Uwharrie National Forest
Troy area, NC
Though you can have fun at Uwharrie for the day, once you’re there, you’ll want to stick around. This 50,000-acre forest is named for the Uwharrie Mountains, which were created from ancient volcanoes. The 1,000-foot hills were 20,000-foot peaks a mere 500 million years ago.
But don’t just look at the mountains. The park is abundant with outdoor activities: bird watching (including bald eagles), seasonal hunting/fishing, water sports and panning for gold. Picnic areas and trails (including a 20-miler) are available for hikers, bikers, off-road vehicles and horseback enthusiasts. Camping ranges from down-right primitive to full-featured. Horse and hunting camps are available as well.