On a recent trip to Boone, I ventured off Highway 421 to find Yadkin Memorial Park operated by Yadkin County Parks and Recreation. I was thankful for the signs along the way letting me know I was, in fact, heading to the park because it felt like it was on someone’s private driveway. When I arrived at my destination, I realized why it felt that way. The first thing I saw when entering the park was an old farmhouse and barns. Continuing down the road, I found Lake Hampton. This is a 140-acre lake that offers fishing, paddling by kayak, canoe or non-motorized boat. In 2012, the dam was completed which created the lake, and the park opened in 2014. On the 520 acres surrounding the lake, I found a one-mile paved walking trail, several natural surface trails, playground, picnic shelter, fishing pier, and a beach area complete with kayak and canoe rentals.
While out on the greenway, I met a family with a four-year-old son. He was learning to ride a bike, and I commented to the parents about this being a great place to learn to ride. They said they visit this park often as a family to enjoy time outdoors. It didn’t take long after chatting with the parents for the little boy to show me his ‘off-roading’ skills by riding his bike down a little hill and through a ditch. Then he was back on the trail and heading the fishing pier.
After exploring on my own and walking the one-mile loop in the park, I realized the office was open and that is where I met Park Manager Dave Moxley. We had a great chat about the creation of the park and he told me about future plans to add disc golf, primitive camping, more natural surface trails and an additional access road. Currently, they are adding trails to the dam and across the spillway. Looking around the office area/concession stand, I saw that they sold local crickets for fishing that can be used to catch crappie, shellcrackers, brim, largemouth bass and channel catfish.
I asked about plans for the farmhouse I had passed when I came in. He said the plan is for that to be the site of a future nature center once it is deemed safe for commercial use. Based on what I saw and heard, this young park has a bright future ahead. If you would like to learn more about Yadkin Memorial Park, visit their website at http://www.yadkincountync.gov/index.aspx?NID=407