Mountains to Sea Trail:
Elkin “in Town” Trail – Elkin “tree sign” to Gong
- Trail length: 2 miles
- Difficulty: easy, level grade
- Surface: Sidewalk and granite dust
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.
Grassy Creek Trail
Grassy Creek Vineyard to Byrd’s Branch Campground
- Trail length: 1 1/2 miles
- Difficulty: Easy to moderate
- Surface: Natural surface
The Westbound trail starts at the Grassy Creek Vineyard tasting room 235 Chatham Cottage Ln, State Road, NC 28676). Parking is available behind the tasting room. The marked trail enters the woods just east of the tasting room. There is a moderate and continuous downhill through a hardwood forest for about 1200 feet where the trail makes a sharp right at the creek. The trail continues upstream for 500 feet through an inviting fern-covered creek bottom to a bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left. Here the trail narrows and proceeds on a moderate uphill climb with two switchbacks for 900 feet. Near the top of the hill the trail bears right heading west. It meanders some 1800 feet through large hardwood trees, paralleling a tobacco field to Martin Byrd Road.
Turn left, go 200 feet and cross the road at the trail sign. There you will enter a white pine forest of planted trees. Follow the flagging as it is easy to get off trail. After 400 feet exit the pines and continue another 400 feet along the field’s edge to a small pond. Cross the dam and continue to the right (follow the pink flagging) 600 feet along the field’s edge. There you will re-enter the “enchanted pine forest”. Follow the flagging 900 feet. Walk slowly and soak in the inviting but eerie landscape where a thick bed of pine needles soften every step you take.
As you exit the forest, turn left on Martin Byrd Road and walk 100 feet then cross to path going west over the field. In the distance, 500 feet, you will see Byrd’s Branch Campground store building. Inviting porch chairs may call your name to sit a while, while enjoying their many flavors of ice cream.
The Eastbound trail starts at Byrd’s Branch Campground store (225 Martin Byrd Road, Elkin, NC 28621.) Parking is available. The trail goes east across the open field for 500 feet to Martin Byrd Road. Cross the road and go north, uphill for 100 feet. There you will enter the “enchanted pine forest”. Follow the flagging as it is easy to get off trail. For the next 900 feet, walk slowly, soaking in the inviting but eerie landscape where a thick bed of pine needles soften every step you take. When you exit the pine forest go right 600 feet follow the flagging along the field down to a small pond. Cross the dam and turn left. Follow the edge of the field for 400 feet where you will enter a second group of white pines. Another 400 feet through the pines brings you to Martin Byrd Road.
Turn left and go 200 feet before crossing the road at the trail signs. Upon entering the woods, the trail now meanders some 1800 feet through large hardwood trees, paralleling a tobacco field. Near the end of the field the trail turns left and starts a downward path through two switchbacks for 900 feet to a bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right. For the next 500 feet you pass through an inviting fern covered creek bottom on a now wider trail. Bear left and start a moderate uphill climb through a hardwood forest for 1200 feet. Upon exiting the woods, the Grassy Creek Vineyard tasting room will be on your left with wine and drinks.
Wells Knob Section – Mining Ridge Ch. Rd. to Roaring Gap Rd.
- Trail length: 3 miles
- Difficulty: easy to strenuous
- Surface: Most natural surface, some gravel road
The Eastbound trail head can be found on the right side of “Wit’s End Eventing” gravel driveway 700 feet from Roaring Gap Road. The driveway is located 1/2 mile east of the junction of Roaring Gap Church Road and Roaring Gap Road. The clearly marked trail leads 1/8 mile to a bridge crossing a tributary of the Elkin Creek. The trail follows this creek crossing a second bridge for another 1/4 mile where it makes an “S” turn away from the creek.
For the next 1/2 mile the trail continues a moderate to easy climb. As you near the base of Wells knob you encounter six switchbacks as you rise to the top of the knob. This next 1/2 mile ends in a strenuous uphill section before reaching the top. The trail continues to the right and straight down for approximately 500 feet before turning left onto a long flat 1/8 mile forest road. Make a right where it dead-ends into another forest road and go 700 feet to a gate. The trail leads around the left side of the gate and continues down the forest road following the power line for 1/4 mile. Take a right on the gravel road for 1/2 mile leading down to Mining Ridge Church Road.
The Westbound trail starts at the junction of Mining Ridge Church Road and a gravel private road with a sign “Wells Knob Road”. Follow the road 1/2 mile up hill to where it levels and enters the woods. Take a left continuing uphill on the old power line road for 1/4 mile. The trail leads to the right around the gate. Continue 700 feet and take a left on a marked forest road. Go straight and level for 1/8 mile. Then bear right and uphill for 500 feet to marked trail on left. The next 1/2 mile starts with a strenuous downhill followed by six switchbacks. The trail continues for another 1/2 mile to a creek crossing.
The next 1/4 mile follows the creek with two bridge crossings before a short climb to “Wit’s End Eventing” driveway. Turn left and proceed 700 feet to Roaring Gap Road (1/2 mile east of the junction with Roaring Gap Church Road).
Yadkin River Trail
The Yadkin River Trail is a Blueway Trail. A blueway or water trail is a water path or trail that is developed with launch points, camping locations and points of interest for canoeists, paddle boarders and kayakers. Blueways are typically developed by state, county or local municipalities to encourage recreation, ecological education and preservation of wildlife resources.
The Yadkin River is designated as a State Blueway Trail and including High Rock Lake, Tuckertown Reservoir and Lake Tillery, with a connected series of river access points from Wilkes County to Montgomery County.
In the Elkin area there are river access points at Ronda in Wilkes County, Elkin, Mitchell River and at Rockford in Surry County, and in Yadkin County, Shoals, Donnaha, Huntsville and Shore accesses.
The Elkin access is at Crater Park with camping and facilities available. There is easy access to Elkin Main Street with restaurants, post office, library (with internet) and resupply.
Yadkin River Adventures is located in Rockford and Roaring River Canoe and Kayak is located near Ronda.
Overmountain Victory Trail
Thanks to the hard work of the Town of Elkin and volunteers, Elkin can boast a segment of the historic Overmountain Victory Trail, a Federal linear park, which follows the route of the Overmountain Men as they made their way to the Battle of King’s Mountain in the Revolutionary War. This trail begins at Elkin Municipal Park and currently runs west along the Yadkin River. EVTA is working with the Overmountain Victory Trail Association to enhance and extend this trail.