Yadkin Memorial Park a ‘jewel’

By Kitsey Burns Harrison - kburns@yadkinripple.com
Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park. - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Kayaks are available for rent at Yadkin Memorial Park’s Lake Hampton. - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
A heron stands at the water's edge at Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park. - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Yadkin Memorial Park. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
A lakeside view at Yadkin Memorial Park. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Lake Hampton in Yadkin County provides many opportunities for fishing, boating and more. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
The 138.5-acre Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial park offers great opportunities for nature lovers, fishing and wildlife enthusiasts. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
A fisherman shows off his latest catch at Lake Hampton in Yadkinville. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for area families and visitors. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Children try out the climbing structure at the new Yadkin Memorial Park on opening day 2014. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Yadkin County Commissioners, from right, Kevin Austin, Marion Welborn, Gilbert Hemric, Frank Zachary and David Moxley prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Yadkin Memorial Park, which opened in 2014. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
A crowd gathers to watch the ribbon cutting at the new Yadkin Memorial Park in 2014. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
Rebecca Harris prepares to shove off for some fishing on the newly unveiled Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park in 2014. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple
View of Lake Hampton from one of the fishing piers at the Yadkin Memorial Park. - - Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

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.

Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6623.jpgLake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Kayaks are available for rent at Yadkin Memorial Park’s Lake Hampton.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6625.jpgKayaks are available for rent at Yadkin Memorial Park’s Lake Hampton. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

A heron stands at the water’s edge at Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6626.jpgA heron stands at the water’s edge at Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6635.jpgYadkin Memorial Park. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

A lakeside view at Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6637.jpgA lakeside view at Yadkin Memorial Park. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Lake Hampton in Yadkin County provides many opportunities for fishing, boating and more.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6975.jpgLake Hampton in Yadkin County provides many opportunities for fishing, boating and more. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

The 138.5-acre Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial park offers great opportunities for nature lovers, fishing and wildlife enthusiasts.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6985.jpgThe 138.5-acre Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial park offers great opportunities for nature lovers, fishing and wildlife enthusiasts. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

A fisherman shows off his latest catch at Lake Hampton in Yadkinville.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_6990.jpgA fisherman shows off his latest catch at Lake Hampton in Yadkinville. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_7887.jpgLake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for area families and visitors.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_LOOKOUT-1.jpgLake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for area families and visitors. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Children try out the climbing structure at the new Yadkin Memorial Park on opening day 2014.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_parkopening_1.jpgChildren try out the climbing structure at the new Yadkin Memorial Park on opening day 2014. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Yadkin County Commissioners, from right, Kevin Austin, Marion Welborn, Gilbert Hemric, Frank Zachary and David Moxley prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Yadkin Memorial Park, which opened in 2014.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_parkopening_2.jpgYadkin County Commissioners, from right, Kevin Austin, Marion Welborn, Gilbert Hemric, Frank Zachary and David Moxley prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Yadkin Memorial Park, which opened in 2014. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

A crowd gathers to watch the ribbon cutting at the new Yadkin Memorial Park in 2014.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_parkopening_3.jpgA crowd gathers to watch the ribbon cutting at the new Yadkin Memorial Park in 2014. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

Rebecca Harris prepares to shove off for some fishing on the newly unveiled Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park in 2014.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_parkopening_5.jpgRebecca Harris prepares to shove off for some fishing on the newly unveiled Lake Hampton at the Yadkin Memorial Park in 2014. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

View of Lake Hampton from one of the fishing piers at the Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_PIER-BENCH-3.jpgView of Lake Hampton from one of the fishing piers at the Yadkin Memorial Park. Kitsey Burns Harrison | Yadkin Ripple

A trail system will be part of the landscape at the Yadkin Memorial Park.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_0264-formatted.jpgA trail system will be part of the landscape at the Yadkin Memorial Park. Photos courtesy of Jason Walker

Additional trails at the Yadkin Memorial Park are expected to be completed this fall.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_0265-formatted.jpgAdditional trails at the Yadkin Memorial Park are expected to be completed this fall. Photos courtesy of Jason Walker

Signage along the trail system at the Yadkin Memorial Park which will be completed later this year.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_0267-formatted.jpgSignage along the trail system at the Yadkin Memorial Park which will be completed later this year. Photos courtesy of Jason Walker

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

kburns@yadkinripple.com