Guide to the Yadkin River Greenway
The first legs of the Yadkin River Greenway are now open, opening the riverside through the heart of the Wilkesboros to walkers, runners and cyclists. Here are some answers to the most asked questions about Wilkes County's new greenway.
Q: How do I get on the greenway?
A: The greenway currently has three entrances:
West Park between the Wellness Center and the Lion and Lamb Coffee Tavern
West D Street near CVS Pharmacy
Wilkesboro Boulevard bridge near Midtown Market
Parking is most plentiful at West Park. The trail begins in the small parking lot between the Wellness Center and the Lion and Lamb and runs across the deck of the coffee tavern. Limited parking is available at the east end of the CVS center parking lot. Parking for the Wilkesboro Boulevard entrance is across the bridge at the north end of the Cornerstone Church parking lot. A fourth entrance near the Old Wilkes Jail in Wilkesboro is currently under development.
Q: Where does the greenway go?
A: The greenway runs along the west side of the Reddies River from D Street to the river's confluence with the Yadkin.
At that point, a 156-foot bridge crosses the Reddies, leading to a trailhead near the Wilkesboro Boulevard bridge across the Yadkin.
The greenway also runs along the north side of the Yadkin River from West Park to the Reddies' confluence with the Yadkin. In spring 2005, the greenway will cross the Yadkin River and run up the bluff to Wilkesboro, terminating near the Old Wilkes Jail and Benjamin Cleveland home.
BMCC's Marc Czarnecki is all smiles
as he pulls his kids across the Reddies River
Q: How long is the greenway?
A: From the Wellness Center to West D Street is about 1.9 miles. Counting the leg from Wilkesboro Boulevard to the main trail, the greenway is 10,535 feet, or about two miles long. The spur trail from Wilkesboro will add about two-thirds of a mile to the greenway when it is opened in spring 2005.
Q: I'm a biker and a four mile round trip is nothing to me. How can I get more miles in?
A: The greenway is a short hop from the Reddies River trail. From the trailhead at CVS Pharmacy, take D Street east to 13th Street. Take a left and follow the street until it dead ends. An unpaved trail maintained by the town of North Wilkesboro follows the Reddies northward to Suncrest Orchard Road. Just before the Suncrest Orchard Road bridge over the Reddies, a rough trail through private land begins. It follows the Reddies north to Mulberry.
Q: What's the next step for the greenway?
A: A bridge across the Yadkin and the trail bed up the bluff to the Old Wilkes Jail are complete, with paving to follow in spring 2005. After that, the next phase of the greenway will run along the south side of the Yadkin from the Wilkes Family YMCA to Moravian Creek. NCDOT recently agreed to provide $275,000 for this two-mile section of the greenway.
Q: How can I help?
A: If you're a landowner, grant an easement. If you're a giver (and shouldn't we all be?), donate to the project. Donations large and small helped build the existing sections of the greenway and will be crucial to its completion.
And always, be considerate. Stay off private property. Don't litter. Ride safely and always yield to foot traffic. To learn how you can help, visit the Yadkin River Greenway Council's website.
Tina and Kara Czarnecki enjoy the the Reddies River trail. The greenway and the Reddies River trail are safe places for riders of all ages. Walkers, runners and rollerbladers love the greenway, too. No wonder the greenway is proving to be so popular!
we do sports right
West Park North Wilkesboro near the Yadkin River Greenway
Your full service bike shop featuring bicycles by Giant and Specialized
Yadkin River Greenway's
segments 1 and 2 are now open
The long-awaited Yadkin River Greenway project officially opened Saturday, May 18th, 2002 in ceremonies in North Wilkesboro. About two miles of trail is now open to the public. Three trailheads are now open: the Wellness Center Trailhead in West Park, the Reddies River Trailhead near CVS Pharmacy on D Street and a trailhead near the Yadkin River bridge on Wilkesboro Avenue in North Wilkesboro. (Click here to view a map of the project.) A bridge over the Yadkin River and a trail up a bluff to the Old Wilkes Jail in Wilkesboro are the next steps for the greenway project.
The greenway dream began not on some planner's desk but in the fertile imagination of radiologist Phil Carlson. After canoeing down the Yadkin through town with his son Ian, Dr. Carlson was struck by the beauty of the river that winds through the middle of our county's largest towns. Dr. Carlson shared his vision with Dr. Tom Frazer, Dr. Larry Bennett and the late Becky Mann. They raised donated funds and raised private money in the community for a feasibility study. Today, eight years and umpteen committee meetings later, the greenway is open.
The greenway project did not cost one penny of local tax money to construct. An NCDOT grant from a federal bike path fund and numerous large and small private donations did the job. Landowners donated easements allowing the greenway to cross their land.
The greenway was dedicated to the memory of Becky Mann and Dolores Henriquez, two strong supporters of the project who unfortunately did not live to see its completion.
The link to the Old Wilkes Jail, when built, will complete Phase 1 of the project, but it will not complete the greenway. The greenway's master plan calls for a riverside trail all the way to River's Edge Park and the new YMCA.
BMCC has contributed financially to the greenway, and several of its members have been contributors, leaders and board members as well.
To learn more about the greenway project, visit the Yadkin River Greenway Council's website or call Yadkin River Greenway Council Executive Director Bill Clifton at 651-8967.