Synopsis of Elkin Valley Trails Association

Achievements since the Summer 2011


  1. History
  • Researched and wrote the Elkin & Alleghany Railroad (E & A RR) Revisited book in 2012
  • Researched, had knapped, secured a location and placed a 4,000 pound granite Daniel Boone Arrowhead bearing the brass Daniel Boone plaque and had it dedicated.
  • Collected, mounted and saved hundreds of old photos of the region and specifically related to the E & A Railroad and displayed those at the Elkin Library as an opening exhibit of the EVTA
  • Rediscover old railroad tracks in Elkin near the old E & A RR office
  • Hailed the restoration of the old E & A RR office as a downtown lodging
  • Place eighteen historical and wildlife markers along the E & A Rail-Trail (E & A RT)
  • Discovered a 35-ft brick bridge hidden in the forest


  1. Art
  • John McComb, Artist designed, built and placed at the entry of the E & A RR, an art sculpture of the E & A Smokestack dedicated to the founders of the E & A Railroad
  • Chazz Elstone, Artist, designed, built and placed by the Shoe Factory Dam . . . a Sculpture dedicated to the E & A Railroad and EVTA
  • Coordinated a grant with the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club for two peace benches along side the Elkin Library Dam Waterfall
  • Obtained old rails from Yadkin Valley Railroad for use in construction
  • Helped initiate the Town of Elkin purchase of 3.1 acres in town for the Elkin Heritage, Art and Trails Center


  1. Signage
  • Developed and built the Trail Town entry kiosk with help from our local Lowes (we are a Lowe’s Hero) and the Winston Salem Foundation
  • Painted MST direction signs on sidewalks
  • 18 multimodal QR Coded history and biology signs in Elkin and along the E & A Rail-Trail
  • Installed two information kiosks provide by our local Lowes Store as their Lowe’s Hero of the year
  • In junction with the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club placed rescue, maintenance and location signs on the EVTA section of the Mountains to Sea Trail


  1. Eagle Projects Coordinated and completed
  • Damien Spicer built and installed a kayak and canoe rack at Crater Park and with help from EVTA build a trail and cleared land for a campground at Crater Park
  • Spencer Douglas had build and permanently places three cement, wood facsimile, benches on pads along the E & A RT/MST
  • Jarrett Peterson rebuilt a old pump house into a rest area and rain shelter that include a viewing deck with stainless steel railings donated by Tampco, a wooden viewing bench, wooden fences, plantings and art sculpture a the Shoe Factory Dam
  • Harrison Hall had built and construction for a 40-ft bridge, on three 18-in over Grassy Creek
  • Coordinated with Eagle Scout on two trail benches on Wells Knob


  1. School projects:
  • Jarrett Peterson Senior Project for steps down to the Elkin Creek at the Shoe Factory Dam
  • Multiple Elkin Middle School project including trail repair, rock stacking, seeding
  • EHS Art Class trail entry signpost
  • Trail Town entry signage
  • Elkin Interact Club, Beta Club and East Wilkes Beta Club


  1. Grants:
  • Two Federal RTP Grants administered by NC State Parks and Recreations for $218,500 for 178-ft bridge and 80-ft culvert, ill and trail (EVTA raised over $160,000 in matching money)
  • Three Winston-Salem Foundation grants of $5,000, $5,000 and $10,000 for a new picnic area with five table and trash system; 550-ft of in-town trail; and for heavy machinery work and materials for part of the Mountain Bike Course.
  • Lowes Foundation Grant for $25,000 for 140-ft bridge
  • Jandy Ammons Grant for $10,000 for a 1.33-acre wildlife meadow, native species walk and signage including 20 tree Identification signs.
  • Yadkin Valley Rotary Club grants for emergency rescue location signs and two Peace Benches at the Library Dam Waterfall
  • Multiple Wal-Mart grants for materials
  • Chatham Foundation grants
  • Boyles-Eidson grants
  • Anonymous Foundation grants for $30,000


  1. Other:
  • E & A Rail-Trail named a Birding Hotspot on ebird
  • Built bridges of 178, 140, 40 x 2, 25 x 2, 12, 15 x 2, 23-ft Bridges on the trail
  • Built and decked walkways and bridges of 110 and 58-feet
  • Built 3 miles of Mountain Bike Trail
  • Began 16 miles of horse/hike trail from Stone Mt to Elk
  • Prompted 3 additional miles of horse/hike trail inside Stone Mt.
  • Prompting 1 additional mile in the park to result in 10 miles of horse hike trail in St. Mt. Park and connected to the EVTA 16 miles = 26 miles of horse and trail
  • Uncovered 35-foot arched brick bridge build over 100 years ago and added it to the mountain bike trail loop.
  • Prompted Trail Town Mural 2015
  • Developed multiple business partnership for trail construction, wellness, etc.
  • Hospital Wellness initiative
  • Successful worked to have Elkin Creek Designated as a NC Hatcher Trout Stream and stocked annually in April
  • Decorated trail with garlands, bows and scarecrow Santa Elves
  • Have conducted six Trails Boogies, five Insane Terrains races, four Yadkin Valley Tour de Vinos (31, 50, 71 and 100 mile rides), five Duck & Turtle Regattas, two Fiddler’s Paddles, numerous vineyard stomps
  • Set up a Trail Angel group and housed multiple hikes including Warriors walking off the war.


  1. News outreach:
  • Sent monthly newsletters via email Constant Contact to over 1,000 members
  • Connected on Facebook with over 1,700 person
  • Established an Elkin Valley Trails Association Website
  • Host a weekly Trails Talk Radio Program and podcast
  • Have been featured in the Elkin Tribune, NPR, Public Radio, WXII News, Public TV, Time Warner, Yadkin Valley magazine, NC Wildlife Magazine, Roots Rated on line Outdoor site
  • Provided annual updates to our larger community
  • Made regular reports to Wilkes and Surry County Commissioners and to Town of Elkin Commissioners


  1. Trails:
  • Conducted Multiple Trail workdays to build and maintain trails between Stone Mountain State Park and Elkin and then to Pilot Mountain State Park
  • Set up the canoe and paddle float from Elkin to Rockford and then to Pilot Mountain State Park
  • Initiated Survey of five mile of trail between Elkin and Mitchell’s River
  • Built 2 miles on Sawyer property
  • Built 3 miles on Wells Knob 3 miles
  • Built 2.7 miles at Grassy Creek,
  • Built 3.5 miles in the town of Elkin
  • Worked with Stone Mountain State Park to finish 3 miles in the park equaling a total of 9 miles of the Mountains to Sea Trail
  • Working with Stone Mt. to complete one more mile to complete 10 miles in the park from Devil’s Garden to the Sawyer property.
  • Working to complete 36 miles of horse and hike trail from Devil’s Garden Elkin and then 36 miles to Pilot Mt. State Park


  1. Partnerships
  • Over 65 businesses and clubs including extensive help from Yadkin Valley Riders Club, Yadkin Valley Rotary Club, Captain Mark Garner VFW Post, Boy Scouts of America, Prism Medical Products, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Elkin and East Wilkes Schools, multiple vineyards and restaurants, Tampco, AllStar Rental, Jimmy Chappell businesses, Foothills Forestry, Joe Snow, Greenhill Environmental, Tri-County Signs, Nu-Line and Graphic Printing, Walmart, Liberty and 222 Public House, Speedy Chef, Elkin Parks and Recreation, Round Peak Vineyard, Skull Camp Brewery, Lowes Hardware,
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