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Uwharrie National Forest is an Increasingly Attractive "Best Kept Secret"!

Uwharrie National Forest, where state designated Scenic Byways meander through the undulating remains of North America's oldest mountain range, is an increasingly attractive best kept secret!

Uwharrie National Forest
Uwharrie National Forest

Between Badin Lake, the Pee Dee River and the towns of Troy and Asheboro, North Carolina, the state's only and smallest Piedmont national forest sprawls for nearly fifty thousand acres over rolling ridges.

Badin Lake
Badin Lake, Uwharrie National Forest

Located at 789 NC Highway 24/27 East, Troy, NC 27371, the Uwharrie National Forest includes the Uwharrie Ranger District Office.

You can obtain information about permits, trail passes, camping information, get brouchures, and the area at the district office. Also, they have USGS Topo maps for sale, and you can obtain a Disabled Pass, Senior Pass.

USGS Topo Map
USGS Topo Map, Uwharrie National Forest

Except in those areas that are posted No Camping, primitive dispersed camping is allowed throughout the Forest. Along most trails and Forest Service roads, these sites can be found.

Please remember when using these sites carry out your debris and trash and be careful with camp fires. So that others who follow you may also enjoy the Forest, please leave your campsite in good clean condition.

Be Careful With Camp Fires!
Be Careful With Camp Fires, Uwharrie National Forest

Birkhead Mountains Wilderness

Established by the 1984 North Carolina Wilderness Act, the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness. The goals are to provide for public use and preserve and protect its wilderness character and natural resources. At the northern end of the Uwharrie Mountains, the Wilderness includes 5,160 acres.

On the North American Continent, these mountains are considered to be the oldest. Dating back more than twelve thousand years are evidence of early Indians. In the late 1600's, the Catawba Indians inhabited the area when the Europeans began exploring the region. Opened up by the traders and explorers along the Ocaneechi Trail, by 1760 settlement had begun in earnest.

Catawba Indians
Catawba Indians, Uwharrie National Forest

Born in 1858, the Birkhead family raised a son, Watt (John Watson). Three thousand acres were made up of many small tenant farms that he acquired over the years. As a result, the mountain range became known as the Birkhead Mountains.

The core of the Wilderness is this old plantation. Your challenge is to leave no trace of your passing as you use the Wilderness. As true wilderness, this will preserve and protect the area. Evidence of early settlers and Indians can often be found.

These sites and historic and archeological artifacts hold clues to America's past. A part of our heritage is lost forever if disturbed. On public land, federal law protects such artifacts and sites. Please leave them undisturbed if you discover such remains.

Designated hiking trails are all trails within the Wilderness. Travel by bicycle, motorized vehicle or horse is prohibited. At the District Ranger's Office, a detailed map of the Wilderness is available.


Take Hwy. 109 North to the community of Uwharrie and turn right onto SR 1134 (Ophir Road), if coming from Troy, NC. As you cross into Randolph County, Ophir Road becomes Burney Mill Road.

Turn right after continuing on to the intersection of Lassiter Mill Road. To get to either of the trailhead locations on the map, proceed north on Lassiter Mill.

Approximately six miles, from Asheboro, NC take Hwy. 49 South. Onto Science Hill Road, make a right. Turn south (left) onto Lassiter Mill Road, about 0.25 mile further at the intersection. To get to the two trailhead locations, continue on.


Day hiking or Backpacking Recreation areas: Thornburg Trail, Robbins Branch Trail, and Hannahs Creek Trail.

Uwharrie National Forest Map
Uwharrie National Forest Map, Uwharrie National Forest

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