The Uwharrie National Forest is one of the smallest, most fragmented, and newest national forests in the country. In fact, the amount of land available to the public within its proclamation boundary is only 24 percent.
Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is committed to making strategic connections and filling inholdings to make this a more user friendly and publicly accessible forest. Their most recent conservation project will add 8.08 more acres once the property is transferred to the U.S. Forest Service.
This project is unique, as the Wolf Den Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail runs through it, which is part of the 17 miles of 4-wheel drive trails in the Badin Lake OHV Trail complex in the Uwharrie National Forest.
“With this section being known as an easier portion of the trail system, it is a great starting point and is often a family’s first introduction to the Uwharrie National Forest,” said Chris Cagle, owner of Eldorado Outpost. “Recreation use for the Wolf Den area of the forest continues to build, and being able to open and encourage use into multiple areas of the Uwharries allows a greater user experience for all.”
Three Rivers has transferred over 8,000 acres to the public for recreation. TRLT’s associate director, Crystal Cockman, was elated with the addition of eight acres for conservation.
“Projects like these take an extended period of time, but are well worth it. Providing both locals and visitors of the Uwharries with plenty of space to recreate is a goal of ours and this project helps us achieve just that,” Cockman said.
“At Three Rivers Land Trust, we have an emphasis on public access,” said TRLT’s executive director, Travis Morehead. “With the eventual transfer of this property to the US Forest Service, there will be an additional 8 acres for the public to enjoy. Any time spent outdoors enjoying our natural landscapes is valuable. Whether that is hiking or off-roading, we are thrilled to get people outdoors and help provide the spaces for it.”