Yadkin River Park Trailhead in Spencer selected for regional award

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2023

The Centralina Regional Council has announced the recipients of its 2022 Region of Excellence Awards, which included Spencer’s Yadkin River Park Trailhead that is currently under construction.

The project was the Small Community Winner in the Improving Quality of Life category. Spencer was honored for using cooperative volunteerism to expand community, recreational and transportation opportunities. The new trailhead will offer seamless connectivity between Rowan County and amenities on the Davidson County side of Yadkin River Park. Once completed, the park will enhance nearby properties by leveraging scenic views of the river. The project will also expand recreational opportunities for families and offer carbon-free transportation alternatives for commuters.

Mayor Jonathan Williams, Alderwoman and Centralina Board of Delegates Member Pat Sledge, Special Projects Planner Joe Morris and Town Manager Peter Franzese attended the Feb. 8 ceremony to accept the award.

“We are building a model small town for all of North Carolina, and adding big opportunities to live, play, and work,” said Williams in a news release. “We thank the selection committee for recognizing our efforts and are proud to collaborate with an outstanding group of partners on this project.”

Designed by Benesch and currently under construction by Hall Contracting Corp., the trailhead will feature a landscaped plaza connecting to the Wil-Cox bridge and Davidson County’s Yadkin River Park, along with about 1,100 feet trail, the first piece of a long-planned greenway connection between the heart of Spencer and the river. The trailhead will also add vehicle parking on the Rowan County side of the bridge, with the goal of creating a seamless park for visitors to enjoy on both sides of the river. The visual connection across the river represents the collaboration among both Davidson and Rowan counties, and the variety of funding partners.

Town staff and officials have worked closely with Davidson County, Rowan County, Friends of Rowan, the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, the Carolina Thread Trail and N.C. State Parks Recreational Trail Program. Additionally, the Town’s ARPA Supplanted funds are contributing to the project.

The annual awards recognize individuals, communities and organizations for achievements in support of Centralina’s mission to expand opportunity and improve quality of life in the nine-county region that includes Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties. An independent panel of judges selected the award winners. For more information, a video of the awards ceremony, and Centralina’s full press release, go to centralina.org/regional-collaboration/region-of-excellence-awards.