Situated about midway between Charlotte and Raleigh NC, the Uwharrie National Forest beckons east coasters for off highway fun. The Arrowhead Campground is widely regarded as one of the nicest in the Federal system. The hospitality of the locals is second to none. Several of the CORE members have been to Uwharrie before, despite its distance from the Capital area and found it a worthy destination.
- Gil Campos and Sherrie Burns, 99 TJ (CORE)
- Paul and Julia Woscek, 01 S-10 Crew Cab (CORE)
- Keith Holman, 99 Blazer2 (CORE)
- Mark Hall, 91 Ranger
- Janet Becker, Uwharrie National Forest Campground Host
- Aaron Schoenfeld, 88 Blazer
Members Gil, Sherrie, Keith, Paul and Julia managed to get into Albemarle on Friday evening/Saturday morning where we stayed at the Comfort Inn. Reasonable accommodations at a reasonable price and proximity to many choices of restaurants. Gil, Sherrie and Keith had a great steak dinner Friday night. We agreed to head out to Uwharrie after partaking of Saturday morning’s included continental breakfast. Keith had ventured out to the Arrowhead campground on Friday night to check on the plans with the others.
Saturday morning’s weather was near perfect and we met the others at the campgrounds. After a thorough check of the layout and facilites, we proclaimed it as a gem in the system. We decided the day’s trails would be a combination of exploration for the new ones as well as building to challenges.
We started out at the pay station. Uwharrie has a day pay system where $5 per vehicle goes into operations and maintenance of the trails. I personally think it’s a great system that could serve as a model for the federal trails system. Season visitors are able to purchase a season pass at $30 per year but must purchase that at the Ranger station in nearby Biscoe during normal business hours. The same fee system applies to ATVs, of which there were many this weekend.
Our first trail was Falls Dam. One of the easier trails in the forest and a nice place to get our feet wet, so to speak. The weather has also been very dry there so there wasn’t much getting wet to be found. Early in the day, Aaron discovered problems with his front axle engagement so he headed in early. During the course of the day on Saturday, we ran Falls Dam, Wolf Run, part of Rocky Mountain loop, Sawmill, Slab Pile and Dutch John.
The pictures really tell most of the story. We visited the scene of the Bronco fire of a month or so ago. We watched Janet instill the fear of the Forest Service into two ATV’ers who were making new paths across the forest when they couldn’t pass us fast enough. No one got a picture of the looks on their faces. We continued until after dark on Saturday with plans for hitting Daniel on Sunday.
Situated about midway between Charlotte and Raleigh NC, the Uwharrie National Forest beckons east coasters for off highway fun.
After calling it quits for the evening, Paul, Julia, Gil and Sherrie headed into Albemarle for a nice dinner at the Ryan’s Buffet. Mark, Keith and Janet headed back to the campground for a little conversation. We didn’t factor in that some of the campers were a little restless and so Janet and the Rangers were busy getting things settled down for the quiet hours. Good conversation and good friends made it seem quite a bit earlier when I called it a night and headed to town.
When we met for breakfast on Sudnay morning, Paul and Julia announced they were going to head back for home as it had been a long trip and they had things to do before returning to work on Monday. Gil and Sherrie agreed to come back to the trails for a little while but needed to get a fairly early start on their week as well.
We ran Daniel and got some pretty good pictures of us doing so. None of us were recording audio though so we couldn’t capture that woman who was couldn’t make up her mind whether the driver should “go for it” or “back off of this”. Campground Host Janet delivered a shoulder massage to ease her up when they finally accomplished the obstacle. We watched as some ATV’ers attempted to come up behind us. One of their drivers had a bit of a problem that would have seemed solvable by picking it up and setting it one side but that apparently violates the ATV code or something. Ultimately, his ATV rolled down the hill and made for some fun pictures. Luckily no one was hurt.
We headed back to pavement and Gil and Sherrie headed for home. After a little more conversation and promises to do it again soon, Keith left Janet and Mark at the campground and headed for home.
Great fun! Good friends! Let’s do it again!
Happy Trails! and TreadLightly!
Trail report written by Keith Holman. Pictures courtesy of Gil Campos, Keith Holman, and Paul and Lulia Woscek.