NC Main to Main
This 11-county region, which includes the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point metropolitan areas, also encompasses the Yadkin Valley Wine Region (a designated American Viticulture Area) to the west, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. The downtown districts in this region are community centers that not only provide the majority of the jobs for local citizens, but also offer a rich collection of locally owned shopping, dining, and cultural amenities that celebrate the artistry of each county, entrepreneurship, and, of course, regional favorites such as Lexington style barbecue and sonker, a unique dessert made in Surry County. The Piedmont-Triad region is recognized as a transportation hub for the southeastern United States, a nucleus of higher education and progressive healthcare for North Carolina, and a rich cultural center that includes the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, the North Carolina Zoo, theaters, museums, dance and live music venues.. Follow the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail, explore beautiful hiking trails and state parks, kayak the lakes and rivers of central North Carolina, explore the arts scene and public art dotted throughout the region, and enjoy the economic vibrancy of the Piedmont-Triad region.
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After 10 years of research, the Appalachian Mural Trail (AMT) came alive in 2016 at the hands of Doreyl Ammons Cain and her husband Jerry Cain. The project has now blossomed into a viable, expanding success with over 100+ North Carolina and Virginia historical murals on the trail. The honoring of our stories through the arts is the core essence of the AMT's vision.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies, and thousands of volunteers.
Welcome to a region rich in craft traditions and brimming with craft artists. Travel along the Blue Ridge Craft Trails to visit with artists in their studios, shop galleries full of local, handmade artwork, and discover scenic treasures and cultural gems along the way. This landscape is legendary in the history of the American craft movement and it continues to promote and cherish both traditional and contemporary work of great depth and imagination. With roots embedded in the early 20th century, the diverse theater of Western North Carolina craft showcases virtually every imaginable kind of handmade art, objects brought to life by more than 4,000 makers.
The 25 westernmost counties of North Carolina were designated by Congress and the President in 2003 as the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA). This honor was bestowed in recognition of the unique character, culture, and natural beauty of the region and its historical significance not only to North Carolina, but also to the nation.
The Blue Ridge Heritage Trail features a collection of special places throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills that embody the remarkable history and culture of the region. At each location, you will find an interpretive wayside sign that tells the stories of the people and places that have shaped our distinctive heritage.
The Blue Ridge Music Trails is your guide to finding great musical experiences in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina. As you explore the Music Trails, be sure to pick up a copy of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina guidebook which makes a great travel companion, souvenir, or gift. Traditional music is flourishing across many parts of America, but in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina, more so than elsewhere, the music is part of the fabric of community life.
North Carolina pioneered many firsts for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Raleigh was the birthplace of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – one of the most significant civil rights activist organizations – and Estey Hall, the first building constructed in the U.S. for the higher education of African-American women. Raleigh also developed the first public park dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. Greensboro is most widely recognized for the four black students from Agricultural & Technical College of North Carolina (now North Carolina A&T State University) who challenged segregationists and set the standard for sit-in movements throughout the state and nation.
Elkin Valley Trails
Elkin is the only place in North Carolina where three sanctioned trails converge. The Mountains to Sea Trail and the Yadkin River “blue water trail” are both North Carolina State sanctioned trails. The Overmountain Victory Trail is a Federally sanctioned trail. In a visit to Elkin you can explore all three!
The trails appeal to many different users. From Devils Garden into Stone Mountain State Park the MST is “hiker’s only”. Inside the park, the MST joins some equestrian trails, for horses and hiking. Closer to Elkin, we have bike & hike trails. In Elkin we have “high intensity” mountain bike trails (link to MB) as well as “family” biking and hiking along the converted Elkin & Alleghany Railroad bed trail.
Mountains to Sea Trail
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. More than just a walk in the woods, the trail traces the diversity that is North Carolina. Experience ancient mountains and small Piedmont farms, coastal swamps and colonial towns, changing textile villages and barrier islands. Almost 700 miles of footpath are now completed. With temporary routes on backroads and bicycle paths, hikers can now follow the trail on an adventure across North Carolina.
NC Birding Trail
The North Carolina Birding Trail serves as a driving trail to link birders and nature-based tourists with great birding sites across the state and the local communities in which they are found.
Each of our locations are their own entities. From state parks, to greenways, to arboretums, to game lands, our sites are each their own prime spots for engaging with nature.
NC Scenic Byway
North Carolina's 61 scenic byways allow motorists to experience a bit of the state's history, geography and breathtaking scenery while raising awareness for the protection and preservation of these treasures. Travelers can get to know North Carolina's people and communities and see the diverse beauty the Tar Heel state has to offer – from the high peaks of the Appalachian Mountains to the fertile hills of the Piedmont to the marshes, sounds and beaches of the coast.
The North Carolina Zoo is nestled on 2,600 wooded acres centrally located in the heart of North Carolina, just south of Asheboro in Randolph County. With 500 developed acres, it is the world's largest natural habitat zoo and one of two state-supported zoos. The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The North Carolina Zoo grew from an idea initiated by the Raleigh Jaycees in 1967. Through a series of fund-raising events, the Randolph county site was selected as it was in the center of the state. In addition to providing encounters with wild animals living in natural settings, the North Carolina Zoo offers down-to-earth, authentic and memorable ways for families to play and stay together. The Zoo also offers a variety of nature-based, educational programs and camps.
Overmountain Victory Trail
Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.
Surry Sonker Trail
Welcome to the Surry Sonker Trail, showcasing a unique dessert in Surry County, North Carolina. Surry County is said to be the only place where this delicacy is made. Sonker is part of the fabric of life in our region. Family recipes have been passed down for generations, and we celebrate this delicious treat with an annual Sonker Festival held the first Saturday in October since 1980. The Sonker Trail goes to eight places countywide that offer this authentic Southern delicacy on their regular menu.
Yadkin River Greenway
The Yadkin River Greenway was created through the cooperative efforts of citizen volunteers, landowners, and the governments of Wilkes County, North Wilkesboro, Wilkesboro, and the State of North Carolina. The effort began in 1994, and the first phase of the greenway became a reality and was opened May 18, 2002. The Yadkin River Greenway Council, a non-profit community organization, provided coordination and leadership.
This Greenway is a natural area between urban communities where wildlife, vegetation, and streams are preserved and enjoyed. Greenways also provide transportation, recreation, and exercise opportunities for the community.
Yadkin Valley Wine
It's easy for visitors to navigate their way through the heart of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley wine country thanks to the Surry County Wine Trail.
A full-color trail map highlights 20 wineries in and around Surry County, along with four breweries and a distillery. The map simplifies the experience of spending a few days tasting wines and touring vineyards.