Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Loop
ElevationAscent: 995' 303 m
Descent: -995' -303 m
High: 897' 273 m
Low: 415' 127 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
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“Thornburg Tract and Birkhead Wilderness Loop in Uwharrie.”— Matt Chisholm
You start the run by going through an old homestead, probably the Thornburg homestead, with several marked old outbuilding including a really cool old barn, chicken coop, and carriage house. From there, you run down a hill to a creek and cross on a bridge or run through. The bridge has been damaged from a flood and is pushed off camber.
After crossing the creek, you head up on a long climb for about a 1+ miles through some pretty awesome singletrack that winds up the hillside. There is a trail marker at a more level spot with camping spots to your right after a field. You eventually run into Robbins Branch Trail and hang a left. The trail follows a creek with several crossings until it swoops towards the east and up to Birkhead Mountain Trail. This trail is a great singletrack on a ridge for several miles. Footing can be a little interesting here though, so watch out.
At about 5 miles, you'll have an option to cut the corner from Birkhead Mountain Trail to Hannah's Creek Trail down to a creek with a boyscout camp that has a fire ring and fireplace with a plaque on it. It's a pretty sweet spot to hang out or even camp.
After running through the camp, you'll hit Hannah's Creek Trail, and you'll take a right. This is some great singletrack again up to Robbins Branch Trail when you hang a right and go up a pretty stiff climb. This was really tiring if you do this loop the way I did it. There are several upward pointing stones and the climb is pretty relentless though not steep. After the top, you'll descend for about .3 or .4 miles back to the intersection with Thornburg Tract Trail. There is a sign there, so you'll take a left, run down the hill you've already run up to the creek, cross again, and head back to the car.
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Land Manager: USFS - Uwharrie National Forest Office