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The Elkin & Alleghany Rail-Trail is part of an effort to connect the rural town of Elkin with the nearby Stone Mountain State Park, utilizing the long-abandoned route of the historic Elkin & Alleghany short line railroad. While only a small segment of the trail is currently built, the existing trail provides a great opportunity to explore Elkin's history, as well as get in some exercise.
Starting at the southern end of the town's municipal park, the trail runs through the length of the park, which offers a wide variety of recreation activities such as swimming and tennis. Parallel to the trail is the Big Elkin Creek, a body of water that (along with the railroad) played an important part in Elkin's industrial past. Past the park, the trail continues along the creek and heads into a densely wooded and tranquil landscape, offering a useful means for birdwatchers to catch a glimpse of their targets. Crossing over the creek via a new pedestrian bridge, the trail continues north, going under the nearby state highway, before coming to an end at the town reservoir.
The local trails organization hopes to soon install interpretive signs along the trail, as well as a new bridge at the current endpoint, as they work on extending it into the hills leading up to Stone Mountain. Those looking for a glimpse into the town's history, or those just looking for a relaxing place for a hike, should be sure to keep the Elkin & Alleghany in mind.
Parking is available right next to the southern trailhead, as well as in the municipal park.
To reach the trail from out of town, take I-77 towards Elkin, and take exit 82. Head west towards the town on State Route 67, and proceed for several miles. Take a left onto Elm Street, followed by a right onto W Main/Bridge Street to cross the Yadkin River. Continue on Bridge Street, then take a left onto Market Street. Turn right onto Front Street, and you will see the trailhead on the left side of the road.
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