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Best Maps of the Uwharries Hiking Trails

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  • Best Maps of the Uwharries Hiking Trails

    This information was sent to me by PappyAmos who I have done a few hikes with including one overnight on the Dutchman's Creek and Uwharrie Trail, The attached maps are the best hiking maps I have seen of the area and were put together and provided by Firebird who is an avid hiker of the area. Also I have been on a hike lead by Firebird and he will leave you in the dust. If you have a chance to go on a hike with this guy, do so as he has a lot of knowledge of the area.

    Hi Greg,

    Got these maps from Lawrence Bachman (Firebird) a few months ago. He produced these with some map making tools he has. The paths for the Uwharrie Trail and the Dutchman's Creek Trail are taken from his own GPS tracks. They are probably the most accurate trail maps you can get. He suggests having them printed on 18 x 24 sheets so as to preserve the scale. I carried small sections of the maps in December and just relied on my GPS for mileage.

    He has marked many established campsites and also water sources. Basically, if a stream begins within the green shaded National Forest area, it is unlikely to have sewage or anything in it. Still need to filter of course.

    Note the place on page 3 on the Dutchman's Creek Trail SW of Yates where he has added "Steep Rocky" to the map. He means it! Coming up the the trail from the SE the trail turns sharp right, up a ~40 degree slope, through a boulder field. It wasn't fun 25 years ago and I expect it would be misery now. ( Note...PappyAmos and I hiked up that boulder field and it is steep and almost straight up )

    This should give you some evening studying for a while.

    Regards, Chuck (Pappy)

    I took the topo map that I made of the entire Uwharrie Trail including the Birkhead Wilderness Area and split it into 3 cells each 13000 x 9000 meters and then converted into PDFs.

    I have hiked and gps'd all the trails many times and the data is very accurate. In Adobe, under preferences/page display/set to 96 pixels, then the map enlarged to actual size (100%), the UTM grid overlay will display at exactly 1000 meters at 1:24000 scale.

    If printed in Adobe under poster format, portrait, with no cut marks, it will be at 1:24000 scale and use 4 sheets of 8 1/2 x 14 or 6 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. This turned out to be the most economical use of paper in a home printer. They can also be printed by a print shop but I got estimates of 15$ to 25$ per color sheet. I have found an on-line printer with very reasonable rates. You would want to specify the size as ARCH C or 18" x 24" and print to "actual size". The UTM grid can be utilized along with a protractor if you like to plot your location. If you carry a GPS also, you can check your coordinates and see how accurate you are. Just make sure the GPS positon format is set to UTM and the map datum in WGS84. Enjoy !

    The premier trail in Uwharrie National Forest is the Uwharrie National Recreation Trail. This 20 mile (32 km), white blazed trail starts on highway 24/27 near the Wood Run Bike Trail Complex, 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Lake Tillery Bridge. It meanders northward over mountains and across streams, all the way to state road 1306. There's also a nice trailhead at highway 109.

    There are several primitive campgrounds along the way, such as Wood Run Hunt Camp, Yates Place Camp, and West Morris Mountain Campground (which has a fee). There are several other areas for dispersed camping.

    The yellow blazed Dutchman's Creek Trail starts at the same place as the Uwharrie Trail on highway 24/27, just to the right of Forest Road 517. The 11 mile (17.7 km) path was constructed to give the southern end of the Uwharrie Trail a figure eight with many loop options. Add in the forest service roads in the area, and the options are even greater for both day hikes and backpacking excursions.

    Uwharrie National Forest View: These trails pass through a lot of lush woods and vegetation. If you hike in the winter, the views are better. For drinking water, there are many mountain streams in Uwharrie National Forest, but the water must be purified.

    Birkhead Mountains Wilderness is at the north end of the Uwharrie Mountains and Uwharrie National Forest. These mountains are thought to be the oldest in North America. This area is good for both day hikes and backpacking trips, and has fewer people than Badin Lake. Being a wilderness area, trails are not well marked. In season hunting is allowed, so it's wise to wear orange from September through January.

    If you plan on hiking this area, you should get a trail guide from the Uwharrie District Ranger Station in Troy, NC. There is a 7 mile (11.3 km) loop hike that begins at Robbins Branch Trailhead off state route 1107. Robbins Branch Trail is 3.1 miles (5.0 km) in length. Hannah's Creek Trail branches off of Robbins Branch Trail and is 1.4 miles (2.3 km) long. Both trails lead to Birkhead Mountain Trail, about 3 miles (4.8 km) apart.

    Birkhead Mountain Trail is actually a 5.6 mile (9.0 km) north-south trail with hard to find trailheads on state route 1114 in the south and state route 1142 in the north. One other trail in the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness worth mention is Thornburg Trail, at 1.8 miles (2.9 km). The trailhead parking is off state route 1107. All trails in the wilderness are for foot traffic only.

