Uwharrie/Dutchman's Creek Trail Loop

MODERATE 50 reviews
#2 of 12 trails in

Uwharrie/Dutchman's Creek Trail Loop is a 18.4 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.

18.4 miles
2791 feet

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.

19 days ago

I visited with a buddy for 3 days and 2 nights. My Garmin clocked the route at 20 miles instead of the posted 18. Not a big deal, just adding that bit of info. The loop was a great combination of ups and downs. Temps were in the mid 30s during the day and teens and low 20s at night. Water was available throughout. It’s not flowing, but it can be used if filtered or boiled. There are plenty of campsites and the trails are clearly marked and maintained. The NE section of the Uwharrie Trail looks to be what’s left of a controlled burn, back on Dutchman in the NW, the trees and flora return. Lick Mountain is basically straight up with slight switchbacks. Dennis is similar. Hunting season or the cold may have scared off the wildlife as only birds were present. The trails were pretty well trafficked especially on Friday. Ran into scouts, couples, and a handful of hunters. There aren’t many views, but if you like hiking and camping for the sake of hiking and camping and/or if you have someone who wants to give backpacking a try, this is a good place to visit.

1 month ago

Fun but challenging trail for my wife and I. Lots of up and down hills so I would definitely say its a moderate trail. bring plenty of water because most if not all the creeks dried up. The trail itself is very rocky and has many roots so I would recommend hiking boots. we also fell several times due to rocks and roots.

2 months ago

Challenging steep trails. Well marked and thanks to everyone being considerate that the area is actually very clean. Very few leftover trash, like a couple or so. Some streams were dry but there were some that had decent amount of water to filter. Hunters were already present and there were gunshots at night.

2 months ago

all creeks are dry

trail running
3 months ago

Just a note if you are taking the dog the smaller creeks are dry at the moment

6 months ago

I usually hike mountains. For views and exercise. But I completed this hike yesterday. Very quite and wet from rain previous days. I enjoyed the hike. Did about 11 miles. Lots of big trees down throughout the hike.
Trail was easy to follow. Some issues around river crossings but not that hard if you took a minute to look around.
Will do some of this area in the future. .Only an hour from Charlotte. Where my kids live...

8 months ago

Did the full loop but there are many chances to make the trip longer or shorter. Went backpacking and while the steep parts can be very tiring it was a great trail. Camping was nice as there are many spots to stay at.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

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.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Great time! Well marked trail!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

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
Sunday, December 06, 2015

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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Well marked. Nice camp sites next to the creek.

scenic driving
Sunday, July 05, 2015

Friend lost his boxer on July 4th in Uwharrie:


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

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!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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.

Friday, August 29, 2014

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.

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