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Land Trust hosts hike on Uwharrie Trail

On Oct. 18, 66 hikers started out on the Uwharrie Trail for a four-day, 40-mile adventure.

This is the sixth year that Three Rivers Land Trust, in partnership with Uwharrie Trailblazers, have hosted the hike.

Registration opened in January, with a cap of 70 participants; it was full by March, with a 30-person waiting list at one point.

Many hikers make the trek year after year. They came from as far away as Michigan and Texas.

One group hiked in memory of a friend who was an avid outdoorsman. One couple hikes annually as an anniversary trip.

Trail angels from Uwharrie Trailblazers provide Gatorade, ice cream and snacks along the way.

The third night is a cookout celebration with a short program recognizing those who make the through-hike and the Uwharrie Trail extension possible.

“Three Rivers Land Trust would like to thank the Uwharrie Trailblazers, the North Carolina Zoo and North Carolina Zoo Society, the U.S. Forest Service, and our many other conservation partners who work with us to extend the Uwharrie Trail and make it more accessible for the public,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead.

This year’s Uwharrie Trail Champion is Don Childrey, who wrote the original Uwharrie Lakes Region Trail Guide. Childrey mapped the trails with a bicycle wheel, though by the time he wrote the second book, he had a GPS to assist him. His efforts have made all the trails of the Uwharries and surrounding area more accessible.

Childrey comes from Cary to attend trail workdays and supports Three Rivers Land Trust and Uwharrie Trailblazers in their efforts to extend the Uwharrie Trail. His trail guide can be found at www.donchildrey.com.

Sponsors for the through-hike included REI, the North Carolina Zoo, Four Saints Brewing Co., Newport Landowner Services, Cyndy Falgout, David Craft, Marcus West and Peggy Andersen. The Community Foundation of Randolph County provided a grant. Bryant Rowland sponsored the meal during the cookout.

The Land Trust’s Uwharrie Chapter will host a 20-mile hike in the spring. Registration for that and for next year’s 40-mile through-hike will open in January at www.threeriverslandtrust.org.

For more information or to volunteer to help, contact crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org or 704-647-0302.

For more information on helping Three Rivers Land Trust conserve natural areas, family farms, rural landscapes and historic places in the 10-county region, contact Crystal Cockman at crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org or 704-647-0302 or visit www.threeriverslandtrust.org .

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