    Uwharrie National Forest Badin Lake Trail is a loop that is popular with families. It's easily accessed from Cove Boat Ramp or any of the developed campgrounds in the area. The terrain is easy and follows the lakeshore for half it's distance. The short loop is 2.5 miles (4.0 km). The full loop is 5.6 miles (9.0 km). Another shorter trail in the Badin Lake area is the moderately difficult 1.7 mile (2.7 km) Bates Trail.

    Densons Creek Trail is an interpretive trail that starts behind the Uwharrie National Forest ranger office. There is a short, 1 miles (1.6 km) loop and a longer 2.2 mile (3.5 km) loop. A brochure with numbered stop points is available to guide you through the forest of pine and hardwood. You'll be able to view a site that was once a homestead, before this spent farmland was abandoned.

    Uwharrie National Forest Uwharrie River One of the longer day hike paths is River Trail, at 3.6 miles (5.8 km) one way. This is a moderately difficult multi-use trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. It follows the relaxing Uwharrie River, which, by the way, is also a great place to canoe or kayak for a day.

    River Trail is just south of the Uwharrie Hunt Camp. There are a number of other easy multi-use trails in this same area for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian. Wren Trail, Tanager Trail, and Rudolph Trail are all less than a mile (1.6 km) in length. Burl Tree Way Trail is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) long.

    Uwharrie National Forest District Ranger Office There are many more trails at Uwharrie National Forest. The District Ranger Station is located at 789 NC 24/27 East, Troy, NC 27371. This is about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of town. They have brochures and trail guides available so you can make the most of your visit.

    To help you learn your way around Uwharrie National Forest, take the time to review the forest map before your arrival. This map also includes Croatan National Forest, which is on the coast of North Carolina.


    20 miles (Uwharrie Trail)
    11.5 miles (Dutchman's Creek Trail)

    Recommended Season: Year Round
    Use: Medium to Heavy
    Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

    Trail Beginning: At the southern end there is trailhead parking on NC Highway 24/27, 10 miles west of Troy.

    Trail End: At the northern end there is trailhead parking on SR 1306 (Flint Hill Road), 2 miles east of Ophir.

    Access: Three main trailheads provide access to the trail. These include the beginning and ending points, and one on NC Highway 109, eight miles northwest of Troy. Other roads also cross the trail, which have limited parking. These other access points are located at Yates Place Camp on Dusty Level Road (SR 1146) and Tower Road (SR 1134).

    Attractions and Considerations: Dutchman's Creek Trail, marked with yellow blazes, starts at the same point as the Uwharrie Trail, at the parking lot on Hwy 24/27, and was constructed as a loop system to be used as an alternate route when hiking the southern portion of the Uwharrie Trail. Dark Mountain, on the northern portion of the trail offers an excellent western view. Camping areas along the trail include Wood Run Hunt Camp, Yates Place Camp, West Morris Mountain Campground and other primitive camps. Old home sites, cemeteries, and gold mines exist along or near the trail.

    Hikers can thank an old-time trapper's son, Joe Moffit of Asheboro, for this trail. He blazed it over 25 years ago. Moffit grew up in the Uwharrie Mountains during the Great Depression and learned to live off the land at an early age. Moffit was a Scoutmaster when he started the Uwharrie Trail project in 1972 to help his Boy Scouts earn their Eagle rank. They completed the now well-known path in 1975 and founded the Uwharrie Trail Club.

    There are plenty of streams in the forest, but all drinking water should be treated with a water purification kit before use. Ticks plague the forest and can be kept at bay with repellent or the new mesh clothing on the market. Always keep a watch for the timber rattlesnakes and copperheads that live in these woods.

    Due to the details of these maps, the files are too large to post as attachments, so I am posted links which should allow you to get the files.

    PDF Map to Birkhead Wilderness Area

    PDF Map to Uwharrie Hiking Trails 1 of 3

    PDF Map to Uwharrie Hiking Trails 2 of 3

    PDF Map to Uwharrie Hiking Trails 3 of 3

  • #2
    Hey Greg! These maps are really good. The print is scale is small as well as the print so you have to use a magnifying glass to see a little better. The Uwharrie NF looks like a great place to explore. I am planning a trip there for 2 or 3 days in June if you know anyone interested in going. Solo backpacking is great. But sometimes it could be better with some company.


    • #3
      I converted the PDF to JPG's and saved them on my cell phone ( S7 ). Allows me to magnify the map while on the trail. I agree backpacking can be more fun with a friend or two but I have found it very hard to find someone who can hike same times I can so if I have the time, I just go.