By Guest Blogger Sandy Harper
Do you and your family enjoying hiking? How about swimming and other water sports? Maybe you are camping lovers or mountain bikers. No matter what your outdoor interests are, W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir offers those and more.
As you drive down the W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir main road (Reservoir Road) you will find the visitor center and one of many boat ramps on your left. Yet, if you keep driving straight you quickly realize you are about to drive over the dam. The massively impressive lake is simmering on your left. At the end of that road you come to a circle parking area of the Fish Dam Creek Park. This spot is a photographer’s dream. There are beautiful views of the lake, foliage in autumn, ducks by the shore and glorious sunsets! The area here is perfect for families and kids. There is a playground with picnic shelters. Plus, paved trails with a Story Book walk. At the start of the walk a book is introduced and as you move along the trail you come to the next pages in the story until you get to the end. Kids love running ahead to see the next part of the story.
Multiple hiking trails wrap around the lake’s expansive perimeter. Mountain biking is permitted on these three trails: Warrior Creek, Dark Mountain and the Overmountain Victory Trail. Hiking these gorgeous trails allows one to observe all that nature has to offer each season. On our last hike we saw lots of wild flowers, uniquely colored mushrooms, an assortment of birds and of course bugs. Warning, this is nature and all sorts of creatures roam or slither along the trails, even snakes! We came across a large black snake (nonvenomous) on our hike. It startled my 7 year old. We laughed because he leapt backwards a couple of feet. It was a good lesson to always be aware of your surroundings.
On this particular visit, we took the Fish Dam Creek Trail. This trail is also part of the Yadkin River Greenway and the Overmountain Victory Trail. It is a windy trail that brings you alongside the Yadkin River. There are a few shore spots where you can wade in the water or climb along the river rocks. The trail takes you down to the backside of the dam. Thus, making it a great place for kids to see and explain to them why the dam was built and its functions. The Kids in Parks Track Trails program is another reason we chose to hike this particular trail. This wonderful free program rewards kids for getting outside, hiking and observing nature. I highly recommend checking out their website and signing your kiddos up!
W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir is a 1,475 acre lake, with 56 miles of shoreline. This makes it the ideal place for family water fun! During my visit, we saw boaters, jet skis, canoes and kayaks, paddle boards, swimmers and fisherman. It is a wonderful alternative to the typical Belews Creek and Lake Norman outings. My group decided to enjoy one of the beach areas, called Fort Hamby. There is a $5 per vehicle charge to enter this area. This particular area has a boat ramp, multiple picnic shelters, clean restrooms with showers, a playground, disc golf and archery courses, camping spots and a beach. The water at the beach is roped off to keep swimmers from venturing into boating water and vice versa. If you are in need of a life jacket, there are rentable ones at the gatehouse.
My personal take away from our visit to W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir was positively impressed. Every section on the area was well cared for and clean. This included bathrooms, trails, beach areas and picnic shelters. Speaking of bathrooms, there is a total of 13 bathroom facilities around the lake. This is extremely important to me as a woman and a mom of three! I was super surprised to find so many playgrounds sprinkled around. If you are planning to do any hiking or exploring, I would print out a map of the area. There may be some in the Visitor Center but I never made it by there to check. It never hurts to be prepared. Plus, if you want to visit different areas of the lake you will have to drive. For example, you would want to drive from the physical dam spot to Ft Hamby. The lake covers a large area!
This place makes for an adventurous daytrip. It would take multiple days to truly experience all that W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir has to offer. It is no wonder why so many people come here to camp. Camping or not, bring a picnic, water, swimsuit, towel, bug spray and sunscreen and you will be set for all the fun at W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir!
W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir is located at 499 Reservoir Rd, Wilkesboro, NC 28697, in Wilkes County. This address takes you to the Visitor Assistance Center, the physical dam site and Fish Dam Creek Park.
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