Elkin, The Perfect Union Of Hiking & Hops

Surry County, North Carolina

It is spring in North Carolina, but I can feel summer creeping in quickly. I take the winding turns of the Blue Ridge Parkway slowly, enjoying the scenery around me. Cows graze behind old split rail fences in fields spotted with dandelions. Eventually, I arrive at my destination Devils Garden overlook on the side of the Parkway. A trail nearby is marked by a familiar white dot on a small wooden post, the blaze for the Mountains to Sea Trail. I follow it eagerly.

The moment I am in the forest, the bright sunlight turns emerald as it is filtered through the new yellow-green leaves that adorn the branches. The humidity lingers, but the shade offers a noticeable relief from the heat. Hiking poles in hand, I cruise along the thin dirt trail. I spot some of my favorite wildflowers, Phlox and Trout Lily, making an appearance among the dead leaves on the ground. I am lost in the serenity of nature for several hours, listening to bird calls and enjoying the cool breeze while the stressful thoughts from the workweek finally quiet down. 

When I make it into Elkin, I am sweaty and flushed. Hunger bites at my stomach as I dream of a cold beer and something to eat. I have a couple of choices to make my dreams come true for a craft kitchen and beer. Angry Troll, down on the river, or Skull Camp Smokehouse, up by my Trail Angels house.

I called my trail angel for a ride, and we headed over to Skull Camp Smokehouse for a bite. A cheesy burger with beer cheese and the Knuckle Dragger IPA’s sharp hop bite to savor. Beer brewed on site and craft food prepared farm to fork. This was the perfect ending for the day.

Heidi “Picasso” Nisbett 

When you’re ready for some exploration of Elkin, go to ExploreElkin.com.

Elkin is at the confluence of three great trails…the NC Mountains to Sea Trail, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, and the Yadkin River Paddle Trail. www.nctraildays.com