- 50 miles (80 km)
- 1 hour
Traveling the Uwharrie Scenic Road is a drive through the layers of geological history. Rocks and minerals of all varieties and sizes take center stage along this route. The mountains and the rock outcroppings in "Carolina's Slate Belt" present a rousing playground for any rock hounds or fledgling geologists. Many of the fences and buildings in this region have the signature mark of slate masonry in their construction, adding a distinctive flavor to the early architecture.
The Uwharrie Mountain Range adds another dimension to this geological wonderland. These prehistoric volcanoes have been weathered down to the rolling hills covered with thick hardwood forests that characterize the Uwharrie National Forest. The Uwharrie Scenic Road is part of the northern border of this national forest—a fifty-thousand acre natural playground that is enclosed by crystalline lakes, fascinating historical sites, and fruitful farmlands. The softly undulating hills within the Uwharrie Mountain Range give the traveler plenty of opportunities to lose himself in the sights, sounds, and smells of a North Carolina pine forest. Strolling along these shaded hiking trails, it is difficult to imagine that these time-worn hills were once jagged peaks stretching twenty-thousand feet into the sky.
What is more precious to a rock hound than finding a nugget of gold? Not far from the Uwharrie Scenic Road is Reed's Gold Mine—the site of the first gold find in the United States. Rock hounds can pan for their own gold just like grizzled old prospectors and relive the adventure of the nation's first gold rush. For those who don't feel like getting their hands dirty, there are valuable nuggets of history and heritage on the tours through the underground tunnels. Another geological treasure is Boone's Cave State Park—a mysterious cave that is filled with legend. This new state park holds the cave where Daniel Boone supposedly hid from Indians and is the perfect detour for the spelunkers in the group.
Whether you want to explore the many layers of rock or unearth the many years of regional history, the Uwharrie Scenic Road will keep your hands and your imagination busy.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Boone's Cave State Park (NC)
Boone's Cave State Park is a quiet, small park with plenty of short hikes and picnic grounds. There is also an 80-foot cave in which Daniel Boone is reported to have hidden to escape Indians.
Boone's Cave S.P. is about 15 miles northeast of Concord on I-85. After turning off on exit 82, follow the Yadkin River north for 5 miles.
North Carolina Zoo (NC)
Ecosystems, like the prairie and the tropical forests, are recreated in the N.C. Zoo. Each section of the zoo is home to many exotic animals from around the world. The zoo also has a touch-and-learn facility for educational fun.
The N.C. Zoo is at the terminus of the Uwharrie Scenic Road in Asheboro.
Potters Museum (NC)
The North Carolina Potters Museum is a beautiful new facility that outlines the Piedmont region's contribution to the pottery industry. The museum educates as well as preserves the heritage of North Carolina's pottery history.
The Potters Museum is located just outside of Seagrove