Uwharrie Mountains and the Uwharrie National Forest

Filed under: Uwharrie Mountains and Forest |

These mountains, located in the Piedmont regions ( with headquarters at Troy, NC) at a height of about 1000 feet could be the oldest mountains in the United States as they were caused by a chain of islands crushed between the collission of the North American and the African continental plates. They were once much higher than their current 1000 feet but have been greatly eroded away by time and natural forces.

The Uwharries have numerous hiking, off road and biking trails and are very popular as there are many miles of trails within the region. There are also many camping facilities available in the area ranging from complete RV sites, to cabins, to primitive and rustic locales. There are also horse camping and plenty of spots for hunters and anglers available.
Thing to Do:
Birkhead Mountain Wilderness: Formed by ancient volcanic activity this wilderness consists of long forested ridges and steep terrain. The land has cuts of streams running through it and in Spring and Summer large variety of wildflowers blanket the earth. The area was given the name due to the Birkhead family settling in the area around 1850. Among the trees of Birkhead you may see remnants of old homesteads, farms, gold mining operations, old roads, and evidence of timber harvesting.

The Birkhead Mountain Trail crosses the heart of the area for approximately 4.5 miles from north to south (but you won’t find a parking lot on either end). From a parking lot on the western boundary of the Wilderness, the Robbins Branch Trail (about three miles) enters the area to fork at the Hannah’s Creek Trail (about 1.5 miles). Both trails join the Birkhead Mountain Trail. Group size is limited to 10, a regulation enforced in all North Carolina Wildernesses.

Holt’s Cabin: A day use picnic area which is located on Forest Road 597 approximately 1 mile north from the 544 intersection, Holt’s Cabin is a day use area on Badin Lake for picnicking and fishing. There are 7 sites, each containing a table and grill. The picnic area is on the edge of Badin Lake. There is no overnight camping permitted.

Cove Boat Ramp & Picnic Area: Located at the end of Forest Road 597B, Cove Boat Ramp is a day use picnic area and boat ramp, with tables and grills. Toilets are available. There is no overnight camping permitted.

Camping Facilities:

Areas for Campground Camping at Uwharrie National Forest

Arrowhead Campground:

Directions:  From Troy, Hwy 109 N, go to Mullinix Rd. just past Macedonia Church. Turn left onto Mullinix Rd., and continue past Horse Camp. Turn right on FR 544 for 1.8 miles, then, turn left on FR 597 for 0.6 mile. Turn right on FR 597B to the entrance of the campground.

Facilities: Arrowhead Campground has 50 sites for Tent/RV camping. Sites #46-#49 are tent only. All sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Each site has a table, grill, lamp post and camping pad. The campground has 6 spigots located around the campground for drinking water. A bathhouse with flush toilets, hot showers, and laundry sink is available. There is a family restroom located at the front of the bathhouse if privacy is desired. A 0.75-mile paved bicycle/walking path loops around the campground. The pay-station is located at the entrance to the campground. There is a dump station located across from the pay station. Payment can be made by cash or check: make checks out to the USDA Forestry Service.

Badin Lake Horse Camp:


From Troy: take 109 N through Uwharrie to Mullinix Rd. just past Macedonia Church. Turn left onto Mullinix Rd. Go past a small bridge and the Horse Camp will be on the right.Facilities:  This is a primitive camping area where people camp in self contained RV/Horse Trailers. It is located in an open field with tie outs for the horses. No amenities available.  Campers must take their trash with them or take it to the trash dumpster in Canebrake Horse Camp.Badin Lake Campground:

Directions:  On Hwy 109 North, go to Mullinix Rd. just past Macedonia Church. Turn left (from 109 S. turn right on to Mullinix Rd.) and continue past Horse Camp. Turn right on FR 544 for 1.8 miles, then turn Right onto FR 597 for 0.1 miles. Then turn left on FR 597A. Take the road to  the left leading to Badin Lake Campground (2 loops). Upper loop turns off to the left; lower loop is located at the end of the road.

Facilities:  The campground has 34 sites for tent and trailer camping. Some sites are located near the lakeshore. Each site has a table, grill, lamp post, and tent pad. There are 4 water spigots for drinking water located in the campground. Flush toilets and showers are located in both the upper and lower loops.  Pay stations are located at the entrance of both loops.

Canebake Horse Camp:

Directions:  From Troy, travel on NC 109N for 10 miles and turn left onto Mullinix Road (NC 1154). Follow Mullinix Road for about 2 miles to a “T” intersection. Turn right at “T” and travel about one-quarter mile to the campground on the right.

Facilities:  Canebrake Horse Camp has 28 sites with parking spurs for horse trailers. Four of these sites are double camp sites. Each site has a picnic table, grill, lantern post, and hitching post. Up to two vehicles are allowed at each site.

The camp also provides water spigots for drinking water, showers, and flush toilets. Electric hookups available, but no water/sewer hookups at each site. A sewage dump station and horse washing rack are centrally located.

The Equestrian Trail System can be accessed from Canebrake using the Home Trail, which skirts the campground.  There are 32 miles of horse trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to more difficult. 

West Morris Campground:

Directions: From Hwy 109, at the community of Uwharrie, take Ophir Road (SR 1134). West Morris Mountain Camp is 2 miles on the right.

Facilities:  There are 14 individual campsites and 2 group campsites available at this location. Two vault toilets are located within the camping area.  All sites have a table, grill, lantern post and camping pad. These sites are suitable for either tents or RV’s. There is no water at this location.

Opportunities for hunting and hiking are available. A 3/4-mile trail leads from the camp to the Uwharrie Trail, a 20-mile National Recreational Trail.

Yates Place:

Directions:  From Hwy 109 West of Troy, take SR 1147 and turn right on SR 1146. Yates Place is on the left

Facilities:  Yates Place Camp was an old home site, but now serves as an attractive destination for tent camping. A vaul toilet, tables, and grills are available at the site.

Yates Place Camp is located near the Uwharrie Trail, a 20-mile National Recreation hiking trail.  This camp is also popular with deer hunters and hiking groups that use it as a base camp or staging area.