Badin Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
The sun sets over Badin Lake on the Uwharrie National Forest. Photo: Robin Touw

Badin Lake Recreation Area offers swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking trails, equestrian trails, four-wheel drive trails, mountain biking trails & camping opportunities. Please pick up your trash! Trash cans are at all recreation sites.

Camping in Badin Lake Recreation Area

There are 4 developed campgrounds for tents, camping trailers, & RVs with flush toilets and showers & 1 tent only campground within the Badin Lake Recreation Area. There are 2 campgrounds with electricity, flush toilets, showers & a dump station. Arrowhead Campground has 48 sites with electrical hookups at sites 12-45. These sites have 50 amp, 30 amp & 110 volt outlets. Sites 1-11 & 46-50 do not have power.  Canebrake Horse Camp has 28 sites available to the public. All sites have electrical hookups with 50 amp, 30 amp & 110 volt outlets. This campground has amenities for horse use but is not exclusive to horseback riders. Some of these horse amenities are a horse washing station, hitching posts, tack tables & direct access to the trails. 

Badin Lake Campground offers 34 sites for tent, camping trailer or RV camping. There are several campsites on the lakeshore of Badin Lake which can be accessed via boat, canoe, or kayak.  This campground offers flush toilets, showers & drinking water hydrants. There is no electricity and no dump station at this campground. Badin Lake Group Camp offers 3 sites for up to 50 people each. There are flush toilets, vault toilets, showers & 3 drinking water hydrants. There are no electrical hookups and there is no dump station.  This campground is available by reservation only.

To make reservations for any of the above listed campgrounds please call Recreation.Gov at 877-444-6777; TDD: 877-833-6777; International: 518-885-3639; or go to

The last campground in the Badin Lake Recreation Area is called Uwharrie Hunt Camp. This campground is rustic. It has 8 tent only campsites that can be accessed by a very short walk from the parking lot.  There are 2 vault toilets & drinking water hydrants.  Each site has a tent pad, picnic table, fire ring, grill, & lantern post. 

Recreating in the Badin Lake Recreation Area

The Badin Lake Recreation Area offers many recreational opportunities. There are 17 miles of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) or motorized trails available for dirt bikes, ATVs, and full-sized 4-WD vehicles with the purchase of a trail pass.  Primitive camping or dispersed camping can be done along the trails & at the Art Lilley Campground that is located in the Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex. 

Additionally, there are approximately 40 miles of non-motorized trails available for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. These trails range from easy to difficult as they traverse beautifully wooded areas, rocky outcrops, the Uwharrie River & many of its tributaries.   

The Cove Boat Launch is located on Cove Road near Arrowhead Campground & offers access to Badin Lake for trailered boats. There is a vault toilet. There are 2 day use areas for picnicking & fishing. The King's Mt. Point Day Use Area offers 34 picnic sites, a picnic pavilion, 4 accessible fishing piers and 4 vault toilets & 2 flush toilets. Holt's Picnic Area is more rustic with a vault toilet, fishing from the shore, grills & picnic tables available.

At a Glance

Reservations: Reservations available.  Group campgrounds require reservations. To make a reservations call 877-444-6777 or visit: Make reservations from 240 to 3 days in advance.
Fees: Fees apply to some activities. Contact the Uwharrie National Forest for details.
Open Season: Open all year

General Information

General Notes:

Badin Lake Recreation Area is a popular area for hikers, OHV'ers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, fisherman, boaters, and campers.

You can disperse camp anywhere in the forest as long as there is NOT a No Camping or No Camping Here sign. You do not have to make reservations for this kind of camping, known as dispersed camping and there is no fee. For firewood you can collect dead and down trees in the woods but you cannot cut down live trees. When camping, you must be at least 200 feet from water bodies and 300 feet from trails. When dispersed camping, you must take all your trash with you when you leave. You can dispose of trash in the trash cans at day use areas, campgrounds and trail heads. If a trash can is full, take your trash to the next available receptacle. Do not leave it piled near the can. Thank you for recreating responsibly!

Uwharrie Ranger District
789 Biscoe Road
Troy, NC 27371
(910) 576-6391

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking: This area provides approximately 40 miles of multiuse trails.

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Horse Camping

Recreation areas with activity Horse Camping:

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

OHV Camping

Recreation areas with activity OHV Camping: OHV trail riding and camping. No Alcohol is allowed on the trails.
Reservation Info None
Size Restrictions None
Fire Information Campfires allowed
Loading Ramp Yes
Sleeping Shelter None

OHV Trail Riding

Recreation areas with activity OHV Trail Riding:

OHV trail riding is permitted seasonally from April 1st to December 15th. This area offers 16 miles of off-highway vehicle trail for riders. The trails are for 4 wheel drive vehicles, ATV's, Dirt bikes, and Side By Sides.

Staging Area Cotton Place OHV trail head parking, Dutch John OHV trail head parking,Flatwoods Trailhead OHV parking area, Wolf Den OHV trail head parking area, Fall Dam OHV trail head parking area and Art Lilley Memorial Campground OHV parking area.
Loading Ramp Yes
Class of Vehicle The trail system is designated for all-terrian vehicles, dirt bikes, 4x4 vehicles and side by sides.

Disc Golf

Recreation areas with activity Disc Golf:

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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