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. The group is working to secure a second grant for the second bridge and hopes to begin building that bridge after Feb 15, 2015. By the rules of the grant we can't start any construction until we get funding. We 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: https://www.facebook.com/ElkinValleyTrails. Their next workday will be on the Stone Mountain trail on Saturday, August 2. Participants should meet at the Stone Mountain Country Store on Frank Parkway (1 1/2 miles before the entrance to Stone Mountain State Park) at 8:30 AM with a wrap-up around 12:00 or so.