The Yadkin Memorial Park was a longtime dream for county leaders and it continues to grow in popularity not only among locals, but visitors from outside the county as well. Additional trails at the park are expected to be open in the fall of 2018.
County Parks and Recreation Department Director Jason Walker said fishing is one of the most popular activities at the park, as well as the trails.
“They enjoy everything,” Walker said. “It is used daily. It’s really become a regional park. Locals still use it a lot, but we do get a lot of people from outside the area. And people do everything there from walking to fishing to the playground.”
The project began in 2009, when a dam was constructed at a section of Deep Creek to help control flooding and create a reservoir to serve as a potential water source. The dam was completed in August of 2010 and as a secondary benefit, the dam created a 138.5-acre lake. Lake Hampton was stocked in October of 2011 with about 90,000 fish, which included bass, brim and catfish. The NC Wildlife Service continues to monitor the fish population at the lake.
The park includes a boat launch, duck blinds, two fishing piers, a paved hiking trail, two picnic shelters and a unique climbing playground for children. Canoes, john boats and kayaks are now available for rent at the park as well. Two picnic shelters are also available for rent. Walker said the shelters have been popular for birthday parties and church groups.
County employees are working on building additional trails at the park. A future grant is expected to fund even more amenities at the park including a primitive camping area and a disc golf course.
At the 2014 ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the park’s opening, Commissioner Kevin Austin, chairman of the county board, said, “This has been a long time coming. I think some of the history of the lake itself started back in 1954 so to be where we are today is the realization of a lot of people’s dreams. It’s just phenomenal to be here.”
The dam which created the lake is called the Hood-Chamberlain Dam after Ned Hood and Allen Chamberlain, two men who were instrumental in laying the groundwork for the project, which began in the early 1950s.
The lake continues to be a priority for the county. Commissioner David Moxley, vice chairman of the board of commissioners, often comments on the park’s ongoing success at the monthly commissioners meetings.
Moxley recalled visiting the property when the dam was completed and seeing the beauty of the new lake. He said he commented to Walker that it would be wonderful if the lake could become a public park so county residents could enjoy the natural beauty.
Though grant funds have been used to fund much of the project, Moxley said at the beginning he worried about the costs and if the park would be used enough to warrant such a large-scale project. The park use has wowed local officials though.
Walker said on nice weekends the parking lot is almost always full.
“A lot of people really are utilizing it,” Moxley said. “It’s turned out to be a real jewel for Yadkin County.”
The Yadkin Memorial Park is located at 1142 Crystal Lane in Yadkinville. For information on rental fees and other parks including the Yadkin County Park, Richmond Hill, Shore-Styers Mill Nature Park and Yadkin River Trail, visit the Parks and Recreation tab at www.yadkincountync.gov.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.