The slight chill of Saturday morning did not last long as Explorers hiked to Carter Falls with guidance from the Elkin Valley Trails Association.
The group consisted of as many non-members of the Explore Elkin’s Explorers group as members, and was led by Herb MacDonald of the EVTA, the group that builds and maintains the local segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which crosses the entire state.
“The land is owned by the state, but the state worked out a deal with Wilkes County to manage it,” said MacDonald, describing improvements which are expected to be made including an enlarged parking lot and a swinging bridge across the falls similar to the bridge at Grandfather Mountain.
The rushing play of water can be heard from a distance along the trail gradually rising above birdsong and occasional traffic until coming upon the falls themselves where remnants of a steel flume can still be seen.
“I know from experience it’s pretty impressive,” said MacDonald. “It’s a really iconic falls.”
“I have been out there years ago,” said Explorer Evie Good, “it’s really quite impressive. It’s quite a falls. It’s a really pretty area. Thank goodness it’s not spoiled and developed.”
It’s not only the beauty of the falls that is expected to draw tourists.
“George Washington’s body guard is buried up there,” said MacDonald. “I’ve seen the stone myself.”
There is also an abundance of wildlife including deer and turkey as well as squirrels and opossum.
“One of the things that I wanted to make sure you understand is that you had a part in this, those of you that voted,” said MacDonald, explaining passing an infrastructure bond several years ago made the Carter Falls section of the MST possible.
Beginning with refreshments from Bojangle’s and Dirty Joe’s, hikers were ready for traditional barbecue courtesy of G&B Energy and Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital complemented by music from Whisky Foxtrot at Grassy Creek Vineyard.
A similar hike is expected in the fall with other Explorer events to take place throughout the year as well as special discounts throughout Elkin.
Good thought the program was an excellent way to see what activities Elkin has to offer and to help endorse the town to others.
“We like the outdoors and we wanted to promote Elkin and it sounded like a good marriage,” said Good.
Several Explorers continued their fun later Saturday with an Explore Elkin Cinco de Mayo Block Party downtown where Joey Nevada and company paused their set for a wedding proposal which was shortly followed by the Martha Bassett Show at the Reeves.
“Elkin is the place to be,” said Explore Elkin Chair Jeff Eidson.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive regular updates on all activities taking place in the Elkin area or go to exploreelkin.com.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.