by Crystal Cockman
I recently hiked a 4-mile loop starting and ending at the Highway 24/27 Trailhead near Troy with some friends. This was a relatively easy hike with just a few hill climbs, following hiking and mountain bike trails as well as Wood Run Road for about half a mile. This is a scenic area with lots of mountain laurel and nice hardwood forest.
Shortly after starting the hike we heard a pileated woodpecker followed by a downy woodpecker, otherwise we didn’t encounter too much wildlife. At ½ a mile you encounter an established campsite along a creek. This would be an easy hike in for a family with small kids to spend a couple of days camping and exploring. There are some down trees along the Uwharrie Trail in this section from the straight-line windstorm we had back in 2013, which you’ll see on either side of the trail in places, but they’ve all been removed from the trail itself.
At approximately 1 mile in, you cross Wood Run Creek. This is a relatively large creek but there are nice sized rocks you can climb across. I did get one of my feet wet here as I didn’t perhaps pick the best route across, but if you are more careful I think you can get across with dry feet. Just another ¼ mile you cross another small stream, but it did not have much water in it so getting across was easy.
At 2 miles, you intersect the Keyauwee Trail and you’ll turn right onto that trail. We encountered a few mountain bikers here and got out of their way. Most mountain bike trails can also be hiked, but give mountain bikers the right-of-way if you meet them as you’re hiking. Just another ¼ mile and you’ll be at Wood Run Camp. There is a pit toilet here if you need a pit stop.
From here, you’ll walk just a few feet down Wood Run Road before turning left onto Wood Run Trail. This is another mountain bike trail, though we didn’t encounter any mountain bikers here on our hike. This is a nice flat trail with no big uphill climbs, and there are places you can see a long distance through the hardwood forest in the winter. You’ll follow this trail for a little over a mile before turning left onto Wood Run Road. It’s another half mile on Wood Run Road back to the trailhead.
This is a good fitness hike if you’re looking for something relatively short and not too difficult. It took us just under 2 hours to do the hike and we kept a pretty good pace, stopping a couple of times for a water break. If you have time while you’re in the area, you can stop off at the Historic Lawrenceville site to the right of the trailhead. The LandTrust for Central NC transferred this property to the US Forest Service several years ago, and you can see old chimney piles from the town. It was once a county seat for Montgomery County, until the courthouse burned and they moved it to the more central location of Troy.
There are lots more trails to explore here of various lengths, though this 4 mile trail is the shortest one. Whatever your experience level, there’s something for everyone, so get out there and check it out!