A 900-foot-long expansion of the Yadkin River Greenway at West Park Medical Complex in North Wilkesboro is underway.
The greenway is being extended along the Yadkin River from the current terminus between Brushy Mountain Dental and the Wilkes Express YMCA and the Ruby Pardue Blackburn Adult Day Care.
Greenway Executive Director R.G. Absher said the extension will provide direct access to the greenway for clients of the Ruby Pardue Blackburn Adult Day Care.
Absher said that with completion of this latest project, the different sections of the Yadkin River Greenway will add up to about 9.5 miles.
He said North Wilkesboro-based Brinegar Grading started work earlier this winter and should be finished in the spring on the new section.
Gravel has been placed on most of the new section and will be followed by a layer of asphalt.
Absher said work was funded with $25,000 from The Health Foundation, $25,000 from the National Park Foundation and up to $25,000 from the Yadkin River Greenway Council. Also, $1,500 was received from McNeill Chevrolet Buick in Wilkesboro.
From the Ruby Pardue Blackburn Adult Day Care, said Absher, the plan is to eventually take the greenway a short distance farther upstream before eventually crossing to the other side of the Yadkin River via a pedestrian bridge and continue upstream before connecting with an existing section near Moravian Creek.
The close proximity of U.S. 421 Business and buildings along the road on the north side of the river at that point make it hard to build the greenway there.
Absher said another short section of the Yadkin River Greenway will soon be built around Memorial Park by the Town of North Wilkesboro and the Wilkes Parks and Recreation Department.
He said the Town of Wilkesboro’s recent purchase of the Furchess property along Cub Creek was good news for greenway supporters because the town plans to build a section of trail connecting the Wilkesboro’s Cub Creek Park to where a section of the greenway ends at the mouth of Cub Creek.
In a related matter, Absher said Dr. Bill Blackley and others with the Yadkin Valley Trails Association are making progress toward securing easements for a 20-mile section of the Overmountain Victory Trail in the Yadkin River corridor between Elkin and North Wilkesboro.
A study has already been conducted to identify trail corridor.
Yadkin Valley Trails Association is also still working to complete a section of the Mountains to the Sea Trail from Elkin to Stone Mountain State Park, with different segments for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Absher noted that member of the Stone Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited were near the greenway Saturday cleaning up trash from the Reddies River.
The section of the Reddies along the greenway is designated a delayed harvest trout stream by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.