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Uwharrie National Recreation Trail

MODERATE 116 reviews
#1 of 16 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: 2,805 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bike touring

bird watching

running

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

Just hiked this with 20 Boy Scouts - we went North-South. Great weekend trek that accomodates both tents and hammocks alike. Hiked in 6 Friday night, 12 on Saturday and an easy 2 out Sunday morning (point to point - it takes about 25 minutes each way to ferry cars between the trailheads). Definitely achievable by most skill levels. Plenty of established campsites along the trail. Only note of caution, take advantage of your available water sources if it's been a dry season.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked the Uwharrie NRT from NC-24/27 trailhead to Jumping-Off Rock trailhead and back on September 22-26 (Sunday evening to Thursday). Trail mostly deserted of mammals (saw only one squirrel, another camper, and two day hikers. With the recent dry weather stretch, water sources proved challenging. Other folks more experienced on the NRT or luckier may find more sources, but here's what I saw for reliable water during that time: from NC-22/27 north to NC-109, Wood Run Creek (a few spots) and Big Island Creek (solid at trail crossing); and past NC-109, Cattail Creek, Spencer Creek, and Barnes Creek near the Jumping-Off Rock Trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

I went on a Thursday mostly deserted . The trail was well marked . I enjoyed it . Going back soon to walk the entire trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Have just walked 3.5 miles in and back from southern end. Nice challenging moderate trail for my wife and I on a hot late Aug. afternoon. Will go back hopefully for point to point on longer outing when a bit cooler.

hiking
5 months ago

I started this hike at the 24/24 trail head, then took the Woodrun trail to the camp at the top of the road. From there I used the Keyauwee Bike Trail to jump across to the Uwharrie Trail which took me back to the 24/27 trailhead. probably 4.5 miles total. Great moderate hike.

backpacking
7 months ago

Very much enjoyed backpacking the trail and would do it again. I felt there were a couple stretches after Yates Place (went South to North) where there are not that many campsites. Easy to stay on trail thanks to all the blazes.

Great hike. Longer than it is listed tho. It is actually 22 miles exactly

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Very muddy and with several short and a couple long creek/river crossings. Lovely gentle up and down forest.

hiking
10 months ago

I built a 13.5-mile loop that started on Dutchman Creek Trail and ended with the Uwharrie Trail. It was an excellent hike, and my dogs loved it. The hills were moderately challenging, and there were plenty of streams for water. I recommend water treatment tablets if you choose to drink from the streams. As far as views, the trees prevent anything spectacular, but the terrain itself is pretty.

hiking
10 months ago

I love this trail. But!—has anyone else noticed a vast difference in mileage? I have walked this 3 times using various Garmin devices, and all 3 devices have given me a total distance walked well above the 18.9 miles that is advertised. My Garmins have all been in the 20 mile range. I have stayed on the trail and even calculating some GPS ‘drift’ I can’t see how there is such a huge difference. Thoughts?! None the less, a GREAT HIKE!!!

backpacking
11 months ago

I hiked a southern portion of the trail- from 24/27 trail head to Hwy 109. It ended up to be about 12.6 miles. At my stage of the game and being in pretty good shape, it kicked my rear end. The weather was cool 48 to 58 degrees and sunny. It was great hiking weather. It had rained the previous 4 days and the creeks were running. I had to hop scotch over many on the rocks. The ups and downs were moderate for the most part. But there were some that were pretty steep. I enjoyed my trip very much and will plan on going back.

hiking
Tue Jun 26 2018

Did a short hike on the southern portion of the trail but going back for an overnight backpacking trip. Trail was marked well. Nice elevation change, not too drastic. Lots of great areas for camping. Went on a Saturday morning and was on the trail for about four hours. Ran in to trail runners every 20-30 min. Not too crowded. Had a great time with my wife, 5-year old and dog.

Tue May 15 2018

Kind of a boring hike, lots of geckos and snakes. smelled very good!

hiking
Tue Jul 18 2017

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
Tue Jul 18 2017

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

hiking
Wed Jul 05 2017

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
Wed Apr 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
Wed Apr 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

Sat Mar 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.

Sat Mar 04 2017

great trail!

hiking
Sun Feb 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
Sun Feb 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
Tue Aug 16 2016

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

hiking
Mon Mar 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.

Mon Dec 07 2015

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

Tue Nov 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
Thu Jun 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
Sat May 23 2015

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

hiking
Tue 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!

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