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Uwharrie OHV Trail System

Friday, April 5, 2024

Other Names

Uwharrie National Forest, Shingle Trap Mountain, Dutch Jones Creek, Gold Mine Branch, Moccasin Creek, Badin Lake OHV Trails, Art Lilley Campground, Art Lilly Campground

Last Known StatusOpen

This place is very popular for Jeeps because the rugged trails consist of steep and chunky climbs, deep ruts, seasonal mud pits and a few shallow stream crossings. The 20 mile trail system is primarily geared for 4x4s and four wheelers but all vehicle types including dirt bikes are permitted.

Free primitive camping with direct trail access can be found at Art Lilley Campground. The campground is graded with loose gravel and sites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Amenities include a vault toilet, unloading ramp and garbage cans but no running water. There are several full service campgrounds nearby including Arrowhead Campground and Badin Lake Campground but they do not provide direct off-road access so unless street legal, machines need to be hauled to and from the staging areas.

There are several staging areas to choose from but the trail that starts from Cotton Place Staging Area is rated as extremely difficult and should only be attempted by experienced riders.

Visitors should note that an OHV Trail Pass is required and must be purchased prior to arrival since there is no on-site self service pay station. Passes can be purchased at nearby vendors (see map for locations) or by visiting the Uwharrie National Forest District Office.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesOHV Trail Pass
Dates OpenApril 1 - December 15
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedUnknown
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (99 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers Four WheelersPermitted
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSPermitted
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
2 Stroke EnginesNo Restriction
MX Helmet RequiredYesrequired for dirt bike and ATV riders, not required for UTVs
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
Night RidingYesworking headlights and brake lights required
Trail BlazingProhibitedkeep vehicle on trail
Rule Enforcement
CommentChildren under age 8 are not permitted to operate ATVs or motorcycles. Double riding is strictly prohibited unless the ATV is manufactured to hold two riders.


Approx Size6,400 acres (10 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail20
Climate TypeForest
Elevation250 to 800 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has some loose dirt.Some
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has no sandy areas.None
MudThe trail has some mud after it rains.Some
DustThe trail has mostly dust on typical days.Mostlytrails and gravel access roads are very dusty during dry weather
RocksThis trail has some rocks.Some
TreesThe trail has many trees.Many
Steep HillsThis trail has some steep hills.Some
Water CrossingsThe trail has some water crossings.Some
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has no single track trails.None
RoadsThis national forest has some roads.Some
ShadeThis national forest has many shaded areas.Many
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has some expert terrain.Some


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest


Gasoline Gasoline1-5 Miles (N)Eldorado Outpost (910) 572-3474
Diesel Diesel1-5 Miles (N)Eldorado Outpost (910) 572-3474
Potable Water Water1-5 Miles (N)Uwharrie Hunt Campground (910) 576-6391
RV Hookups RV Hookup1-5 Miles (NW)Arrowhead Campground (910) 576-6391
RV Dump Station RV Disposal1-5 Miles (NW)Arrowhead Campground (910) 576-6391
Primitive Camping Campground1-5 Miles (N)Uwharrie Hunt Campground (910) 576-6391
Convenience Store Conv Store1-5 Miles (N)Eldorado Outpost (910) 572-3474


EntryYes ($5.00 per vehicle)
Daily OHV Pass - $5; Season Pass - $30
CommentNo fee charged for camping at Art Lilley Campground but a valid trail pass is required.


Our RatingRating
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityUwharrie, NC
AddressMoccasin Creek Road, Troy, NC 27371
Go Back To North Carolina List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Lexington, NC
1) Take US-64 East to the junction of SR-109, about 10 miles
2) Turn right (south) on SR-109, continue about 25 miles
3) Veer right on SR-1153/Reservation Road, continue .4 miles
4) Turn right (west) onto Moccasin Creek Road, continue 1.5 miles
5) Turn left (south) onto Dutch John Road, continue about .5 miles toward staging area.

For the Wolf Den Staging Area:
6) Continue west past the Dutch John Road about 2 miles
7) Staging area is on the left (east).

For the Art Lilly Campground/Falls Dam Staging Area:
8) Continue west past the Wolf Den Staging Area about .1 miles
9) Follow signage for the campground.


Contact InfoUwharrie National Forest - Uwharrie Ranger District
789 NC Hwy. 24/27 East
Troy, NC 27371-9332
(910) 576-6391


Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

Uwharrie OHV Trail System

This is one of the premier off-road trail systems in the country due to the rugged and steep terrain.

Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

4x4 Jeep with alloy rims and PIAA lights climbing a rocky section of trail.

The trails here are primarily 4x4 roads that are extremely rocky. Jeeps will have a blast here.

Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

Red Chevy pickup truck with off-road tires and black alloy rims on a rocky dirt trail with a woman nearby.

The trails are wide enough even for large stock pickup trucks.

Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

Black Jeep with a spare tire on the back going through the woods.

There are some moderate 4x4 trails that are easy enough for beginners but with just enough obstacles to keep the ride interesting.

Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

Hard top gray Jeep 4x4 with a GoodYear spare tire and custom rims on a rocky dirt road.

A section of one of the easier 4x4 trails.

Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

Toyota 4Runner navigating some rocks.

Most of the terrain is hard packed with loose chunk rock. This is the perfect place to bring an off-road 4x4 truck or Jeep.

Uwharrie OHV Trail Photo

Dark green 4x4 Jeep Wrangler with a winch on the front bumper navigating large rocks.

Some of the Uwharrie 4x4 trails are extremely rocky and require careful tire placement and slow navigation.

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