The Uwharrie National Forest is one of the oldest documented areas in North America and is one of four national forests in the state of North Carolina. One of the best trails to view this gorgeous landscape is Uwharrie Trail, also known as Uwharrie National Recreation Trail. The trail is a little small, only 24 inches in width, but spans over 20 miles, mostly made of packed soil and some rocky terrain in some areas.
The forest encompasses over 51 thousand acres of land, with the Uwharrie Trail mostly covering the western side of the forest. Starting at the Uwharrie Recreation Trailhead, the parking lot offers plenty of space with parking and shaded sitting areas. Water and clean-up bags for you and your pup would be a good idea, as the trail is rural and without many features. It continues into the thick forests, crossing over multiple streams like Wood Run Creek and Upper Wood Run Creek.
After ten miles of hiking over streams, through thick trees, and viewing some of the gorgeous landscapes of North Carolina, you'll come along the first landmark of Yates Place Campground. The dog-friendly campground offers free parking and campsites, along with restrooms and trash bins to use. After stopping for a rest, you can continue your trip for the next section of the hike.
Some areas of the hike have a rocky terrain with the uphill paths, but also offer some unique sights. There are old caves and goldmines from the Carolina Gold Rush from the mid-1800s, old abandoned towns and cemeteries, two other campgrounds, and scenic views on top of Dark Mountain.
The end of the trail climbs down from Dark Mountain and ends at the Jumping Off Rock Trailhead. At the end of the trail is a small parking lot, with a gravel lot for cars to park on the side of the road. The extensive hike has lots of points to start on, so you and Fido can enjoy a couple day's hike with camping, or a short mountain experience that can be done in the afternoon. Whichever one you choose, you'll get plenty of sights and a peaceful hiking experience.