Lake Hampton Trails at Yadkin Memorial Park
November Trail of the Month
A still and reflective body of water, a paved loop for bikes, 4.4 miles of natural trail through the woods, and water access for kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, and fishing- Yadkin Memorial Park is everything you need it to be. It is quiet and beautiful but also active and fun.
If you haven’t heard of this lakeside paradise before or are wondering why the lake doesn’t show up on most maps, it’s because the park was established recently in 2014. To protect homes and farms downstream of South Deep Creek from frequent floods and to safeguard future drinking water for Yadkin County, county leaders came together to create Hampton Lake and Yadkin Memorial Park. The 266 acres of land surrounding the lake are forever protected by an easement from Piedmont Land Conservancy, ensuring this area will remain a natural asset for the county and the region.
The nature trails at Lake Hampton weave through a quiet young forest and out along the shoreline. Turkey and white-tailed deer are regular visitors here so keep your eyes open. On an early morning walk or stroll, the fog rising from the lake is sure to help you breathe deeper and take it slow. The park’s paved loop is one mile long. It climbs a slight (manageable) hill that gives you a clear view of the lake and surrounding area, and allows for coasting if you’re on something with wheels.
With two fishing piers, a sandy put-in for kayaks and canoes, and a boat ramp, the lake is a great fishing spot. There are also canoes, kayaks, and john boats available for rent. At 140 acres of water there is plenty to explore, and plenty to fish. You can find crappie, shellcrackers, brim, Largemouth bass and Channel catfish. Additionally, the Park has 6 duck blinds which can be reserved by submitting an application and paying a small fee (More information here: Yadkin County Waterfowl Hunting). Lake Hampton is a birder’s playground. This big body of water has attracted Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Belted Kingfishers that are frequently seen perching in the tops of trees or doing their own fishing.
The trails are also perfect for a winter visit. The open expanse of lake is beautiful in every season, and when the smaller ponds in the area freeze over, local duck populations travel here, giving adults and children alike plenty to watch and enjoy. Since we now know that feeding bread to ducks is unhealthy for them, check out this blog from National Geographic to learn what you can feed them.
Yadkin Memorial Park also offers a variety of amenities including a modern playground, covered picnic shelter, restrooms, and plenty of parking. Along the perimeter of the woods you can find isolated picnic tables and charcoal grills which all have a view of the lake. Phase two for the park includes more trails (!!!), a dog park, primitive camping, and a disc golf course.
This Yadkin County spot is perfect for a group or family outing. Come explore in a kayak, bring the kids and find a sunny bench by the playground, or go for a quiet walk or run in the woods.
The Dam Trail
The Dam Trail is the newest and longest trail to join the network of trails around Lake Hampton. It totals 4 miles out and back. Two miles of trail lead you through mild ups and downs to the Hood-Chamberlain Dam as your final destination. Along the way you will find a spur to the left that takes you out on an elevated peninsula with fabulous views of the lake through the trees.The shaded trail continues along past carpets of ferns and patches of Laurel and Holly bushes. Along with glimpses of Lake Hampton you will pass by many creeks as they find their own way down to the lakeshore.
Before long you’ll start to hear the powerful rush of water through the Dam as the trail spills into a bright, open field. Take in the expansive view here but keep following the trail to get an up close look at the Dam and South Deep Creek below. This trail is an exciting addition to the already incredible opportunities at Yadkin Memorial Park. The Dam Trail is for people looking to stay out a little longer and journey a little farther, with an incredible ending view to boot! And go ahead and jump up and down with us- there are plans to continue this trail even further in the future!