Riding Uwharrie National Forest, NC

Named for the ancient mountain range it covers, the Uwharrie National Forest occupies just less than 53,000 acres, more than 80% of which is located in Montgomery County. Davidson has a small portion and the Birkhead Wilderness is in Randolph County. Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, it is one of America’s youngest national forests.

The Forest has more than 50 miles of hiking trails for those who prefer to see the forest on foot. Trails range in length from 2 to 20 miles and loops can be taken to vary length and degree of difficulty. Backpackers favor the 20.5-mile Uwharrie National Trail for its inviting creek-side campsites. Campers who prefer hot showers to a splash of creek water can find four developed campgrounds in the Badin Lake Recreation area.

The Woodrun Mountain Bike Trail System spans 22 miles. Bikers park at the Woodrun Trailhead and peddle up Woodrun Road to take on the rough and rocky Keyauwee and Supertree Trails. Designated trails are also available in the forest for offroad vehicles and horses.


Four lakes and four rivers add plenty of water to the topographical mix in the Uwharries. Kayaking or canoeing the Uwharrie River offers views of the forest much like those seen by Native Americans thousands of years ago. Whether fishing, skiing, swimming or pleasure boating, visitors can find a perfect spot on a chain of lakes that follow the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin through the Uwharrie Mountains. Tuckertown Reservoir, Badin Lake, Falls Reservoir and Lake Tillery combine for more than 10,000 acres of water-based recreation.

The Uwharrie National Forest is just one hour from both Charlotte and the Triad and two hours from Raleigh. The District Ranger Station is located just east of Troy on NC24/27. The phone number there is (910) 576-6391.

We spent some time up in Uwharrie National Forest, NC, a few weeks ago, just scouting around, looking at places to camp and ride. I decided to ride up there again last Saturday (Lois is still out with her clavicle fracture from a previous ride in sand ;() to do some more exploring. There are miles of nice forest service roads to ride on, in addition to the OHV trails. Not that we would take the bikes on these trails. Some of them are outright hairy, but on a 4-wheeler, absolutely.

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One Response to Riding Uwharrie National Forest, NC

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