Can You Camp for Free in Uwharrie National Forest?

Uwharrie National Forest is a great place to camp and explore the outdoors. With its forests, lakes, and trails, Uwharrie provides the perfect environment for a camping getaway.

But can you camp for free in Uwharrie National Forest? The answer is yes.

The U.S. Forest Service manages Uwharrie National Forest, and they have put in place a few options for free camping opportunities. One such option is dispersed camping, which allows visitors to camp on public land away from developed campgrounds.

Dispersed camping at Uwharrie requires visitors to follow some basic rules, such as not camping in an area that has been closed off or posted as no-camping zones, respecting the environment and any local wildlife, and disposing of trash properly.

Campers are also allowed to stay at designated primitive campsites throughout the forest for up to 14 consecutive days without paying any fees. These sites are located near rivers or lakes and offer access to drinking water and restroom facilities.

Campers must still abide by the rules of dispersed camping while at these sites.

Uwharrie also offers free group campsites for groups of 25 people or more who are planning an organized event or gathering in the forest. These sites require reservations made through the national forest office, but they come with outdoor toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables.


In conclusion, visitors can indeed camp for free in Uwharrie National Forest if they choose to do so by taking advantage of dispersed camping opportunities or staying at designated primitive campsites or group campsites.

Photo of author

Chris Powell