Uwharrie National Recreation Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews
#1 of 12 trails in

Uwharrie National Recreation Trail is a 18.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point 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.

DISTANCE
18.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2805 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

Uwharrie National Trail is a moderate trail spanning the distance between Hwy 24/27 (Troy, NC) to Flint Hill Rd (Ophir, NC). It crosses several roads, the largest of which is Hwy 109.

hiking
9 months ago

My wife and I set out with another couple to hike the trail over the weekend in early June. Unfortunately we had a bit of a late start and didn't get onto the trail until the late afternoon. We started at the southern trailhead and made it about 5 miles before setting up camp for the night. There are plenty well established campsites along the southern portion of the trail, to include spots at higher elevation all the way down to small spots in the valley located next to fast flowing creeks. Plenty of thick overhead coverage to keep you cool, and for the most part the trail was pretty dry. I've noticed there isn't a whole lot of information online about the trail so a few things to note:
-Unlike a few trails in NC there are not pumps or shelters with potable water to access.
-Yates Camp doesn't have any access to potable water despite being a large camp ground.
-The southern portion of the trail is less demanding, and heavily populated with day trip groups such as Boy Scouts, Class trips, and families... it was incredibly noisy in the area even at sun down.
Overall its a great trail with a few sections that are physically demanding and enjoyable. Hope to hike it again in the fall.

hiking
9 months ago

My wife and I set out with another couple to hike the trail over the weekend in early June. Unfortunately we had a bit of a late start and didn't get onto the trail until the late afternoon. We started at the southern trailhead and made it about 5 miles before setting up camp for the night. There are plenty well established campsites along the southern portion of the trail, to include spots at higher elevation all the way down to small spots in the valley located next to fast flowing creeks. Plenty of thick overhead coverage to keep you cool, and for the most part the trail was pretty dry. I've noticed there isn't a whole lot of information online about the trail so a few things to note:
-Unlike a few trails in NC there are not pumps or shelters with potable water to access.
-Yates Camp doesn't have any access to potable water despite being a large camp ground.
-The southern portion of the trail is less demanding, and heavily populated with day trip groups such as Boy Scouts, Class trips, and families... it was incredibly noisy in the area even at sun down.
Overall its a great trail with a few sections that are physically demanding and enjoyable. Hope to hike it again in the fall.

hiking
9 months ago

A great place to take the family. It offers many things to do.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked and ran 50 miles in 1 day, this was one of the trails I'd hit. Tons of bugs, especially cobwebs in the morning. The middle section with the giant trees and fern was the best. Had to use a bug net over my head due to too many cobwebs blinding me and around 20 or so mosquito bites when they bit through my clothes.

It's true, this trail is treacherous sometimes. It rained and thunderstormed when I was out there and everything became very slippery. You lose the trail the most when it runs into a campsite. Sometimes it's real hard to find the white blaze again. This place is very hilly, which makes it that much more challenging.

backpacking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nice trail with lots of streams to get water. It is well marked but around the streams there are numerous paths made by campers that can lead you down the wrong trail if you are not careful.

backpacking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2nd time doing a full thru-hike of the completed 19.4 mile section. Parked one car at Jumping Off Rock Trailhead and started at the 24/27 Trailhead.
First 6 miles or so we're very wet, lots of stream crossings, but only had one noticable extended uphill. Made it to Hwy 109 trailhead (mile 11) in 5 hours. Continued to the only real bridge near the turnoff for West Morris Mountain Campground. Spent the night next to the river
Next day had several of the larger uphill sections, hiked the remaining 6 miles in about 3 hours.
Good hike, no real overlooks, but probably do it again the the fall when the leaves are changing

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Parked at 109 trailhead and headed south to intersection with Dutchmans Trail and back, about 7 miles RT.
No other cars in the parking area Saturday at 1pm. About a mile of the trail exhibits the after effects of a recent Forest fire. Interesting to see that the 2 firebreaks actually worked.
Nice mix of up and down, a few stream crossings, but enough rocked to keep toes dry. One is a log crossing; not difficult, but was giving a group of students pause. Fortunately they let me pass.
One other car in lot upon my return.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

great trail!

hiking
Sunday, February 19, 2017

great trail to hike. I am a brand new hiker and me and my family loved it!!! We hiked it and switched to Keyauwee trail heading back to trail head. sort of creating our own 3.8 mile hike. took us newbys 2 hours. had a great time. will be going back to tey out other trails maybe do entire trail one day.

backpacking
Sunday, February 12, 2017

a lot of blow downs from recent storms but the trail was clear.. heard a tree off in the distance come crashing down yesterday near nightfall. Parking lot was packed..

