Wilkes County is located in the mountains and foothills of northwestern North Carolina and is part of the Yadkin Valley Region. Since this county takes in both mountains and foothills, elevations vary from just over 1000 feet above sea level to nearly 1200 feet above sea level. Wilkes was formed in 1777 from Surry County and was named after John Wilkes, an English statesman. Wilkes County is probably best known for its connections to “Moonshine, Racing Cars, and NASCAR Legend Junior Johnson.” This county is approximately 759 square miles with the majority of the county forested and nearly 7,000 acres of State Forests. The climate is moderate and in Wilkes County you can experience ALL 4 seasons. Temperatures range from an average 34 degrees in January to an average 75 degrees in July. The yearly rainfall total about 50 inches with a yearly snowfall total of about 10 inches. Two major towns in Wilkes are on opposite sides of the Yadkin River. The Town of Wilkesboro, “Where the Mountains Begin”, is a very historical area with The Tory Oak, Old Wilkes Jail which housed the legendary Tom Dooley, The Robert Cleveland House, Brown-Cowles House, St. Paul Episcopal Church with their painted fresco and labyrinth, and many other sites. On the other side of the Yadkin River, the Town of North Wilkesboro has the Wilkes County Library, Wilkes Art Gallery, Wilkes Playmakers, and the Yadkin River Greenway, a beautiful walking and biking trail along the Yadkin River. As for education, the Wilkes County School System has 13 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 4 high schools. Wilkes Community College is located in Wilkesboro. Also, Wilkes is just 45 minutes from Appalachian State University and is within 2 hours of several major universities and colleges in North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. For your health needs, Wilkes County has Wilkes Regional Medical Center in North Wilkesboro and The Wellness Center in Wilkesboro. There are also several physicians and medical specialists with offices in Wilkes. In 1994, Wilkes County became home to many misplaced and unwanted children. The Ebenezer Garden Christian Children´s Home is located on the Byrd Ridge Road in North Wilkesboro. Ebenezer actually has 3 homes and a Chapel on site with plans to build more homes in the future. To help with fundraising, The Home has an annual Southern Gospel Concert held at the Wilkesboro Raceway Park. For family outings and outdoor enthusiasts is Stone Mountain State Park, covering over 13,000 acres in Wilkes and Allegany counties. Stone Mountain State Park displays a huge granite stone face that is perfect for rock climbing. The Park has a historical homestead that is open for tours, many walking and hiking trails, horseback riding trails, camping facilities, and picnic areas. As for recreational activities, Wilkes is home to W. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir which offers camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, water skiing, fishing, hunting, and swimming. The Blue Ridge Parkway borders Wilkes and is known for the beautiful scenic drives, camping, hiking, picnicking, craft shops and restaurants, and more. Two area parks, Smoot Park in North Wilkesboro and River’s Edge Park in Wilkesboro provide a variety of activities for the young and young at heart, including skateboarding facilities, bicycle dirt track, swimming, horseshoe pitching, and ball fields. Also, Merlefest, a musical event held at the Watson Stage of Wilkes Community College, and Singing In the Foothills, a musical event also held in Wilkes, draws thousands of people to Wilkes County each year. If you enjoy snow skiing, Wilkes is only 45 minutes from the slopes in Boone and Banner Elk, where you can discover more outdoor fun in the High Country of North Carolina.