The gentle Yadkin River flows through its scenic namesake valley on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. Forests of mixed hardwoods, including sycamore, poplar, oak and hickory, cover the region. Wildlife is abundant in the valley. White-tailed deer, black bear, eastern cottontails and more can be found among the hills. Birds in the area include wild turkey, woodpeckers, Carolina chickadees, red-eyed vireo, ovenbirds, mallards and wood ducks. The 1,475-acre reservoir offers excellent boating, canoeing, kayaking and swimming opportunities. Anglers will find channel catfish, large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, threadfin shad, spotted bass, hybrid striped bass and tiger muskellunge.
Miles of hiking trails surround the lake, including the 6 mile Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVT), which has a trailhead at the Bandits Roost campground. An additional 40 miles of mountain biking trails can be found at the Warrior Creek Campground, Dark Mountain Park and Visitor Assistance Center areas.