Senator Warren Daniel was among the attendees at the Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) construction update tour at Valdese Lakeside Park. Work on phase one amenities started in May and will be completed by November 30. Donors, elected officials and candidates received an update from FVR President Beth Heile while standing in the graded parking lot where the restrooms and kiosk will be located. They then walked the greenway that will be ADA compliant and saw the future locations of the overlook, kayak launch and fishing pier. Attendees journeyed 1.3 miles to the future suspension bridge location that will take park visitors to McGalliard Falls Park. Rep Hugh Blackwell was impressed with the progress from his days of walking the grassy, mud puddle filled trail that had been available to visitors for the past three years. Blackwell sponsored legislation creating the Wilderness Gateway State Trail and has been working with local governments in planning the Burke River Trail – both trails follow the Valdese Greenway.
To learn more about the destination park in Valdese, town mayoral candidates Charlie Watts and Annemarie Baker were a part of the tour, while Marty Jacumin represented his father Jim Jacumin who was out of town. Council candidates Paul Mears and Rexanna Lowman walked along with school board candidate Tiana Sims.
Friends of the Valdese Rec formed in 2015 with the goal of acquiring 300 acres on Lake Rhodhiss for a passive park. In 2018, the Town of Valdese closed on the $1.36 million property with $1 million in state grants and $360,000 from community donations. Park construction has also been made possible from state grants and donations. The ribbon cutting will be held on November 22 at 1:30 and the public is invited.
During construction, park access is at the intersection of Lovelady Road and Lake Rhodhiss Drive. From that parking lot, visitors will cross the Lovelady Road bridge and access the 1.4-mile Hoyle Creek Trail.