Yadkin River Park Trailhead Wins Regional Excellence Award

Awards, Projects | March 13, 2023


A photo of a rendering of Yadkin River Park Trailhead with trees and a trail

SPENCER, NC – The new Yadkin River Park Trailhead in Spencer, North Carolina is set to seamlessly connect Rowan County to the amenities on the Davidson County side of the park. The project’s impact to the community has earned it a Region of Excellence Award in the Improving Quality of Life category from the Centralina Regional Council.

“We’ve worked on this project from inception through to opening day and have seen the community and project partners really rally behind the project,” said Benesch Project Manager Jeff Ashbaugh. “Receiving an award for its community impact is great recognition for all the hard work that went into this trailhead.”

At the start of the project, Benesch prepared a conceptual design to be used for fund raising and later provided grant assistance for multiple applications.

“With this project, we faced both funding and physical challenges. Neither Spencer nor Davidson County had surplus money to allocate toward recreational projects, so over 22 partners worked together to fund the project through donations, grants and sweat equity,” said Ashbaugh. “We also had to tackle the challenge of building the trail on top of an old highway. The design needed to take this into account.”

Once funded, Benesch provided construction documents, bidding and construction administration. The trail includes a landscaped plaza and about 1,100 feet of trail that is the first piece of a long-planned greenway connection between the heart of Spencer and the river. The Yadkin River Trail is located at the intersection of two major regional trail networks, the Carolina Thread Trail and the Piedmont Legacy Trail Network. When combined, the trails will connect 22 counties and millions of people.

The project was also designed to meet the goal of creating a place for visitors to enjoy both sides of the Yadkin River. It will expand recreational opportunities and transportation alternatives for locals and visitors.