Yadkin River Greenway

North Carolina

2 Reviews

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Yadkin River Greenway Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Wilkes
Length: 8.2 miles
Trail end points: Smoot Park (106 Chestnut St, North Wilkesboro) and W Kerr Scott Trailhead (Ranger Rd & Old Hwy 268, Wilkesboro)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6032450

Yadkin River Greenway Description

Currently made up of seven sections, the Yadkin River Greenway offers 8.2-miles of trails covering approximately 10 miles from theW.Kerr-Scott Dam through Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, and ending at Smoot Park.  


Even though it’s not fully connected, yet, the route is recognized as part of the Overmountain Victory Historic Trail (OVHT) commemorating the march of the patriot militia who gathered in what is now Smoot Park and ultimately defeated the British during the campaign in 1780. The OVHT stretches 330 miles through Virginia, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina, and is marked by the OVHT blaze with the footprints inside of the logo. 


Every section of the Yadkin River Greenway is color coded to aid emergency personnel and highlight the distinct characteristics of each one. The farthest western section is the W. Kerr Scott/Fish Dam Creek, which is the brown section, and starts at the parking area on the southeast side of the Yadkin River, then heads west and north, before continuing east over a bridge on Fish Dam Creek.  


This trail is only 0.59 miles one-way, yet it connects with Dark Mountain trails around the reservoir and throughout the hilly and wooded area. Take the side trail to the Fish Dam Creek Overlook to access this area. 


The next section starts by following Old NC Hwy 268 to YMCA Boulevard to the blue section that starts at Lowe’s Park at River’s Edge. This 1.97 mile segment starts on the west side at the Wilkes YMCA and skirts along the north side of the multi-sport complex that includes a skate park, RC flying area, and BMX track along with restrooms and drinking fountains. There are also multiple access points to launch a kayak or fish in the river.  


Where the blue section ends, the gold section, which is called Moravian Creek, follows the actual Moravian Creek for .15 miles ending just north of NC Hwy 268. This is a quick out and back piece of the trail. 


Mulberry Fields is the green section of the trail, which begins on the west end at the West Park Outside Fitness Area and offers 1.9 miles of trails alongside the Yadkin and Reddies Rivers. After passing a few businesses, the trail travels through a treed area until there is an intersection where you can head south across a footbridge over the Yadkin River to travel to the Tyson trailhead near the Wilkes Heritage Museum.  


The main path of the greenway continues along the north side of the Yadkin River until reaching a pedestrian bridge crossing the Reddies River. There is also a fishing pier adjacent to the bridge where anglers can fish for largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass, along with sunfish, catfish, and chain pickerel. 


At the bridge, continue over the river a short distance to cross underneath Wilkesboro Avenue where it loops back around to access the avenue at street level or you can head north along Reddies River. This northbound trail is surrounded by trees and fields along the river until it crosses underneath D Street and ends at 717 West Main Street in North Wilkesboro.  


From the end of the green Mulberry Fields section, there is a sidewalk connecting the orange section known as the Historic Jefferson Turnpike. This is marked with turtle stencils. This 1.33 mile route starts with a small dam to your west and packs in scenery and history as you follow the east side of the Reddies River. It’s interesting to envision the Giant Lumber Company’s 24 mile log flume that was destroyed by a flood in 1916 that ran along this route.  


At the end of the Mulberry Fields trail at Wilkesboro Boulevard there is another series of turtle-stenciled pavers that heads south to the Lowe’s Trailhead to Cub Creek, the silver section of the trail. Less than one-half mile in length, this section starts at Cornerstone Church and is the first segment anticipated to lead to Cub Creek Park, which features a multi-sport complex, mountain bike trails, a dog park, community gardens, picnic areas, along with public restrooms and drinking fountains.  


The farthest eastern piece is the 1.18 mile section red section connecting Memorial and Smoot Parks. The trail starts at Memorial Park between the tennis courts and baseball fields, and heads south until turning northeast for on the north side of the Yadkin River, to connect with Smoot Park, which features swimming pools, skateboard park, playground, plus restrooms and drinking fountains. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at multiple points along the route. 

Locations include the W Kerr Scott Trailhead (Ranger Rd & Old Hwy 268, Wilkesboro), the Tyson trailhead behind Wilkes Heritage Musuem in downtown Wilesksboro (Hwy 268 Business), at Lowes Rivers Edge Park, at Lowes Industrial Park (HWY 268 West), and at the Moravian Creek Trail access parking lot adjacent to the Wilkesboro Maintenance Department (just off Hwy 268 West).

Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Yadkin River Greenway Reviews

Nice trail

Easy trail to walk, run or ride. One of many in Wilkes!

Well worth the effort to see the YRG

Disclosure: I am totally biased because I live 5 minutes away from the YRG and I am a board member. As of today (7/24/13) we actually have over 7 miles of greenway constructed, and we plan to add nearly a mile more by the end of the summer. The map on the TrailLink website does not show our newest section which runs along the Yadkin River between Memorial Park and Smoot Park in North Wilkesboro. This is one of the most beautiful settings you could ever find in a river valley, and I urge all trail fans to come here and enjoy it at least once. The reason I haven't rated the YRG with 5 stars is that we still have gaps in it due to a few property owners who have refused to give easements. All of the land we need is still undeveloped so we are hopeful that those greenway gaps will be spanned eventually. Ultimately our plans call for the YRG to grow to about 15 miles in the Wilkesboros, including some beautiful loop trails. Long-term, we plan to link via future regional trails to Lenoir in the west and Forsyth County in the east. The YRG is mostly flat due to its proximity to the Yadkin River, but for those seeking more of a challenge, there is a nearby advanced trail network maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers at Kerr Scott Reservoir. These two trail systems connect via the Dark Mountain Trail, which is hard to find and not for sissies. As I said, it is well worth the effort to visit and enjoy the YRG, easily accessible near the Wilkes Community College exit off US highway 421.

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