July 2014

Elkin and Alleghany Rail-Trail and New Bridge

Over the past several months the Elkin Valley Trails Association has seen lots of of progress on the E & A Rail-Trail. On July 12th NCRT held its quarterly Board meeting in Elkin and following our meeting took a walk on the trail with Bill Blackley of EVTA http://elkinvalleytrails.org/. The new bridge is open for users and will be formally dedicated later this Summer (click for image). From downtown the trail will be about two miles but the downtown portion is not marked as such. The new portion of the trail is ~ one mile long. EVTA has received great local support from volunteers and received grants and donations from a number of Corporations and Foundations. The bridge alone cost $91,000; installing pilings and bridge $78,000; construction roads and trails over $45,000; FEMA studies, environmental studies and work, engineering, etc. over $60,000. Major contributors/grant givers included: Lowes Foundation; WIFM radio, Town of Elkin, Surry County, Chatham Foundation, Hillsdale Foundation, Winston-Salem Foundation, RTP grant, over 60 businesses, Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, Yadkin Rotary Club, multiple restaurants, Walmart, Frontier Gas, Greenhill Environmental, Yadkin Valley Railroad, and many more.Good News! In early September EVTA learned that they will be awarded a $200,000 grant for construction of the second bridge. The new bridge will be on the Stone Mountain Trail, a segment of the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and will connect a section of trail leading to Grassy Creek Winery, onward towards Carter Mill Falls and then Stone Mountain State Park. Funding is from a State RTP grant. The Elkin Valley Trails Association will be working between now and February to raise additional money needed to complete the bridge. If you would be interested in helping us fund part of this critical link in the Mountains-to-Sea Trail please contact Bill Blackley at wjblackley@gmail.com

By the rules of the grant they can't start any construction until funding is received. They are however, planning to build trail north of the planned-for second bridge so that when the grant is completed and the bridge is installed citizens will be able to get on the trails and walk or ride a long way right from the first day.

EVTA has held multiple fundraisers and a dedicated group of citizens have given over 6,000 volunteer hours on the Association's various trails and activities. If you would like to assist in the Association's trail building please check their Facebook page for news on coming events and workdays: https://www.facebook.com/ElkinValleyTrails. Their next workday will be held on Saturday October 18th at the Wells Knob section. Volunteers will be finishing approaches to the second bridge , rough cutting a small re-locate and installing a waterbar.