Surry County, located in the Yadkin Valley's rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From cycling the county's designated bikeway to paddling the gently flowing waters of the Yadkin River to adrenaline-filled climbs up Pilot Mountain, adventures of any level await.
Three state parks offer hiking, paddling, camping, rock climbing and more. Pilot Mountain State Park features a distinctive knob that has been a navigational landmark for centuries and now beckons those looking for fresh air and long-range views of the Sauratown and Blue Ridge mountains.
The 25-mile Sauratown Trail, designated for hiking and horseback, connects Pilot Mountain State Park to Hanging Rock State Park, a great spot for hiking with more than 20 miles of trails and five picturesque waterfalls. Stone Mountain State Park, known for its 600-foot exposed-granite face, has more than 18 miles of trails and more than 20 miles of designated trout waters.
Paddling enthusiasts enjoy a quartet of rivers that are featured on the Surry County Four Rivers map. Two outfitters -- Rocky Forest River Run and Hometown River Company -- provide numerous paddling and float options on the Yadkin River, and there are miles of trout fishing waters available via the Ararat River in Mount Airy, Mitchell River in Dobson and Big Elkin Creek in Elkin.
Hiking & Cycling Trails
Cyclists particularly enjoy the rolling terrain of the Carolina Piedmont. The Surry Scenic Bikeway recognizes more than 500 miles of designated bikeways and provides routes that link to attractions and amenities. If you’d like to see the scenery on horseback, numerous bridle trails weave through the state parks and other natural areas. To access more than 20 trails in the area, visit our interactive hiking map.
Surry County’s numerous greenways allow pedestrians to see the area’s towns, forests, rivers and streams. For example, Mount Airy’s Granite City Greenway has multiple launches for kayaks, canoes or tubes. And the Elkin Valley Trails Association maintains miles of hiking trails in and around historic Elkin.
Zipline tours lift visitors into the treetops for a one-of-a-kind experience. Riders soar through the forest, catching glimpses of mountain views as they glide through the branches.
Scroll down for a list of outdoor activities for visitors to Surry County ...
Olde Beau Golf and Country Club
This semi-private club offers golf, dining, real estate opportunities and banquet facilities just a short drive north of Elkin.
Pilot Mountain State Park
One of the most popular state parks in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State Park is anchored by the rocky peak that provides its name and offers plenty of hiking trails, horseback trails and picnic areas. Also, rappelling and rock climbing.
Pilot Mountain State Park - Yadkin River Section
A hidden gem for hiking, paddling, camping and horseback riding. Often overlooked, this section is 20 minutes south of the main park in a secluded area where shoals and small islands punctuate the Yadkin River.
Across its 12,000 acres, Primland offers sporting clays, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and a magnificent golf course ranked among the top 100 in the U.S.
The municipal park is home to the multi-purpose, paved Granite City Greenway (6.6 miles one-way), as well as a canoe/kayak launch, picnic shelters, playground & restrooms.
Rocky Forest River Run
This outfitter provides kayaking, canoeing and tubing on the Yadkin River near Elkin. It has a nice put-out facility with picnic area, bathhouse and snack shop.
The trail may be used by all horseback riders and hikers for most of the year, except for deer hunting season (mid-Nov. to mid-Dec.).
Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park is located about 20 miles northwest of Elkin near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Hometown River Company
A full-service outfitter, located just across the river from downtown Elkin, that provides paddling excursions on the Yadkin River.
Surry Scenic Bikeway
Created for avid cyclists, the Surry Scenic Bikeway follows 500 miles of rural biking loops that vary from mostly flat to hilly, with a few mountainous sections for the more adventurous.
The Experience Fly Fishing Service
Float trip excursions take place on larger rivers in the mountains of NC and Tennessee.