From the North Carolina Zoo to the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness and the beautiful places beyond, Randolph County is the perfect place to get outside. With over 30 miles of trails, adventures abound in this active community with a commitment to improving the quality of life of its citizens. Scroll through and you’ll find the complete list of all 19 trails in the county. For information on community events and guided hikes visit the Healthy Communities Randolph County website. To jump to a specific section, click the buttons below.
Get to know the significant natural and historical features found in the heart of North Carolina by exploring the Deep River State Trail. It was designated as an official State Trail in 2007 by the NC General Assembly as both a hiking and paddle trail. With 5 miles of trail currently on the ground (and many more planned) this is a gorgeous area to explore. A known home of Great Blue Herons, River Otters, and Osprey, be on the lookout for wildlife along your journey! Check out the details on the different segments below: Randleman, Franklinville, and Ramseur.
The Deep River State Trail in Randleman, also known as the Randleman Greenway, is 1.5 miles of a wide fine gravel trail that features views of the Deep River. You’ll find the occasional bench or picnic table waiting for you along the way. Check out this trail for an easy, mostly flat walk and lovely views as you explore the green and rocky banks of the Deep River.
Sandwiched between the charming small town of Franklinville and the Deep River, the 1.75 mile Deep River State Trail leads you down a repurposed rail line through Riverside Park, past an old textile factory, and into a peaceful forest. The trail ends at Sandy Creek, where eventually a bridge will connect this section of trail to Ramseur just down the way. You can access this trail from 3 different places to park. See the map for more information.
A great addition to this trail is one that connects right to it, Faith Rock Trail. See the entry below.
Particularly lovely at sunrise and sunset, this 0.74 mile natural surface trail takes you to the top of a 50 foot blue stone outcrop as it juts into the Deep River. Thankfully its beauty will always be here as the preserve is protected in perpetuity by Piedmont Land Conservancy. From the trailhead at the address above, cross the historic bridge and follow the trail through woods with beautiful views of Deep River to the top of Faith Rock, a natural heritage site with rare plants.
Phenomenally flat and shaded, the Deep River State Trail in Ramseur, also know as the Ramseur Rail Trail, is a great spot to visit when it heats up. There are two sections of trail here separated by the currently impassable Harlan Creek. A bridge is planned to join the two sections in the future. See our map for more information on parking. The fine gravel trail on both sides goes through hardwood forest with glimpses of Deep River. The eastern section features a dam and the remaining footprint of the old Columbia Manufacturing Co. cotton mill, first built in 1850.
Located at the Southwestern corner of Randolph County sits the beautiful Birkhead Mountains Wilderness and the surrounding Uwharrie National Forest. Coated in ferns and cut up by bubbling creeks, this historic wilderness will take some time to fully explore – but SO worth it! Learn about this history of this mining and farming hub of the 1700s in this article by the News & Record, and then get out there yourself!
The Birkhead Mountains Wilderness is the largest area of continuous trail in the county with 15 miles of trails to explore on 4,800 acres of wilderness. It’s the only wilderness in the Piedmont. Many of the trails were constructed by a local scout group in the late 1960’s which became part of the 40-mile Uwharrie Trail. The Birkhead Mountains Wilderness is a great spot for camping and filled with history.
This trail system can be accessed by three different trailheads:
1. Thornburg: Near 3935 Lassiter Mill Rd, Asheboro, NC 27205
2. Robbins Branch: Robbins Branch Rd off of Lassiter Mill Rd south of Thornburg Trailhead, Asheboro, NC 27205
3. Tot Hill Farm: Tot Hill Farm Rd near golf course, Asheboro, NC 27205
Check out this map to patch together your intended route into this magical wilderness.
The Uwharrie Trail extends 40 miles from Tot Hill Farm Trailhead southwest of Asheboro through the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness and on South to the NC 24/27 Trailhead near Troy. In addition to the trailheads within the Birkhead Wilderness, the Uwharrie Trail in Randolph County has two trailheads – Luther Place and Joe Moffitt. These trailheads cover three miles of trail including over King Mountain (1020’), the highest point on the Uwharrie Trail. A 2.5 mile trail from a future trailhead on High Pine Church Road intersects with the trail about 0.6 miles from the Luther Place Trailhead. From the Joe Moffitt Trailhead, the UT continues south into Montgomery County to Little Long Mountain and Jumping Off Rock Trailhead.
Luther Place Trailhead: Private road near 8733 Pisgah Covered Bridge Rd, Asheboro, NC 27205. Trailhead is a gate at the end of a 200 ft private drive on the left.
Joe Moffitt Trailhead: Thayer Road (SR1305)
Located near the Uwharrie National Forest, the Pisgah Covered Bridge is a historical and cultural treasure. The Bridge was built in 1911 and then refurbished by the NC Zoo in 2003 when the loop trail was added. It’s one of only two covered bridges remaining in North Carolina and the only one that is accessible to the public. The crushed gravel loop trail around the area is short at 0.25 miles, but shows off a variety of flora, including tunnels of Mountain Laurel. This is a wonderful place to stop, especially as a bonus to the other beautiful trails in the Uwharrie National Forest.
