Advocates Trying to Make Carter Falls a Park

WILKES COUNTY -- "We're hoping this becomes a gathering spot for locals and folks from out of state, all across the state," said Bill Blackley, Elkin Valley Trails Association chair.

More than 50 acres of privately-owned land tucked away in Elkin is home to Carter Falls. The Elkin Valley Trails Association says the owner is looking to sell it to make it a park. The state is interested, it may use some of the bond money voters approved in March to make the purchase.

"Then they would lease it to Wilkes County for $1 for 40 years, and then Wilkes County would work with local citizens, Elkin Valley Trails, the Town of Elkin," said Blackley.

The Trails Association has already been working diligently to complete part of the state-wide Mountains to Sea Trail through it's region, turning sections that follow roadways into woodland trails.

"We've moved about 12 miles of trail now off the road and into the woods about, approximate. Of course, when people are hiking, they like to be in the shade or in the field. They don't like to be on the road," said Blackley.

"It's about safety and it's about giving people who use the Mountains to Sea Trail the experience of being in North Carolina and being near municipalities, but in addition being in the woods, along the creeks and in the mountains," said Adam McComb, Elkin Parks and Recreation director.

If Carter Falls becomes a park, the Mountains to Sea Trail would go right through it stretching east from Stone Mountain State Park and through Elkin, a great boost for a small town.

"Luckily, we do have the state park, Stone Mountain, which is very nearby that we all cherish and adore. But adding this along to it is an accessible area for everybody to go and enjoy is going to be tremendous for us," said McComb.

A hidden gem this small town hopes will bring good fortune.

The Elkin Valley Trails Association will present a park plan on Carter Falls to Wilkes County Commissioners on September 20.

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