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

first time out here and won't be the last. trails are marked good and clear. nice scenery.

hiking
Monday, March 07, 2016

Just did a 20 mile thru-hike, from Jumping Off Rock to 24/27, this past weekend with some good friends. Had a great time. I really enjoy this trial and the others around it as well. it's nice having something this awesome close to home. I plan on hiking the 40 mile through hike in May if everything works out. Trails are well marked and I never had an issue staying on track the several times I've hiked in the Uwharries. For further info on this area I suggest checking out Don Childrey's Uwharrie Lake Region Trail Guide. An awesome guide for the Uwharrie area and its trails.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Great trail for a workout. It was well marked and provides plenty of distance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

October 19th thru 23rd. My wife and I spent the week hiking and enjoying the uwharrie trail. We hiked from yates place northward passing panther creek. Just off the trail we stopped and made camp near the creek. plenty of cold clear water to filter. We then continued the next day for a short hike to Flint Hill Road where we met a wild turkey that took a liking to my wife and followed her to Ophir Road. After road hiking back to Yates Place we set up camp for the night. We the completed the Uwharrie Trail to the 24 trailhead where we camped and the headed back north on the Lower and Upper Dutchman Creek Trail. We feel in love with this trail and hope to hike it time after time again. There are plenty of water sources and established campsites on the trail.

hiking
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Adding this because a few reviewers reported trouble following the trail. The following is from the Uwharrie Mountain Run website at the link below. IMHO their advice to FOLLOW THE WHITE BLAZES is all you need to know at normal hiking speed unless you are subject to daydreaming (and I stand in awe of trail runners who do the entire 20.5 miles at an 8.2 MPH pace).

"TRAIL WARNINGS"

"Running the Uwharrie Trail is a true adventure that requires intense concentration. The national forest terrain is hilly and the trail is treacherous. Fallen leaves conceal rocks, roots, sticks, and holes. Expect to trip and fall at least once during the day. If you turn an ankle, keep moving. Dutchman’s Creek flows along part of the trail and runners will enjoy numerous stream crossings, which may mean wet feet if you aren’t careful. The creek water is not safe to drink."

"The trail is well marked with white blazes painted on trees at frequent intervals. Two blazes indicate an approaching sharp turn. Disregard yellow and red blazes. IF YOU STOP SEEING WHITE BLAZES YOU ARE OFF THE TRAIL. Retrace your steps to the last white blaze then circle around until you find the trail. If you find yourself in a part of the forest posted with hunting signs YOU ARE OFF THE TRAIL. Don’t follow other runners into unblazed territory. Don’t become discouraged if you get lost. Even experienced trail runners occasionally lose their way."

hiking
Saturday, May 23, 2015

Horrible maps, almost no signs letting you know where the trails were directions were off several degrees.

hiking
Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I've been on different sections of this trail over many years but decided to hike the entire trail (South to North) on Saturday. The weather was clear and cool and I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet morning solitude (began at sunrise 6:30 AM) and then lots of happy Scouts on the latter section beyond Highway 109. The Mountain Laurel was in full bloom accompanied by the flute-like melodies of Wood Thrushes. Just a great Spring day to enjoy God's creations!

hiking
Friday, January 09, 2015

hiked this trail the first weekend in june. quite steep in places and the heat was opressive but it was a good hike not the best but good

hiking
Monday, June 09, 2014

Just finished the trail yesterday , great hike . I just wish the maps were a little better, we crossed trails that weren't shown crossing which led to a few frustrating moments. Just follow the white blazes you'll be fine. Plenty of places to get water , used about three per person between major creeks.