We have a lot of reasons to be proud of our North Carolina Zoo: It’s the world’s largest Natural Habitat Zoo, they have fascinating nature-based education programs, as well as an unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation. But we also appreciate their love of trails! The NC Zoo has a system of free, public trails that journey through beautiful ancient land.
The Purgatory Mountain Trail begins at a trailhead on the northern end of the North America parking lot. The first 0.2 miles features an ADA accessible fine gravel section through the woods, ending once the trail intercepts a service road. Continue straight on to the remaining 0.7 mile natural surface section through Oak Hickory Forest to Chestnut Oak forest at the top of Purgatory Mountain (elevation 928’). The trail is a slight incline but the farther up you go the more massive rocks and beautiful hardwood forest you’ll discover.
The Moonshine Run Trail splits off Purgatory Mountain Trail and circles around the west and north sides of the mountain before reaching a dead end. Weaving between some large boulders, this trail is packed with unique plant life and is a great addition to Purgatory Mountain Trail if you’re looking to gain more mileage.
This trail branches off to the left from the Purgatory Mountain Trail and heads north along a a rocky ridge to the top of Middle Mountain. From here it continues down to a new trailhead on Woodell Country Road near Humble Mill Road. This trail is a gradual climb through a beautiful mature forest from either trailhead. This trail continues the theme of the area with unique rocky outcrops and significant natural features.
*Please note: This trail is currently closed.* The parking lot connector trail connects the North America and Africa parking lots and signage is posted at either trail entrance. The north end of the trail starts at Solar Pointe picnic area near the southern end of the North America parking lot. This trail has a stone dust surface and is a beautiful walk through the woods along a creek.
North Asheboro Park features a paved 25-mile Mayor’s Walk with trees dedicated to each of the City’s mayors and run along a small creek. The park also has a swimming pool, ballfield, disc golf course, playground, tennis, basketball and volley ball courts, picnic shelter and restrooms.
Lake Lucas, known for its many opportunities for fishing, also has a 0.25 mile loop around the facilities at the main marina area. This is a great paved track for anyone looking to get outside for some exercise and fresh air as it travels both through the trees and lakeside. This park also includes a playground, shelter, and restrooms.
Creekside Park has a greenway connecting nearby neighborhoods and three miles of paved trails that weave along a creek and to the park’s facilities. Facilities include disc golf course, orienteering course, two playgrounds, three ballfields, tennis/pickleball, basketball and sand volleyball courts, picnic shelters, restrooms and a recreation center. The combination of sunny fields and shaded forest paths make this an excellent park to go for a run or to take it slow.
Freedom Park has a 0.5 mile loop with a fine gravel surface that winds through the woods around the Park’s facilities which include baseball and soccer fields, tennis, basketball and volley ball courts, playground, picnic shelters and restrooms. Lush green fields and plenty of amenities make this spot great for the family.
This pocket park features a newly renovated 0.25 mile crushed gravel path around the Park’s ballfield, basketball court, playground, and picnic shelter with restrooms. It’s the perfect spot to track your mileage with fours loops equaling a mile.
Clay Presnell Park has 2 miles of fine gravel trails that form a system of loops that weave through the Park’s disc golf course, baseball and soccer complex with restrooms, playground, picnic shelters and small campground. This beautiful spot in Seagrove is lovely to visit in every season.
Mount Shepherd Retreat Center is part of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Hikers must check in and sign liability waivers at the Retreat Center Office before using the trails and tower. Please call the office ahead of your trip to schedule a time to hike. (336-629-4085). More info here. With 542 acres and a lake, Mount Shepherd has several miles of hiking trails. The most popular hike is to the top of Shepherd Mountain, the tallest point in the county, and the second highest peak in the Uwharrie Mountain chain. This 1.5 mile round trip hike goes straight up to the top along a rocky trail and features an observation tower, from which you can see much of the North Carolina Piedmont. On a clear day you can see Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, and the Sauratown Mountains, in addition to the cityscapes of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.
Camp Caraway is operated by the State Baptist Convention of NC. Hikers must check in at the camp office to use these trails. Camp Caraway and Camp Mundi Vista across the road have a variety of trails including Caraway Mountain and Slip Rock Mountain. Maps are available at the office.
Ridges Mountain is a State Nature Preserve with 270 acres managed by the NC Zoo and the Piedmont Land Conservancy. The trail follows the crest of the mountain. The first half of the trail is fairly level and follows an old road to a clearing.
At the clearing, a short trail leads east to an upland pool. The second half of the trail is narrower, steeper and rockier with large boulders. It ends just short of the southern summit near a large boulder area. (The southern summit is private property and does not belong to the Zoo). Due to the rare plants and upland pools, trail users must stay on the trail.