Discover the Outdoors in Wilkesboro, NC

The W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir in Wilkesboro, NC
The W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir in Wilkesboro, NC

With mountains, forests, rivers and streams to spare, Wilkes County beckons residents and visitors alike with nearly endless chances for outdoor recreation.

Hiking, Biking, Picnicking

Head out the door in Wilkesboro or North Wilkesboro and you can quickly find yourself on the Yadkin River Greenway's user-friendly walking and biking trail. Or get a bit more ambitious and head to Stone Mountain State Park, where a half dozen hiking trails lead to a waterfall or panoramic views. Rev things up and go rock climbing or horseback riding, or just kick back and enjoy a lazy picnic. Rendezvous Mountain Educational State Forest is also a premium place to picnic, and both parks offer substantial family-friendly educational programs.

Camping, Fishing

The Wilkes area is famous for its epic fishing opportunities, especially for those in search of rainbow, speckled or brown trout. Fly fishing spots are everywhere, from Stone Mountain Creek to the Reddies River, Roaring River, W. Kerr Scott Reservoir and dozens of creeks and streams. Camping sites are easy to find, from Stone Mountain's campgrounds for backpackers to a variety of well-equipped tent sites and RV campsites, including the Bandits Roost campground at the Kerr Reservoir.

W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir

The reservoir also offers an almost unparalleled range of activities, from water sports to hunting and even the annual presentation of a play about local legend Tom Dooley at its outdoor amphitheater.

"It's hard to even tell you what's the most popular, because we have so much to do," says Jory Shepherd, assistant operations manager for the reservoir. "Of course we have the lake, which draws boaters, fishermen and swimmers. And the mountain-biking trails. And we have 148 campsites and activities like fishing tournaments, bike races and annual events. We have lots of families we see year after year."

Indeed, the reservoir welcomes 700,000-800,000 guests annually. Water activities, from water skiing and wakeboarding to quiet canoeing and kayaking, are among the most popular attractions at the 1,475-acre lake, which has 55 miles of shoreline, seven boat launches and a marina. But the site is busy year round with wildlife management and educational activities, an archery range, a planned disc golf course and hunting for turkey and deer.

Check out more outdoor fun in Wilkesboro, N.C.

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