All trails converge on Elkin, N.C., this spring for the first-ever NC Trail Days Festival. The May 31-June 2 event highlights the area’s abundant natural resources with a fun series of events. It purposely coincides with National Trails Day, which is the first Saturday in June.
Elkin is a natural choice for the festival because three trails converge in the area: NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and the Yadkin River Paddle Trail. Elkin is also located between two state parks, Stone Mountain and Pilot Mountain, so outdoor adventure surrounds the town. The festival is a great time to bring your boots, bikes and boats to the Yadkin Valley.
“We’re really wanting to celebrate all of our trail network here. Our paddle trail, our mountain bike trail, our hiking trails, and our national historic trail, the Overmountain Victory Trail,” said Festival Director Dennis Lyon of the Elkin Valley Trails Association.
The wide variety of events include guided hikes, a mountain climb 5K, kayaking on the Yadkin River, mountain bike demos, group cycling rides, kids’ activities, live music, bonfires and a family paddle flotilla.
On Friday night, the Reeves Theater will show adventure film shorts that won awards at the Five Points Film Festival.
Mountain bikers can check out the demonstrations by REI personnel while Trout Unlimited will host fly fishing demonstrations and a kids’ fishing event on Big Elkin Creek. Anyone can accept the challenge of the Stone Mountain 5K Hill Climb Race on Saturday.
All day Saturday there will be kids’ events, exhibitors, vendors and outdoor retailers on Main Street, which will be closed to traffic to accommodate the festival. A Speakers’ Forum will present speakers who are leaders in trail building and trail advocacy, plus two people who completed the Mountains-to-Sea Trail who will talk about their experiences. There will be live music both nights.
“What we’re learning is trail users are everybody,” Lyon said. “People are starting to embrace trails across all activity levels and that’s why we think a major trail festival in Elkin is going to bring in all demographics.”
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Enjoy some Yadkin Valley Wine
The Yadkin Valley is also one of North Carolina’s major wine growing regions and the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival on May 18 is the valley’s biggest, showcasing two dozen wineries. The family friendly festival presents tastings, contests, food, craft vendors, live music and a grape stomping. There’s a companion cycling event, the Tour de Vino, that offers five different rides all starting at 8 a.m. (yvwf.com)