Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin County

isitors can view some of the state’s most scenic landscapes, hear some of our nations’ most-acclaimed music traditions, and taste one of the South’s newest cash crops in North Carolina’s northwestern piedmont. 

Here land rises into the escarpment that forms the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Streams from the regions’ highlands merge and gather into the rivers that, over millennia, have eroded valleys into the rolling hills. For generations, corn and tobacco were cultivated in fields near these waterways and in the shadows of the mountains.  While barns and farmhouses still dot the landscape, farmers these days who work the land are more likely to grow garlic, strawberries and apples. And, more and more, farmers raise grapes and process the delicate fruit  into fine wines.

In fact, the counties featured on this trail are considered by many to be the heart of North Carolina's wine industry. Visitors discover chardonnays, cabernets, syrahs, and sangioveses, ready to be tasted, purchased, and served at home dinner parties at these regional wineries. Winemakers are eager to show off the vines and explain the methods they use to create their own varieties.

This area also lays claim to some of the richest music-making traditions in the South. Rural farm communities with names like Round Peak, Pine Ridge, Skull Camp, Low Gap, and Beulah are home to generations of fiddlers, banjo players, and guitarists. Their powerful brand of stringband music is now emulated by younger players throughout the nation and in countries around the world.  And traditional music continues to be performed live at dances, fiddlers’ conventions, and hometown oprys held throughout the region.

In the town of Eden, the community pays homage to the accomplishments of a former textile mill worker named Charlie Poole, whose singing and banjo playing is acknowledged as one of the building blocks for modern Country music. Although Poole died in 1931, his early recordings recently garnered a Grammy nomination and a music festival bearing his name is presented every June.

If recreation and natural resources are among your main interests, visit Hanging Rock or Pilot Mountain state parks.  Hike trails or test your rock climbing skills to the pinnacles for views of the piedmont plateau that stretches out to the horizon. And while you are in the area, take in Horne Creek Farm, an educational center dedicated to preserving North Carolina's rural heritage.  This state historic site is adjacent to the Yadkin River and is restored to its appearance at the turn of the twentieth century.

Plan your own itinerary by using the map and drop down list of towns at the right, or the category buttons at the left.

 

Scenic Byways
   
 
Vista photo by Bill Russ
Shutter Painting by Martha Neaves, Foothills Arts Council
Wine photo by Laural Gray Vineyards
 
Stony Knoll Vineyard truck
Cornerstone Garlic Farm
Carolina Borderline Band at Charlie Poole Music Festival

 

     
 
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