Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) transferred a strategic seven-acre parcel to the Uwharrie National Forest on July 20. This important property fills a portion of the last gap along the historic Uwharrie Trail, in the section between High Pine Church Road and the southern end of the Birkhead Wilderness Area.

From this newly transferred parcel, hikers can now travel southward 28 miles on a single-track woods trail to the southern terminus of the Uwharrie Trail at Highway 24-27 in Troy. Thanks to a partnership between TRLT and the Uwharrie Trailblazers hiking club, eight miles of new trail have been opened in recent years between the Jumpin Off Rock trailhead and the Walkers Creek trailhead.

“Three Rivers Land Trust has worked over the past two decades to add more than 800 acres to the Uwharrie National Forest, as well as filled four of five gaps in the Uwharrie National Recreational Trail,” states Crystal Cockman, TRLT Director of Conservation. “We look forward to a time when the entire trail is reconnected, and we believe we have that vision in sight. This transfer is just one more important step in the process.”

“Projects like this one would not be possible without federal funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  The funds used to add this property to the Uwharrie National Forest were generated from offshore oil and gas leases,” states Travis Morehead, TRLT Executive Director. “Historically, these funds have not been solely used for conservation, but instead have been reallocated by Congress for other purposes. The Great American Outdoor Act, championed by North Carolina, Senator Richard Burr, recently won approval with overwhelming bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate. President Trump has signaled that he would sign the bill into law, should it pass the U.S. House of Representatives.  A vote is scheduled for July 22, 2020. This bill would permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for its rightful purpose, the conservation of our nation’s natural resources. We encourage the public to contact your local US House Representative to relay the importance on the momentous bill.”

On August 14, 2020 at 2 P.M. TRLT will host a ribbon cutting to celebrate this historical transfer to the Forest Service.