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We'll take your breath away...     

     or let you catch it. 

Wilkesboro is known worldwide for MerleFest, a diverse roots-music festival dedicated to the memory of Merle Watson, son of of the late legendary Doc Watson.

Wilkesboro and Wilkes County also offer a wide variety of activities for everyone, from adrenalin-pumping BMX racing and mountain biking, to wine tasting at the local vineyard and many events to include Wilkesboro Open Air Market, Brushy Mountain Apple Festival, etc.

An action packed sports weekend or a relaxed respite? You'll find both in Wilkesboro and beyond.

While you are here, you can:

~ Crunch an apple from a local orchard as you walk the Yadkin Greenway.

~ Explore the connection between moonshine and NASCAR at the Wilkes Heritage Museum.

~ Marvel at the inspiring frescoes painted by world famous artist Benjamin Long.

~ Mountain bike the world-class Dark Mountain Trails.

~ Sip a glass of wine at one of over 20 wineries within an hour's drive.

~ See the jail that held Tom Dooley, the ladies' man at the heart of a scandalous love triangle.

~ Explore a village of 19th century log cabins at scenic Cleveland Log Cabin in Downtown Wilkesboro or at Whippoorwill Academy & Village.

~ Experience the majestic views of the Blue Ridge, Rendezvous, and Brushy Mountains.

For more tourism information, or to create your own personalized itinerary for your Visit to Wilkesboro and beyond, please visit or see things to do on our website.



Birdwatching or birding is the observation of birds in their natural habitats as a recreational activity. Birding can be one of the quieter and more relaxed outdoor activities. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, photography equipment, and by listening for bird sounds. Birding often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more readily detected and identified by ear than by eye.

Some birders are avid rare bird seekers and will travel long distances to see a new species to add to one of their "lists", e.g., state list, county list, life list, etc. The NC Birding Trail is more than just lines on a map. It physically links great bird watching sites and birders with communities, businesses and other local historical and educational attractions. Wilkes County has many sites on the NC Birding Trail

Wilkes Co. Birding Trails:                             BirderFriendlyCommunity

Northern Blue Ridge Parkway             Northern Foothills

  - Stone Mountain State Park                - Yadkin River Greenway

  - Thurmond Chatham                           - W Kerr Scott Reservoir 

New River                                              - Whippoorwill Village                              

  - E B Jeffress Park


Binoculars to rent:0binoculars

  • Binoculars can be used for free for up to one day (must be returned to Town Hall within 24 hours)
  • A $20 Deposit is required for each pair of binoculars. A maximum of 2 pairs may be borrowed by any one person.
  • If binoculars are not returned within 24 hours, or are returned damaged, the $20 deposit will not be refunded. 

guide-booksBooks to purchase:

A display copy of the Mountains Guide for the NC Birding Trail is available for review in Town Hall. This guide is not available for “rental;” however, mountain guides are available for sale.

1.   NC Birding Trail Mountain Series Guide - $15

2.   Beginner's Birdwatchers Book with Stickers - $6

3.   Young Birder's Guide - $15

4.   A Field Guide to Birds - $10  




Reflect on times past as you travel through the present scenery of Wilkes County, with homesteads, barns and farms passed down to through the generations. Similar to passing down quilts through the generations and the quilting techniques.

Barns and quilts makes for the perfect combination in the countryside.The quilt patterns were chosen from centuries old, placed on barns of local residents wishing to ensure this legacy, and enjoyed by all who gaze and recognize it as a form of art.  

Sharing rich heritage through quilting designs, Wilkes County Quilters Guild in partnership with Cultural Arts Council of Wilkes present a Barn Quilt Trail.

Wilkes County Public School art students participated in producing three blocks, initiating future generations to keep the historic quilting tradition alive.

Barn-Quilt-BrochureIn December 2012, a new working vertical Barn Quilt Sundial was installed in Downtown Wilkesboro and has become part of the official trail. New trail brochures will be printed and distributed in Spring 2013 to include this new addition.

Presently there are 16 quilts displayed in Wilkes County, NC:

  1. 8 Point Stars - 11605 W. US 421, Purlear
  2. American Flag -Record Park, 6th & E St, N. Wilkesboro
  3. Baby Bovines - 1842 Country Club Rd, Wilkesboro
  4. Carolina Lily - 196 Victory Lane, Ronda
  5. Double Wedding Ring - 319 Shingle Gap Rd, Purlear
  6. Double Wedding Ring - US 421 East between exits 276 and 278
  7. Dresden Plate - 2241 Lewis Fork Baptist Church Rd, Ferguson
  8. Drunkard's Path - 10421 Longbottom Rd , Traphill
  9. Drunkard's Path – 5124 Sparta Rd, NC 18, N. Wilkesboro
  10. Fan - 1335 Shingle Gap Road, Purlear
  11. Lemoyne Star - 7688 N. NC 16, Millers Creek
  12. Lightening Strike - 5900 Boone Trail, Millers Creek
  13. Stars Aglow - Record Park, 6th & E St, N. Wilkesboro
  14. Sunbonnet Sue- 6281 S. NC 18, Boomer
  15. Tulip Block – 3450 Sparta Rd, NC 18, N. Wilkesboro
  16. Vegetable Garden - 689 Glenn Carlton Road, Boomer
  17. Vertical Barn Quilt Sundial - Downtown Wilkesboro

Reminders - Safety & Respecting Private Property

  1. Use caution when traveling along the Quilt Trail. Traveling under speed limit, pausing and/or stopping along any road can be dangerous and illegal.
  2. All barns are located on private property and should be viewed from the public road unless otherwise indicated on site.   

Apple QuiltMore information is available at links below:

     -  Cultural Arts Council of Wilkes Inc.

     -  Wilkes County Quilters

     -  Wilkesboro Tourism Dev't Authority

Wilkes County Quilters hosts an annual quilt show the 1st Friday and Saturday of September featuring a different theme each year.



This Greenway is a natural area between urban communities where wildlife, vegetation, and streams are preserved and enjoyed. The track is 7.2 miles long from W. Kerr Scott Dam in Wilkesboro to Smoot Park in North Wilkesboro. Although a few of the sections are natural paths and rock dust, the majority is paved and perfect for family walks or bicyling. The greenway is open year round from sun up to sun down, except in certain inclement weather conditions.

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. 


Greenway Master Plan

Greenway Brochure & Mappdf-icon