A segment of Horne Creek in Pilot Mountain State Park is getting a major makeover, the result of state grants and some hard work by park staff and park supporters.
About 3,200 linear feet of the Yadkin River tributary will be restored to improve the Yadkin River watershed by reducing sediment delivered from the creek. Over the years, stormwater runoff and erosion have scoured Horne Creek’s banks and deepened its stream channel, removing the stream’s connection to its natural floodplain.
Heavy equipment will be used to reconfigure and stabilize the stream channel with timber, rock and native vegetation. The project is supported by a $375,000 grant from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund and a matching $25,000 grant from the N.C. Division of Water Resources.
Park Superintendent Matt Windsor said a team of supporters made the project happen, including Dick Everhart of the park’s advisory committee, Charles Anderson of Pilot View Resource Conservation and Development, Tony Davis of the Surry Soil and Water Conservation District and Bern Schumak of the trust fund.
The project involves temporarily closing the Bean Shoals Access at the northern side of the park’s Yadkin River section. The closure is expected to last until April, although as the work progresses, rangers could reopen some trails for hike-in and equestrian access on weekends. The Corridor Trail that connects the Yadkin River section to the main component of Pilot Mountain State Park will remain open.
Staff at the state park and volunteers contributed to the project by inventorying aquatic species in the stream and floodplain, restoring warm season grasses in surrounding fields and installing interpretive signs as well as trail and picnic area construction and relocation. The park’s group camps at the river section will be relocated father from the creek floodplain.