The project is a revitalization of the Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization’s Art Plan proposed in 2015 to promote sustainability of the Elk Knob communities’ culture, heritage and natural resources. Research conducted by Appalachian State students informed the first series of art pieces on the trail.
“Unfortunately between 2015 and 2018, some of the pieces were stolen and others suffered weather damage,” says Brenda Sigmon, a volunteer at Elk Knob State Park and a volunteer distributor of this newspaper. According to Ranger Brandy Belville, the new art pieces have been constructed with this concern in mind; the posts are cemented, and the art is secured with heavy duty screws and coated with a weather protectant.
The Beech Tree Trail, which journeys through a large American beech forest at 4,500 feet, is also a TRACK Trail, part of the Kids in Parks initiative. The program rewards kids with small prizes for their hiking achievements.
– By Hannah McAlister