A Case for Trail Development: Building a World-Class Trail System in the Uwharrie National Forest

A Case for Trail Development was initiated through North Carolina’s Region 6 Community Transformation Collaborative from a grant received by The Land Trust for Central North Carolina. The project team was tasked with analyzing the region around Uwharrie National Forest to understand the potential economic impact of a comprehensive mountain bike trail system.

The Uwharrie Mountains are some of the oldest in the nation.  The 1,000-foot mountains are thought to be part of an ancient volcanic mountain chain with peaks originally greater than 20,000 feet and some of the oldest artifacts of habitation in the United States.  Though this unique site is small in acreage, only 50,189 acres, the Uwharrie is within 120 miles of over 6 million people and is currently a popular recreation destination for local residents as well as the growing “urban crescent” from Charlotte to Raleigh/Durham.