Visiting Worthville Beach, Randleman NC

A beautiful eyesore of a place worth visiting (bring a trash bag) 

Worthville Beach Dam with piles of clothing, debris, and remnants of a campfire.—photo by author.

I am happy to visit any place with the word “beach” attached to it. But don’t get too excited about “Worthville Beach” popping up on your “places to visit near me.” Of course, it isn’t a beach at all, but rather a semi-natural area along Deep River in Randleman, NC. If you are visiting the area and want to hop over to explore, here’s a bit of what you’ll see.

Navigation & Parking at Worthville Beach

I had no issues with Maps navigating me right to the area. I was pleasantly pleased with that as I travel alone and prefer to not get lost. First off, the parking is pretty much non-existent. Since Worthville Beach is really a parcel of property along the river and nestled underneath the bridge, there’s no parking lot or pull-over area aside from this: 

Worthville Beach “parking area”—photo by author.

This is where I had to pull over and park, while cars were speeding by. I was a bit uncomfortable locking my purse in the trunk and taking a look around. It’s really nice to be out in a beautiful natural area, but not nearly as pleasant when you’re standing on the side of a semi-secluded road. The narrow dirt road leading down into the Worthville “beach” area was far too treacherous for my car to navigate, so I opted for road-side parking and a brief walk. 

Worthville Beach Is Free to Visit

There are no  attendants or parking fees. Simply park and walk or navigate the very “natural” road down to the waterside. Be prepared to park roadside unless you have a Jeep or other all-terrain vehicle. I was there after several days of rain and there was a “sandy-mud” texture to the road, which made me think even a Jeep might get stuck down in there. Drive down at your own adventurous risk.

Worthville Beach entry road—photo by author.
Worthville Beach entry road erosion—photo by author.

Once you get down to the “beach” area, it’s fairly nice. Having had several days of rain prior to my visit, the water of Deep River was fairly high and rushing. The sandy soils were soft and really do have a beachy feel. If you close your eyes and just listen to the waters flowing by, you almost imagine the sounds of the ocean as the river waters lap the shore. 

Worthville Beach Dam—photo by author.
Worthville Beach Dam with piles of clothing, debris, and remnants of a campfire.—photo by author.

More Clean Up Efforts Are Needed

Worthville Dam area is prone to litter and property damage as a somewhat secluded “party spot.” Once a year the Big Sweep volunteers, coordinated by Bob Langston, an educator and environmentalist with the N.C. Zoo, come in and clean up the area, usually in the fall of the year. When I visited in February of 2021, clearly the property had not been cleaned up in some time. There was litter, bags of trash that were ravaged by wildlife and strewn about. Areas where people had built small campfires and settled in for a night of drinking or sleeping. There were sleeping bags and piles of clothes, bottles, and garbage left behind.

Worthville Beach area bridge—photo by author.
Worthville Beach area bridge—photo by author.
Worthville Beach area adjacent abandoned mill buildings with debris and graffiti—photo by author.

Historical Value but Desecrated

There’s a bit of a climb up the hill to get to the upper area of Worthville Beach where remnants of an old mill building stand, covered in graffiti and spray-painted tags. More litter and evidence of people hanging out for some quiet time to indulge in drinking or perhaps to find a place out of the weather for local homeless or transient populations. It was a bit unnerving to explore this area alone.

While the beach area is more of a fishing and swimming area than anything else, I recommend careful watch over children as the litter could contain broken bottles or other potentially dangerous items. With some clean up, it could be a nice place to bring the family for some outdoor fun and recreation.

Worthville Beach area adjacent abandoned mill buildings with debris and graffiti—photo by author.

Randleman Plans to Improve Worthville Beach

Randleman has a history of millwork and manufacturing, which are evident in the vacant buildings that permeate the area. The 157 acre Worthville dam property area was purchased through a large grant of  $400,000 grant from the Duke Community Foundation and Clean Water Management Trust Fund back in 2017 with plans to tie it into the Deep River Rail Trail project, which follows abandoned railways and waterways along Deep River through northern Randolph County through Randleman to Ramseur. 

Natural area along Deep River, behind abandoned mills and Worthville Dam.—photo by author.

Hopefully as local cleanups and Randleman efforts to restore the property, this swimming hole will be a more family-friendly place to visit. Until then, plan to drop by and check the place out and while you’re at it, bring a trash bag and do your part to make North Carolina a bit more beautiful. 

North Carolina has lots of quaint, outdoor areas like this to travel to, but all is jeopardized by a few who use the areas for recreational partying and who demean the properties with destructive and disrespectful behaviors. We can enjoy wildlife and visit places like this that hold historical value to our area, but more efforts need to be made to clean up after those who do not respect the grounds they walk. It’s unfortunate to see beautiful places like this being literally “trashed.” Especially during a time when we all need to spend a little more time outdoors. A good local swimming hole is such a perfect way to spend the afternoon with family and friends. Gentle reminder: enjoy but respect these local treasures.

Have you ever been to Worthville Beach? What were your experiences there? Share your stories in the comments.

Randolph County, NC Covid-19 Updates

4 thoughts on “Visiting Worthville Beach, Randleman NC

  1. Yes..
    Everything that was said I could say also. It can be dirty…
    Even with a grant the town and county have little manpower or funds to make these places anything more than they are but one could hope.

    Like

  2. Is there more information on the clean up efforts? I have been cleaning trash along the Deep River State Trail and I would like to get more involved. Randleman has such beautiful natural areas but unfortunately are very behind in the times of environmental health and wildlife appreciation. Education needs to be brought into the schools. Teaching the kids is the only chance, as I am afraid the grownups in this town are closed-minded lost causes, and would likely only accuse litter laws of being a violation of their freedoms. Nonsense, I know, but like I said, behind the times and close minded. But the hidden beauty in this town is so worth the effort of saving.

    Liked by 1 person

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