The central location of the Uwharries makes it an ideal place for people from all over North Carolina (and even beyond) to take a quick day trip for an incredible and inspiring experience in or around the forest.

Badin Lake Recreation Area offers paved paths, restrooms, picnic shelters, a fishing dock, and more. The area has a multitude of spots just off the highway and all throughout the forest where you can walk right onto the trails or find a launch point for your activity of choice.


Kings Mountain Point is a newly renovated day use area in the Badin Lake Recreation Area of the Uwharrie National Forest. It features a paved hiking trail that encircles the point, a fishing pier and three handicap accessible fishing platforms.

Holt’s Picnic Area, off Badin Lake Rd. in Troy, NC, is an excellent day-use site for fishing and picnicking in a picturesque setting along the shores of Badin Lake. It has tables, toilet facilities and fire grates.


Birkhead Mountains Wilderness occupies 5,160 acres in the northern most lands of the Uwharrie National Forest. In addition to a range of trails, the area is home to many incredible scenic views and vistas, as well as an abundance of wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, mosses, and other plant species flourish along the many creeks and streams that run throughout the forest.

Jumping Off Rock–Just east of the Uwharrie Trailhead on Flint Hill Road, this vista offers scenic views of Barnes Creek. Click here for a map that shows the Uwharrie Trail and Jumping Off Rock Trailhead.

Big Rocks–Also known as Nifty Rocks, this natural landmark is accessible by foot or on horseback, Big Rocks is located .6 miles up Tony Horse Trail from Moccasin Creek Road in the Badin Lake Recreation Area of the Uwharrie National Forest.

Barnes Creek–There is a large swimming hole in Barnes Creek just above the confluence of Poison Fork and Barnes Creek. It is located 0.3 miles west of the Jumping Off Rock Trailhead.

Black Ankle Bog–One of only a few remaining Piedmont bogs, Black Ankle is 284 acres and is owned by The Nature Conservancy. Over the next 20–25 years, the North Carolina Chapter will continue to restore the preserve to its historic condition by setting prescribed burns and replanting longleaf pine tree seedlings grown from local seed sources. The North Carolina Zoo, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the NC Division of Forest Restoration are actively involved in supporting the Black Ankle Bog Preserve and the Nature Conservancy in this restoration effort.


The Uwharrie Scenic Road takes motorists through both the Uwharrie Mountains and the area known as the “Carolina Slate Belt” along N.C. 49 between Charlotte and Asheboro. Begin following the route at the byway’s northern end at the intersection of N.C. 49 and U.S. 64. Travel south along N.C. 49 toward Concord. Many buildings and fences seen throughout these rolling hills were built from slate, a type of metamorphic rock. South of Asheboro, travel through the Uwharrie National Forest and view the Uwharrie Mountains. These isolated peaks were formed several hundred million years ago by volcanoes, and the mountains have survived erosion and weathering over the centuries.

Be sure to check out the Flint Hill Ramble, part of the Sandhills Scenic Drive

More details about these roads can be found by downloading the North Carolina Byways Guidebook available here.

Other scenic byways to explore include: