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Birkhead Mountains Wilderness

posted Oct 6, 2012, 3:14 PM by Justin P
Today, we started back with our series of hikes from Joe Miller's 100 Classic Hikes in NC, doing hike #36 from the book.  This hike is in the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness area of Uwharrie National Forest.  Following the book, we started from the Robbins Branch Trailhead, which is off a small gravel road off of Lassiter Mill Road.  After hiking just a few minutes, we took the left fork in the trail to stay on the Robbins Branch Trail.  Initially the trail had a very gentle ascent for a mile or so, passing the Thornburg Trailhead spur, then headed down to Robbins Branch and followed the creek for a ways before a steeper climb up to the Birkhead Mountain Trail.  The Uwharrie Mountains are so worn down, that even the steepest ascents are moderate at best.  But it was fairly warm and humid today, so I could definitely feel the elevation gain.  We turned right onto Birkhead Mountain Trail and made the gradual descent back down.  About half way, we stopped on a nice log and had lunch.  Being a federally-designated wilderness area, there are very few amenities.  But many of the backcountry campsites do have fire rings and even a few had signs.  We also saw a plaque for the Christopher Bingham Plantation from around 1780 and the remains of an old chimney.  At the next turn, we went right to go on the Hannahs Creek Trail and intersects the Robbins Branch Trail near the parking lot.  Along the way, we saw a snake hiding in a hole under some rocks.