Wilkes County, established in 1777, offers a welcoming community rich with opportunity, innovation and economic vitality. Located in Northwestern North Carolina, the county is nestled within the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Brushy Mountains. Wilkes County is an approximate two-hour drive from Raleigh, 80 miles from downtown Charlotte, and 45 miles from cities such as Winston-Salem and Hickory.
Wilkes is bordered by 8 NC counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Iredell, Surry, Watauga, and Yadkin Counties. This location creates greater regional opportunities for collaboration and partnerships within the counties. The available employment pool is much greater due to the county’s centralized location and many individuals choose to commute to Wilkes for work. US-421, a major four-lane freeway, laterally traverses Wilkes County, offering a short, 20-minute drive east to access U.S. I-77 and U.S. I-40 in under an hour.
Wilkes County has one of the best small-town general aviation airports in North Carolina. Two international airports are conveniently located near Wilkes County – Charlotte Douglas (CLT) is 88 miles to the south, and Piedmont Triad (PTI) is 76 miles to the east.
Three major East Coast ports are within five hours of Wilkes County: Wilmington, N.C., Norfolk, Va., and Charleston, S.C. The Yadkin Valley Railroad offers Wilkes County businesses rail access to ship their products into the Ronda and Roaring River areas. The YVRR operates out of the Winston-Salem area and hauls 11,500 carloads per year with freight. G&O's short line railroads offer connections to CSX and Norfolk Southern, which allow businesses to ship or receive products by rail from almost anywhere in North America. Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility offers logistical options.