Randolph County Campgrounds and Trails, National Camp Day 2021
On a sunny fall day inside the Uwharrie National Forest, camp experts and nature lovers can find solace in the open spaces of yellow and orange leaves.
National Camp Day recognizes the benefits of activity for children and adults. In Randolph County, there are many trails leading to important camping areas such as Uwharrie National Forest, Birkhead Wilderness, Deep River Trail, Mount Shepherd, Camp Caraway, and Camp Woodfield.
According to the North American Camping Report 2021, over 86 million US households consider themselves campers, and 48 million of those households took at least one camping trip in 2020.
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David Craft, the leader of the Uwharrie Trailblazers, began camping in the Uwharries with his father and the Boy Scouts in 1978. At 15, he remembers the hikes to the airport that lead to Troy. He fell in love when he hiked the trail between Christmas and New Years.
Craft believes places like Uwharrie Forest provide tight solitude for millions of people, and apps like Alltrails and the Hike Project have made it easier to track similar areas.
There are many trails in the county that can be mapped online. These trails can tighten the experience of avid campers.
âThere are a lot of things that make a good camping, like the variety of plants, rocks and other characteristics,â said Craft. âThe old habitation sites and the piles of chimneys give you an idea of ââwhat it’s like to live there. “
Another avid camper and scout leader Gifford Del Grande said his camping experience as a child was mostly pitching the tent in the backyard and playing the flashlight stage with my friends neighborhood.
âAny time in the woods away from the electronics is a good time. But picking a favorite is tough,â Del Grande said. “I would say my favorite memories are with my family, especially the backpacking trips on or around the Appalachian Trail.”
Del Grande says the county has various convenient trails that are located in the middle of the state. He also enjoys hiking in the mountains of the western part of the state.
âTo me, a good campsite is something that requires a decent physical hike to get there,â Del Grande said. âCamping is certainly more rewarding when it takes physical and mental effort to get there. The reward always comes after the challenge. It’s important to have good accessible trails.
Despite COVID, Craft hopes more people share the love of walking new trails and camping on new grounds.
Petruce Jean-Charles is a government watch journalist. They are interested in what is going on in the community and are open to advice on people, businesses and issues. Contact Petruce at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @PetruceKetsia on Twitter.