hiking
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hiked this trail, enjoyed it very much! Quite rocky in places, some strenuous stretches...a good work out and beautiful scenery. Will definitely be back!

hiking
Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Uwharrie Trail is used by many Scout units as practice backpacking for Philmont. The Uwharrie Trail was originally built by Scouts, (Mostly from Asheboro area) in the 70's. The Land Trust recently purchased some land north of the National Trail and you can hike an additional 3 miles north from the Jump Off Rock Trail head on Flint Hill Rd. By this time in 2014, it will be 7 miles! Come and help us build trail on September 14th. Our last work day was June 8th.

off road driving
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

some of the best wheeling on the East coast- Hardcore Jeep NC/FL

hiking
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

looks fun

hiking
Sunday, June 17, 2012

I visited uwharrie today trying to look for a "uwharrie recreational Trailhead" sign, but none were found. I've noticed NC isn't great about marking trailheads, or there are just twenty other 1 mile trails that branch off that they just pick a random one and call it good. So I decided on the "uwharrie trail" off of 109 thinking they just shortend it. Ran into two hikers coming off the trail from Michigan and Minnesota who were very nice and shared my frustration with the Trailhead ordeal, then started on the trail. Went about 1.5 miles and ran into a cotton mouth and said screw it this trail isn't worth it and turned around and went home. Also there was no information or map on the board at the Trailhead. I'm an elevation hiker and from WA so it is hard to find a challenging, picture perfect hike.

hiking
Friday, June 08, 2012

I hiked the trail over Easter 2012, and thoroughly enjoyed the mixed terrain. The Uwharrie Trail is not 30 miles as the description stated, it is 20.5 miles. However the network of trails in this area probably makes the total trail mileage (some hking only, some shared w/ bicycles and horses) at least 50 miles. Recommended November through early April.

Hiking N to S, I only saw one party until I got to Dutchman's Creek (a popular campsite), after that quite a few people. The northern section is highly recommended. You ascend Dark Mountain right off the bat, and walk the ridge for a while.

hiking
Sunday, January 29, 2012

I have been hiking this area since the early eighties. I have hiked the Uwharrie and the Dutchmans creek trail multiple times. I have seen this area change from a sparsely used trail outside of hunting season a congested mess of cars and bikes every weekend.

With that said, solitude is still a possibility, albeit a bit more challenging to find. I stilll enjoy the familiar beauty and the unique terrain of the area. This is a special place that I have seen change over the years due to over use.

hiking
Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is a great pick -'n'-choose trail - you can pick it up in several places, choose to hike a little or alot, and really enjoy your walk in the woods. The Uwharrie Trail itself is a point -to-point trail about 20 miles long and it connects to several other trails in the forest making it easy to do a loop for a sweet day hike. This trail is home to the annual Uwharrie Mountain Run every February (raceuwharrie.com).

hiking
Thursday, September 29, 2011

This trail has been great for me. It offers a little of everything. I haven't been the whole 30 miles. I've hopped on in different places at different times. I like the part of the trail that goes around Badin Lake. This is great around fall. The leaf display is amazing.

hiking
Saturday, September 24, 2011

I have not hiked any on the trails in the National Forest, however, I have hiked all the trails at the Neighboring Morrow Mountain State Park. The trails range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. The Fall Mountain trail is Awesome, with excellent views of the river and dam. Also, i have seen lots of wildlife ranging from snakes to deer, rabbits, and wild turkeys. Be sure to wear lots of deet as the ticks can be a problem. The campground is excellent with lots of activities along with great staff. I highly recommend to all who love to hike and enjoy Nature.
James F. Skinner

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2011

Uwharrie National Forest: Dutchman's Creek/Uwharrie National Recreational Trail Loop.

The Uwharrie National Forest is outstanding I hiked both the Dutchman's Creek and Uwharrie National Recreational Trail Loops with an overnight stay. I must have picked the right weekend, I saw two people the whole time that I was out there. Pack lots of water, the hills will work-up a sweat quick and no place to refill.

My hike was a figure 8 loop that started with the Dutchman's Creek Trail (yellow blazes) and intersected the Uwharrie National Recreational Trail (white blazes.

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