Valdese Greenway Complete

Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) held an NC Year of the Trail grand opening group walk on Sunday, April 16 to celebrate the completion of the Valdese Greenway. The entire 2-mile greenway is now crushed cinder for an easier walk along Lake Rhodhiss and McGalliard Creek. In 2021, one mile of the former grassy sewer easement was upgraded while the other mile remained grass. In 2022, with the McGalliard Creek Suspension Bridge installation it became obvious upgrading the entire path was the next amenity most desired by park attendees. Friends of the Valdese Rec raised the $250K needed for improvement with donations from the Rostan Family Foundation, NC State Grant assisted by Rep Hugh Blackwell, Dianne Searcy and many individual and small business donors.

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Story Book Trail Ribbon Cutting

Just in time for Read Across America Day, and to celebrate NC Year of the Trail, Friends of the Valdese Rec held the ribbon cutting for their new Story Book Trail at Valdese Lakeside Park. The home school community was invited to take part in the celebration that included walking the new trail that showcased the Dr. Suess book The Lorax, and crafts and refreshments with The Lorax theme. The Story Book Trail is made up of 16 pedestals that hold pages of a book giving visitors the chance to read and be out in nature. The pedestals were made possible with a $3840.00 grant from the Community Foundation of Burke County, a $1,000.00 donation from the Pilot Club of Valdese, $1,000.00 from FVR including 10 volunteers working 4 days to install the pedestals. In addition, FVR will purchase and update the book each month. To experience the trail, visit Valdese Lakeside Park at 1149 Lake Rhodhiss Dr, Valdese. Once there, take the Greenway to the Meditation Point Trail that is just past the Dog Park.

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VLP Survey Results

From Jan 30 to Feb 27, 2023, FVR collected information via a Google Survey form about Valdese Lakeside Park. The link was provided on our web site, on Facebook and at our events. We had 82 responses from the following areas: 39 Valdese, 8 Morganton, 8 Connelly Springs, 6 Rutherford College area, 5 Granite Falls, 3 Hickory and one each from Drexel, Old Fort, Vale, Banner Elk, China Grove, Concord.

Thanks to everyone who participated that will help understand how the park is being used and what is needed. Here are the results:

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Discover Valdese Suspension Bridge

160 Foot Suspension Bridge along 2 mile Valdese Greenway

Sunday, March 12 at 2pm

As a part of Discover Burke Trails Day and NC Year of the Trail, Friends of the Valdese Rec will host a group hike along the easy, mostly flat 2 mile greenway. Sunday, March 12 at 2pm, starting at Valdese Lakeside Park (1149 Lake Rhodhiss Dr, Valdese), the group will walk along Lake Rhodhiss with amazing views of the lake and Table Rock, changing to McGalliard Creek Cove views until reaching the 160 foot Suspension Bridge at 1.3 miles.

McGalliard Falls

After experiencing the bridge, hikers can turn back (for a total of 2.6 miles) or continue on to McGalliard Falls Park to see the 200 foot wide, 40 foot tall water fall (2 miles from Valdese Lakeside Park – and return trip will put you at 4 miles).

Dogs on a leash are welcome on the hike.

Valdese Lakeside Park has restrooms, picnic tables, dog park, Story Book Trail, and almost 11 miles of hiking/biking. There is also plenty to do in Downtown Valdese.

Lakeside Park Survey

We need your help – to plan a better park! Please complete this quick survey…. mostly check boxes!

Form Link at

We have general park counts – 200 on weekdays and 400 on weekend – but knowing more will make a better park – like how long do you stay at the park, what brings you there, what else would you like.

New Year’s Resolution Trail Runs

Usually, we have our New Year’s Resolution Runs on New Year’s Day. However, January 1, 2023 fell on a Sunday. So, we gave Saturday, December 31, 2022 a chance and it was the biggest race yet!! Even in the rain. It was a great way to kick off NC Year of the Trail a day early. Thanks to our race sponsors!

365 Mile Challenge

Challenge yourself in 2023 to get out on a Valdese Trail!! #FVR365
(Registration Closed)

Walk. Run. Hike. 365 Miles in 365 Days.

  • $10 Registration
  • Long Sleeve t-shirt at beginning
  • Prizes for completing 365 miles
  • Everyone will be able to see your progress
  • Get miles in Valdese (parks, streets, treadmill) – as much as possible
  • January 1 – December 31, 2023


Valdese becoming a Trail Town!

Friends of the Valdese Rec President Beth Heile presented to the Valdese Planning Board on Monday, November 21 to share information about the State and Regional Trails coming through Valdese, the importance of embracing the trails and branding Valdese as a Trail Town. 

The Wilderness Gateway State Trail will come over Mineral Springs Mountain to Valdese Lakeside Park and Main Street Valdese. The River Trail of Burke County will run along the Valdese Greenway.

With almost 400 acres of park land in town, it is time to evaluate what amenities should be located at which parks. In addition, look at what businesses are needed to facilitate trail users – an outfitter renting bikes and kayaks, a coffee shop or other gathering spot, etc. Continue reading “Valdese becoming a Trail Town!”