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Hiking

Hiking Trail

Sand Path

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Sand Path is a generations-old farm path that leads to the park's four primitive group campsites. Beginning at the visitor center on the Longleaf Trail, following the Sand Path, then hiking the Spanish Moss Trail creates an almost 2-mile loop that ends up back at the visitor center. The path travels into a mixed pine and hardwood forest and borders a longleaf restoration area of the park. The trail may be traveled by vehicles at low speeds by group campers, so hikers must be aware of the dual-use.

Lake Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The 2-mile Lake Trail was opened to the public in June 2015. This trail is 3 feet wide and features a natural sand base that makes it ideal for hikers and joggers. The trail winds through a previously-unused forested section of the park and provides a good look at many mature white oaks, in addition to a variety of other hardwoods. With fewer loblolly and longleaf pines, hikers who look closely may glimpse historic remnants of dead longleaf stumps that were used in the naval stores industry between 1750 and 1875.

Galax Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Galax Trail is one of the original trails installed following the park's 1945 inception. Hikers may access the Galax Trail from the creek crossing on Mill Creek or from the spillway crossing on the Lake Trail. If high water has closed Mill Creek crossing, the spillway crossing remains passable. The park's namesake, Galax urceolata, is a leathery, green-leafed plant that grows low to the ground in moist forested areas. The plant was used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes and later, by settlers, as an ornamental. This trail also features native wild ginger.

350 Yard Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The 350 Yard Trail is the park's shortest trail but remains the access to the park's signature natural feature: the 90-foot overlook that stands above a 90-degree turn in the Neuse River. For many years, this overlook was a major attraction for the residents of the Seven Springs area prior to the end of World War II, when the park was formed. The section of the path adjacent to the cliff features a well-packed gravel base and is ideal for those with limited mobility and those with mobility devices.

Longleaf Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Longleaf Trail was created in 2013 as a way to connect hikers and joggers from the visitor center to the park's Sand Path and then onto the Spanish Moss Trail. Following the trails in that order creates a 2-mile loop beginning and ending at the visitor center. The Longleaf Trail is so named for the fact that it passes through the park's longleaf pine restoration area, a 75-acre section of mixed pine and hardwood that is being burned with prescribed fire on regular intervals to foster the dominance of the longleafs that were featured originally on the property.

Spanish Moss Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Spanish Moss Trail is one of the original trails established following the park's inception in 1945. A series of steps leads from the cliff overlook down to the low grounds of the Neuse River, where hikers can view bottomland tree species, including bald cypress and sycamore, in addition to one the largest trees on the park — a towering sweetgum that measures more than 36 inches at its base. A trail spur on the river bottom leads to a sandbar from which park visitors may fish in the Neuse River.

Old Wagon Path

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Old Wagon Path is a flat, easy trail that connects hikers from the visitor center to the park's main feature, the 90-foot cliffs overlooking the Neuse River. True to its name, this trail follows a path historically used for wagons, likely for transporting goods as part of the naval stores industry. The industry, active between 1750 and 1875, was the commercial harvest of the sap of the longleaf pine to produce tar, pitch, and turpentine. One of the park's oldest trees, a longleaf pine bearing the scars of naval stores harvest, still stands visible from the trail.

Wagoner Access: Riverbend Trail

358 New River State Park Road, Laurel Springs

This trail is a moderate to strenuous 3.5-mile (one way) backpacking/hiking trail that starts at the Wagoner access backcountry parking area and ends at the Riverbend primitive paddle-in or backpack-in campsites.

Hikers will traverse the trail up over low ridges and into shallow gullies, crossing small creeks along the base of Peak and Little Peak mountains. The Peaks area is relatively undisturbed and will provide backpack campers with solitude and seclusion.

Three Rivers Nature Trail

49104 Morrow Mountain Road, Albemarle

Only 0.8 mile long, this trail traverses floodplain and ridgetop, offering an excellent introduction to the park's diverse habitats and landforms. It is named for the point at which the Uwharrie River joins the Yadkin River and the Yadkin River then becomes known as the Pee Dee River, creating an intersection of three rivers. This area was once the site of a small community called Tyndalsville.

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

49104 Morrow Mountain Road, Albemarle

At 2.8 miles long, Sugarloaf Mountain Trail ascends the park's second-highest peak at 858 feet above sea level. During winter months, when leaves are off the trees, the mountaintop offers good views of the river and surrounding countryside. The trail is rocky and rugged in places and more challenging than many of the park's other trails. Mountain laurel is prevalent along the mountain's north side.