Where: Kings Mountain Point, Badin Lake, Uwharrie National Forest
Activity: Hiking (with picnicking, fishing, swimming nearby)
Distance: 2.2 mile trail with 1.6 mile road option. Or a 5.6 miles loop option
Kings Mountain Point is a narrow peninsula in the Uwharrie National Forest that juts out into Badin Lake. The area is designated day use only and offers a paved sidewalk with 34 picnic/grilling sites near the water, swimming areas, floating piers for fishing, group activity pavilion, and even a disc golf course (although the last time I visited, it looked in a bit of disrepair.) There is parking for around 50 vehicles.
On the back side of the parking lot near the vault toilet and fishing pier, the Badin Lake trail, which is 5.6 mile loop trail, cuts through.
Leaving the parking lot and heading north, the trail winds around the shoreline of Badin Lake. The trail, for the most part, is in really good shape with fresh blazing in February 2016.
For the majority of this section, the trail stays close to the water, but does occasionally climb the grade to cross a drainage. At 0.75 miles from the parking lot, you will come to the northernmost point of the trail, offering some panoramic lake views, and what appears to be a nice swimming area. The area is also popular for boaters to dock their boats to come ashore and camp.
From here, the trail turns south down the eastern side of the peninsula in an area known as Skiers Cove. There are a few lake houses across the cove from the trail.
As the trail comes to the end of the cove at 1.6 miles from Kings Mountain Point, the trail begins to climb away from the water, a nearly 100 foot vertical accent over the next half mile.
Here the trail crosses the dirt road (FS 597A) that you used to arrive at Kings Mountain Point.
For the purpose of this article, I walked the the dirt road back to the parking lot, completing 2.2 miles of trail. The total loop using this route will be around 3.8 miles.
If you are looking for a longer hike, the Badin Lake trail continues south across the dirt road, winding down through the Arrowhead Campground where it rejoins the shore of the lake, continues north through the Badin Lake campground, before looping back to the start at Kings Mountain Point.
The map below is of the shorter route using the dirt road to return: