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Ridge’s Mountain Nature Preserve was established in 2000. Located about 10 miles west of Asheboro in the Uwharrie Mountains, it reaches about 840 feet in elevation.    NC Zoo photo

Zoo welcomes hikers to Ridge’s Mountain

ASHEBORO — The North Carolina Zoo is excited to celebrate National Trails Day at Ridge’s Mountain on June 1. 


The North Carolina Zoo invites visitors to celebrate National Trails Day by hiking Ridge’s Mountain, located at 504 Summit Court in Asheboro.


On Saturday, June 1, Zoo staff will be available at the trailhead from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to greet hikers and talk about the history of the dramatic landscape. 


Ridge’s Mountain Nature Preserve was established in 2000 when the original property was protected in partnership with the Piedmont Land Conservancy. 


The entire mountain is permanently protected and managed as a State Nature Preserve by the North Carolina Zoo. 


Reaching 840 feet in elevation, Ridge’s Mountain is located in the Uwharrie Mountains, approximately 10 miles west of Asheboro.


Ridge’s Mountain is recognized as an important site for wildlife conservation due to the high-quality natural communities within a large, unfragmented area that provides excellent habitat for many plants and animals, such as bobcats, deer, box turtles and birds.  


With the addition to Ridge’s Mountain Nature Preserve, the Zoo is expanding opportunities for environmental education and outdoor recreation, including expanding hiking trails and guided hikes. 


The existing two-mile hiking trail follows the ridgeline of the mountain to the summit and then loops back down, highlighting interesting rock formations and massive boulders up to 50 feet tall. 


Access to the trail is available to the public by reservation (336-879-7711), but reservations are not needed on June 1 to hike the Ridge’s Mountain trail. 


Ridge’s Mountain hike details

Hike on trails on the 140 acres recently acquired by the Conservation Fund NC and added to the North Carolina Zoo’s 270 acres. Talk with a Zoo Educator about the upland pools, Monadnock and Dry Oak Hickory forests and hike to the large boulders at the southern summit. Enjoy light refreshments.

Date: Saturday, June 1.

Where: Ridge’s Mountain SNP, 504 Summit Court, near Asheboro.

Time: Anytime between 10 am to 2 pm

Length: About 2 miles total.

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate with rocky terrain and some hills. Newly added trail is steep.

Dogs: Dogs are not allowed due to the fragile natural areas and rare plants.

Cost: There is no cost to participate and no pre-registration is needed. This hike is open to all who can hike this distance unaided.

Questions: Mary Joan Pugh,  maryjoan.pugh@randolphcountync.gov. or 336-963-2715.