll be doing this one more in the future. Watch out for the falling acorns. :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Good Hike went half way with kids, stopped at cooler knob mountain.

Friday, June 10, 2016

just did a little piece but we did really enjoy it. theres much more to do so id live to go back and get back on the trail!!

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