The Area

City of Star North Carolina

Why is Star called Star?

Star is the “Geographic Center of North Carolina”, designated in 1987 by the Army Corp of Engineers. The identifying monument has been replicated and installed at the Town Hall (the original location is on remote private property). The Star Town web site tells us that approximately 800 residents live in the little town that thrive on its’ rich history that revolves around the railroad and hosiery industries. Today, the town of Star is involved in a comprehensive economic restructuring effort which focuses on cultural tourism.
Places of interest include The vibrant Pottery Community; see more about them here;
Seagrove Pottery community →
The zoo is a famous attraction not too far away →
The Town web-site is: →

The Great Outdoors in and Around Star

In September 2013, downtown Star was honored by being listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Star Historic District.

Two years ago, the Town  of Star was given two grants from the N.C. Parks and Recreation and the N.C. Land Trust, to purchase forty acres on the Little River to turn it into a Passive Park with walking and hiking trails and access to the river for canoe and kyats and a large picnic area to be developed. The park is located on Okeweeme Road, at the bridge, which is west of Star at the Forks of the Little River and is called the “Forks of the Little River Passive Park.”

Montgomery County is also home to the Uwharrie National Forest with miles and miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as camping sites and over 46,000 acres of unspoiled nature. In addition, the Forest contains one of the oldest mountain ranges in North America.


Uwharrie Mountains:

Mountain Biking specific Resources:
Uwharrie Mtn bike trails: →
Tarheel Trailblazers:  →
Facebook: →

Road Cycling Specific Resources:
The Piedmont Triangle Regional Council has done research and created maps of the area for riding:
This link brings you to the page where you can find each loop that covers a different aspect of the area.

June 30, 2015 Update: Market Analysis Report SWOT Analysis
Under contract to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Division of NCDOT, the Regional Council has developed a regional bicycle plan for the Central Park NC region. The Central Park region of North Carolina is comprised of eight counties in the south central Piedmont: Anson, Davidson, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, and Stanly. While predominantly rural in character with small to mid-sized cities, the region is easily accessible from major metropolitan areas of the State. Cyclists traveling in the Central Park NC region enjoy rolling hills, unspoiled scenery and lightly traveled rural roadways. The network of routes and connectors identified in this plan provide a variety of scalable bicycle touring experiences, from day trips to multi-day tours along routes that connect to communities, historic sites, recreational areas, State parks and the North Carolina Zoo.

PIEDMONT HERITAGE – Covers 152 miles and 11 small towns and cities in Randolph, Davidson and Rowan Counties. The route highlights the heritage of manufacturing in the Piedmont, while also taking bicyclists across the Yadkin River where Daniel Boone was alleged to have lived. The cycling route is located in the northern area of Central Park passing through several small cities and towns, villages, farms and forest land.

POTTERY – Covers 155 miles and 13 small towns and cities in Randolph, Montgomery, Richmond and Moore counties. Linking together bicycle friendly routes in the eastern part of the Central Park region, the route highlights the peach growing Sandhills, potters, equestrian farms, small towns and villages as well as several game lands and wildlife reserves.

NORTH UWHARRIE – Covers 132 miles and 7 small towns and cities in Montgomery, Southern Davidson, Rowan and Stanly Counties. The route highlights many of the natural heritage assets of the Uwharrie Region winding through National Forest lands, while also providing access to the Yadkin Pee Dee river and lakes and many of the small towns that grew up around gold mining and traditional manufacturing industries. The cycling route is located in the northwestern section of the Central Park region and 40 miles of the route is shared with the South Uwharrie.

SOUTH UWHARRIE – Covers 135 miles and 8 small towns and cities in Anson and Stanly Counties. The flattest of the 4 routes, cultural and agricultural heritage is highlighted on this route, while also providing access to the Yadkin Pee Dee river, wildlife refuge and lakes. Some of the route coincides with the North Uwharrie along the eastern portion of Stanly County near the Yadkin Pee Dee river and lakes. The cycling route is located in the southwestern section of the Central Park region and 40 miles of the route is shared with the North Uwharrie.

Interactive Maps

There are two ways in which users may access the interactive web tools for these bicycle routes:

  1. ArcGIS Online – opens in a web browser, smartphone or tablet.  This version allows users to turn map layers on/off.  Zoom in to see additional features, including points of interest.  When opened on a smartphone or tablet, by choosing to share your GPS location, this version can provide route guidance in real time
  2. Elevation Profile – opens in a web browser, smartphone or tablet.  This version allows users to view an elevation profile from town to town for each route.  Zoom in to see additional features, including points of interest.

To learn more about this project or get involved, please contact Jesse Day at 336.904.0300 or


Goings on in the immediate area:

The Land Trust:

Place based, cultural and natural economic development In and around Star

Lots of changes afoot as organizations, individuals and state agencies look at how to bring vitality back to the area.
Central Park NC →

Central Park NC spawned Starworks – a Center for Creative Enterprise
Central Park NC could be called The parent organization of Starworks.

The web-site of Central Park NC states, “Our mission of is to promote a new economy based on the sustainable use of the natural and cultural resources of the Central Park NC region, encompassing Anson, Davidson, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, and Stanly counties. Central Park NC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

See this seminal strategy report about the potential for the Central Park area of NC

Central Park NC – originally known as the Yadkin-Pee Dee Lakes Project – was formed in 1993 by a consensus of leaders from the region to develop a strategy to preserve the natural and cultural assets of central North Carolina, using them to create a sustainable local economy. In 2000, Central Park NC published “A Strategy for North Carolina’s Central Park” – a blueprint for the development of a new economy for our region based on heritage and cultural tourism development and outdoor recreation opportunities. The region includes Anson, Stanly, Richmond, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Davidson and Rowan counties.

The Central Park strategy focuses on small businesses development complementary to heritage and cultural tourism, and also developing the regional infrastructure for increasing overnight tourism. According to studies conducted by Appalachian State University and the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte, the implementation of this strategy will result in a doubling of overnight visitation to the region from 20% to 40% by focusing on scenic natural areas, driving/sightseeing, nature walks, historic sites, and zoos/wildlife observation, and will create an additional 25,000 jobs above the benchmark forecast and an incremental positive net economic impact of $2.1 billion per year.

In 2005, Central Park NC began STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise in a former hosiery mill in the small town of Star. STARworks is home to several for profit and not for profit businesses, focusing on renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and creative arts-related businesses.

Central Park NC has been an important part of development of the personality and character of Star and the surrounding areas. Early on, The Yadkin Pee Dee Lakes Project “adopted” Star as the pilot for its Small Town Area Revitalization (S.T.A.R.) initiative. With this grant the community benefited from guidance, assistance to move Star towards economic sustainability and a vibrant future.
Read A River of Opportunity

Central Park NC has helped hone in on areas needing attention, perform studies and get reports written. One is, “How the Yadkin River Can Provide Wealth and Jobs for North Carolina” by Michael H. Shuman

This fascinating reveal and examination of regional economic potential in this recent report is more than eye opening about how government can create economic growth by changing regulation and control of our natural resources.

Page 8 of this Yadkin River report says “This paper analyzes the benefits that could flow to North Carolina were he federal government to “recapture,” as allowed by law, a recently expired license held by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI) and then transfer it to the State.”

Piedmont Triad Regional Council of Governments is another group that has done a great deal of work examining the area and in particular, the potential for cycling in the Uwharrie region

You may be interested to read the presentation overview at
→, the full report (
and SWOT analysis
that has contributed to the creation of the trails.

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