A lovely cool fall day greeted guests on a Saturday in early September who came out to Grassy Creek Vineyard in State Road for the trail opening and concert benefiting the Elkin Valley Trails Association. The new trail connects Grassy Creek Vineyard to the Byrd’s Branch Campground and features a bridge built by Harrison Hall as part of an Eagle Scout project.
“I’m in love with it. I absolutely love the idea. I’m 100 percent for it,” said Harold Combs of the growing trail network in the area. He also has helped to do some work on the new trail and others in the Elkin area.
Johnny Hall, father of Harrison Hall, said he couldn’t be prouder of his son and the work he had done to help get the new trail bridge completed. The Halls live near Grassy Creek and also have volunteered previously with the EVTA so it was a project that was very special for them.
“It really meant something to us and also helped the town of Elkin,” Hall said. “It’s going to be amazing the next 20 years, I think, what they’ve done with this trail from here to Stone Mountain.”
Harrison Hall had a lot of help to build the massive bridge which can hold the weight of a farm tractor or a pickup truck. His grandfather Andy Garner, who has an engineering background, helped with the initial plans and a number of area construction folks assisted with the heavy lifting involved to build the bridge.
“The community is really good at coming together,” Garner said.
Harrison Hall said it was a little bittersweet to see the project come to an end.
“This project means a lot to me ‘cause I’ve been in Boy Scouts since I was 10 or 11,” Harrison Hall said.
He said it was a big milestone and touched his heart to see it finally finished.
Cynthia Douthit, one of the owners of Grassy Creek Vineyard, said she too was pleased to see the project completed. She said the portion of the trail through the ferns was so beautiful.
“We started Grassy Creek Winery for its history for the region and so anything we can do to help build the experience of Elkin and nature we’re always ready to try to do it. It’s a beautiful property here for people to enjoy,” Douthit said.
After hiking the trail, visitors could enjoy wine tastings from Grassy Creek as well as food from 13 Bones. Time Sawyer and Annabelle’s Curse also performed at the celebration.
For more information on the EVTA, visit its website www.elkinvalleytrails.org.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.