Sports and Recreation in Davidson County, NC
PHOTO CREDIT: Stephen Cherry
Finding something to do is rarely a problem in Davidson County. The area's rich collection of parks, playgrounds and sporting grounds offer plenty of ways for residents here to keep active.
Those seeking out a more natural setting don't have far to go. The Uwharrie National Forest, which is comprised of more than 53,000 pristine acres of wilderness, is a popular destination for camping, hiking, paddling, fishing, horseback riding and even panning for gold. Davidson County is also home to Boone's Cave Park, a beautiful and scenic 110 acres, filled with more than three dozen species of wildflowers, walking trails to the Yadkin River, a 1700's-style cabin and a cave that is long rumored to be the hideout of the legendary Daniel Boone.
Denton's FarmPark gives visitors the chance to experience life from a different time – the park features a one-and-a-half mile railroad track called the "Handy Dandy" (complete with steam train) that encircles the park's 15 restored buildings, including a blacksmith shop, old-time post office, radio museum, country store and Aunt Fannie's Doll Museum. The park also hosts three annual events – The Southeast Old Threshers Reunion, Denton Bluegrass Festival, and The Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver's Bluegrass Music Festival.
There are more than 20 county and neighborhood parks in Davidson County, including the Doak Skatepark, which was partially funded by a grant from the foundation of legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and is free and open to the public. Different combinations of activities like volleyball, basketball, soccer and baseball, as well as playgrounds, ball fields, trails and picnic shelters can be found in other parks like Childers, Finch, Grimes, and Harrison and Veteran's Memorial parks.
The biggest sports events in Davidson County are both cycling events. The Piedmont Triad Omnium is a collection of bike races, ranging from time trials to street sprints, that happen over four days in July annually. The event is staged to raise money and awareness for the National MS Society and other local Triad non-profits. The Tour de Kale is the other big annual bicycling event, which happens in June and also hosts a number of different events. The Tour de Kale is a fundraiser for hardship medical causes in the Denton area.
Golf is also popular in the region, and the county is home to some excellent courses such as Winding Creek Golf Club, Sapona Country Club, Lexington Golf Club and Colonial Country Club. The city of High Point, which borders Davidson County along with three others, is also home to many golf courses, some of which lie just outside the county line.
For those who prefer team sports, the minor league baseball team, the Thomasville HiToms, play every summer in historic Finch Field. While they're not associated with Major League Baseball, they have produced a few MLB players and have enjoyed solid community support since their creation in 1999.
Water Recreation and Resorts
With a few recreational lakes and a main river running through the county, Davidson has plenty of opportunities for many different water-related activities. Canoe enthusiasts will love the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Canoe Trail, which begins in Wilkesboro before running through Davidson County and stretches a total of 230 miles, all the way down to the South Carolina border. The Yadkin River is also great for kayaking and fishing.
However, the best fishing in the county can be found at High Rock Lake, which has hosted the Bassmaster Classic – fishing's Super Bowl – four times. The large population of bass, catfish, stripers and more attract anglers from all over the country to the lake year-round. The lake stretches over 10 miles and has more than 350 miles of shoreline. In addition to fishing, the lake is also open for water skiing, boating and swimming. Tuckertown Lake and Lake Thom-A-Lex are the other popular destinations for the same types of activities.
The Blue Stone Dive Resort is a great place to scuba and snorkel. Located in an old quarry filled with water, divers from across the southeast come to see abandoned ships and cars, and even a 50-foot Navy ship. They also have training facilities to help beginners become experts. Another great resort in the area, although it's a different type all together, is the Salvation Army's Walter Johnson Camp & Conference Center. Each summer, more than 1,300 kids come to their summer camp. Throughout the rest of the year, Camp Walter Johnson serves as a meeting and conference center, perfect for business retreats.