Uwharrie National Forest Camping

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georgeXcore

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Traveler I

Hello,
I did a quick search for Uwharrie and most items I found were about the meetups, so I'm hoping this isn't a super redundant question. My wife and I moved to the Raleigh, NC area recently (from Tucson, AZ) and are looking at going camping in Uwharrie this weekend (if it's not ridiculously crowded). I'm hoping some people here have some camp site suggestions. We would like to not be in a camp ground and be at a primitive camp site that we can car camp at. We heard there are some of the "dispersed" camping sites around the forest roads, which I think is what we are looking for. However I can't find any maps that show these sites. That's where I'm hoping this forum can help. We have a Subaru Outback so we can't take crazy trails to get to the campsite. However with some technical driving it can be pretty capable.

-George
 
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OldColt

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Contributor I

NCNatural's Uwharrie National Forest - Camping has a list of the established sites. There is also Art Lilley Memorial Campgrounds (Art Lilley Off-Highway Vehicle OHV Camp - Troy | Trails.com) off the Falls Dam trail. In theory you can camp along most of the trails, but they tend to be highly trafficked and I wouldn't leave anything unattended near them for too long.

Trail conditions are subject to change and if it rains expect to be sliding all over the place in the clay, but a trail overview can be found here: Uwharrie Trails

Here's a full trail run on Youtube:
 
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georgeXcore

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Traveler I

Thanks for the suggestions. We figured our way around by starting at the Eldorado Trading post and picked up a map. Decided to just hit the forest roads to see what we could find. We figured out the dispersed camp sites and found a super nice site by the lake. It was a bit different than the camping we were used to though. All of our camping experience has been out west (Death Valley, Big Bend, random places in southern AZ, etc). Humidity was a surprise for us that weekend.
 

georgeXcore

Rank 0

Traveler I

I was living in Austin, TX for a while, then had the chance to move to the desert which is something my wife and I always wanted to do. We moved to Tucson and loved it, even in the 115 degree summer heat. However some family issues came up a few months after moving out there which pulled us all the way back east. The other thing besides humidity that we weren't used to were people. Everywhere we camped before was remote and secluded, like really remote and secluded. For example camping Big Bend state and national park with 300k+ acres in each park (which are right next to each other) and have like six other people in the whole park. We would go an entire week only seeing people when we went to ranger stations. Uwharrie on memorial weekend was a completely different animal when it came to the amount of people, we expected it but still was something we weren't used to. It was still great and we are planning our return trip
 

SCtundra

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Member

Traveler I

271
mrytle beach
First Name
Josh
Last Name
Rea
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8028

I was living in Austin, TX for a while, then had the chance to move to the desert which is something my wife and I always wanted to do. We moved to Tucson and loved it, even in the 115 degree summer heat. However some family issues came up a few months after moving out there which pulled us all the way back east. The other thing besides humidity that we weren't used to were people. Everywhere we camped before was remote and secluded, like really remote and secluded. For example camping Big Bend state and national park with 300k+ acres in each park (which are right next to each other) and have like six other people in the whole park. We would go an entire week only seeing people when we went to ranger stations. Uwharrie on memorial weekend was a completely different animal when it came to the amount of people, we expected it but still was something we weren't used to. It was still great and we are planning our return trip
Hello, I am planning a trip to Uwharrie in October for a night or two and then headed west to nanthala and pisgah and possibly a few other stops if anyone is interested please let me know the more the marrier
 

kingofthehill

Rank I

Contributor II

I was living in Austin, TX for a while, then had the chance to move to the desert which is something my wife and I always wanted to do. We moved to Tucson and loved it, even in the 115 degree summer heat. However some family issues came up a few months after moving out there which pulled us all the way back east. The other thing besides humidity that we weren't used to were people. Everywhere we camped before was remote and secluded, like really remote and secluded. For example camping Big Bend state and national park with 300k+ acres in each park (which are right next to each other) and have like six other people in the whole park. We would go an entire week only seeing people when we went to ranger stations. Uwharrie on memorial weekend was a completely different animal when it came to the amount of people, we expected it but still was something we weren't used to. It was still great and we are planning our return trip
I am interested in moving in a few years. I had Ashville, NC on my list and Tuscon. After hearing how crowded it is in the national forests in NC it makes me rethink that as a destination. YOu mention big bend ont being crowded, was it very remote and secluded out in the Tuscon area? Being able to get away from people in the city is a big plus for me.
 

georgeXcore

Rank 0

Traveler I

I am interested in moving in a few years. I had Ashville, NC on my list and Tuscon. After hearing how crowded it is in the national forests in NC it makes me rethink that as a destination. YOu mention big bend ont being crowded, was it very remote and secluded out in the Tuscon area? Being able to get away from people in the city is a big plus for me.
We have only been to Asheville once since moving, we went another time like 10 years ago (when we lived in Florida) but didn't do much. It seems like Asheville is really cool and you can get out of the heavily populated areas (mainly touristy areas) to find some nice low key places to hang out. Our trip a few months ago had us there for only a day, but that has come up as a moving option for my wife and I to get out of the Raleigh area but still be close to family. We do need to make a few more trips out there but the feel was very much like Austin, but less crowded.

Big bend is great but really really really remote. We looked at getting some property out there since it's pretty cheap, we were looking at 20 - 50 acres for less than $10,000. However some of the locals told us to be careful, not to not do it but be careful. Most of the survey's for land plots out there don't have accurate surveying, so what might have road access on the real estate page might end up being land locked. The other thing is digging for a well. Some people can hit water in 90 feet and others dig 1200 feet with no water before giving up. Those were the only things people told us to be careful of, if you are looking for some remote living it's out there. Terlingua is a neat little town by the park.

Tucson has been the best place we have lived so far and my favorite city as well. You are surrounded by a set of five mountain ranges so from almost anywhere in Tucson (including Oro Valley, Marana, etc) you can see some piece of a mountain. The city itself is pretty small but full of great eclectic art, artists, food, and bars. The amount of outdoor stuff is great as well. I worked from home on Eastern time so almost every day after work we would go on a hike or adventure somewhere. The people were also pretty great, it reminded us of what Austin was probably like 20 years ago, but with a better landscape :). However I would do a trip there to get a handle on the feel for Tucson. It's definitely a dusty boarder town type of city, which means it's a bit gritty (but that's what I loved about it). My wife hated it the first few weeks, however after those first weeks it became her favorite place to be. If you have any questions about those areas definitely PM me.