Dark Mountain LbNA # 9632 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Jul 27 2004|
DARK MOUNTAIN LETTERBOX
Folks tell me that the Uwharries were once as tall as the Rocky Mountains out west and that they are older than the Appalachians. Now, they are worn down to just “big hills.” That’s an awful lot of time to think about. To get to this letterbox involves a 1 1/2 mile hike (round trip) on the Uwharrie Trail with an elevation gain of around 400 feet. The woods are pretty. As far as I know, this is the first letterbox in Montgomery County on the Uwharrie Trail.
To get to the trailhead: From Troy, NC, drive northwest on highway 109 to the community of Uwharrie. Then, go north on Ophir Church Road (1303) past West Morris Mtn Camp to Ophir Methodist Church. Turn right on Flint Hill Road (1306) and go about one mile to Jumping Off Rock Trailhead. From Asheboro, NC, take Business 220 south past Ulah and then highway 134 towards Troy. About halfway to Troy, turn right on Abner Road (1311). In less than a mile, turn left on Flint Hill Road (1306) towards Ophir. In about six miles, the trailhead will be on your left.
Follow the trail uphill from the left of the parking area at Jumping Off Rock Trailhead. The trail is well marked with white blazes. About half way up, you will pass a red marked corner boundary on your left. Continue up to the gap with the fire ring. From here, follow the trail right up the slope to the top. At the summit, there are two boulders to the right of the trail by a hollow tree with a “seat like” extension. On the left is a group of boulders by a double blazed tree. You will probably want to sit and rest a spell on these boulders. It is obvious that many folks have done so in the past.
The letterbox is hidden in a crevice on a natural shelf under a boulder off the trail. To locate it, stand with your back to the double blazed tree (which is more obvious if you walk a bit further down the trail and look back). Sight 251 degrees magnetic. You are looking right at the boulder. Then, walk 38 paces further on the trail to the next blazed tree (single white blaze). From here, sight 320 degrees magnetic. Again, you are looking at the boulder. To further help, three boulders are together with a bigger one behind. What you seek is in the middle. You have to be close to see the opening. The letterbox is back in the crevice behind a small rock. Please be careful of critters such as snakes and spiders that might be lurking.
If you like, you can probably obtain a Uwharrie National Forest map at your local backpacking store. If you desire a topographic map, get the Lovejoy Quadrangle, North Carolina, Montgomery County. These maps can also be purchased at the Ranger District Office two miles east of Troy on NC highway 24/27 (telephone 910-576-6391).
Hope you enjoy the hike!