Wilkes County, NC





Outdoor Economy Plan


In 2019, a group of representatives from the towns, the county, and other agencies in Wilkes came together to attend a two-day workshop where they learned about the benefits of building on the natural assets in Wilkes.

The Outdoor Economy Workgroup is now collaborating on the development of a county-wide plan that will map existing recreation spots and identify opportunities for future development. The cost of the comprehensive planning process is being shared between The Health Foundation, the Healthy Wilkes Action Team, the governments of the County and both Towns, the Health Department, Wilkesboro Tourism Authority, and Wilkes Economic Development Corporation.

Working with Destination by Design of Boone, the team presented the Great State of Wilkes Outdoor Action Plan to our community in April 2022. 

The Wilkes Outdoor Action Plan purpose is to create a community-led vision and 15-year roadmap to ensure strategic decision-making to grow the outdoor economy and encourage active living.

The Outdoor Action Plan is being led by the Outdoor Economy Workgroup, which includes representatives from the Health Foundation, Towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, Wilkes Economic Development Corporation, Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority, Wilkes Health Department, Yadkin River Greenway Council and the County of Wilkes.

The group is focusing on the planning and development of outdoor recreation infrastructure projects such as trails, greenways, destination-quality parks, attractive downtowns and the creation of multi-use public spaces suitable for major events and festivals. These projects contribute significantly to the quality of life for local residents, help grow small businesses and attract visitors.

To Learn More Or Get Involved With The Action Plan, Contact LeeAnn Nixon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jenn Wages at JThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Outdoor & Recreation 

outdoor state parks

outdoor local parks

outdoor lake

outdoor named reservoirs

outdoor waterfalls

outdoor summits



Yadkin River Greenway Map

Click on image to download PDF document

YRG FinalBrochure MapSide 201706 UPDATE

Live entertainment is abundant year-round in Wilkes County, from open-air street festivals to off-Broadway performances. Explore Wilkes!


Arts & Culture




health air quality 2Source: EPA National Air Toxics Assessment 

health water quality 3Source: EPA Watershed Quality




Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist- Wilkes Medical Center  opened in 1952 as a 100-bed hospital on 19 acres, donated by Dr. Frederick C. Hubbard. The hospital joined the Wake Forest Baptist Health system on July 1, 2017. Today, they are licensed for 130 beds, including a 10-bed skilled nursing unit on the main campus. As a part of the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist family, Wilkes Medical Center offers the resources of a nationally recognized academic medical center, enabling the facility to provide world-class health care here, close to home.

Through their offsite facilities, Wilkes Medical Center has expanded our outpatient services to include a Dialysis Center, a state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Center, Diagnostic Imaging Center and Wound Healing Center. Physician specialties at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist- Wilkes Medical Center include:

  • Anesthesiology   Cancer Care
  • Cardiology
  • Medical Imaging
  • Emergency Medicine
  • ENT
  • Family Practice
  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • OB/GYN
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • General Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Urology

Continuum of Care

West Park Medical provides a convenient location for medical programs, services and specializations such as rehabilitation, physical therapy and referrals for long-term care. Located 1/4 mile from Wilkes Regional Medical Center on Highway 421 Business in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. 

Baby boomers are living longer, healthier lives and enjoying longer periods of independent or semi-independent living. For that reason, Wilkes County has facilities that offer a continuum of care from luxury independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing. 

Health Department Annual Report: Wilkes County 2019-2020

Wilkes County Health Services



Community Guide

Wilkes Livability Magazine