Uwharrie/Dutchman's Creek Trail Loop is a 23 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Gilead, 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.
dogs on leash
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.
2-25-2017. My grandson and I did a short out and back section of Dutchman's Creek trail. it was our first visit to Uhwarrie and his first real trip where he carried a pack and supplies. The day was warm, too warm but the night cooled off and was very nice with a chilly morning. We enjoyed the trail and will certainly be back. We met several other hikers on the trail and enjoyed short chats with a few in passing. On our way back to the trailhead Sunday morning we passed two camps that had been broken and left.....with smoldering fires in both pits AND garbage around camp and in the fire pit. What poor stewards of such an awesome place. I definitely used those camps as teachable moments for my grandson....pack it in, pack it out and even more importantly, always make sure your fire is dead before departing camp.
If you're expecting expansive views, forget about it. This hike is all about being in the backcountry woods, passing tree after tree after tree, and going up and down hill after hill after hill (you get the picture). Trees and small streams are nice for the first few miles, but after an unrewarding 15 miles, it gets a bit stale. It's good if you're looking for something close by or to use as a training trip. Bring good friends because hiking solo would be mind numbing on this trail.
My first time hiking the dutchman trial, really enjoyed the hike, i got to say the uwharrie trail which brings you back to the trail head 24/27 is pretty touch with several climbs. I was hammock camping overnight. Don't under estimate these trails. Great camp sites on the uwharrie trail.
First lone overnight back in November. I agree that it's creepy at night and I had a visit by a bobcat around 2 AM. Just kind of circled the fire about 10-15 meters out. It hung around for about 45 minutes and then was gone. I did have a great time and I am doing the Uwharrie out and back in a couple of weeks.
I spent 3 days on the trail over Christmas 16. The trails are well marked, very rocky so ware good shoes. At night the forest was very quiet, kinda creepy but I had a great time.
Great time! Well marked trail!