Mountains to Sea Trail (Section 6):
Elkin “in Town” Trail – Elkin “tree sign” to Gong
The Westbound trail starts at the “tree sign” at the intersection of Main Street and East Market Street. Proceed west down Main Street passing through the charming center of Elkin for 1/3 mile (The sidewalks are marked with “MST”). Most conveniences, including restaurants, hardware and drug stores, banks, post office, and quaint local interest shops can be found on both sides of the street. Make a right just after crossing the Big Elkin Creek at the library (internet available). Follow the creek on grass upstream for 700 feet to West Market Street. Turn right and re-cross the creek on West Market Street.
Enter the Elkin Municipal Park on left via granite dust path. Proceed 1/4 mile and bear right or left on loop trail. Follow the granite dust trail past the tennis courts and swimming pool for .4 mile to the “100 strong” railroad sculpture. At this point continue upstream on the old Elkin and Alleghany Railroad bed for 1/3 mile to the “shoe factory dam. As you go under the Hwy 268 highway a more pastoral setting will flood your senses and lower your blood pressure. Pause a moment to reflect on the viewing platform above the dam before continuing over the bridge. Immediately after the bridge on the right is a wild flower meadow which nature paints in profuse colors during spring and summer. On your right is a rustic trail .4 miles long, leading down and across a small bridge and then meandering along the creek before looping back. Continue to follow the granite dust path for another 1/3 mile. Look up as you pass under the Hwy 268 bypass to see the cliff swallow nests at the top of the bridge pilings. A short distance further brings you to the E&A Railroad Gong. Tradition dictates that first timers ring the gong three times for luck.