The Yadkin River flows approximately 25 miles along the west boundary of Forsyth County and is enjoyed by numerous canoers, tubers, and fishermen. Forsyth County residents were ensured of a permanent public access to this magnificent water resource in early 1983 when the Old U.S. 421 River Park was added to the Forsyth County Parks System.

Originally purchased by the Federal Government as part of a hydroelectric project for High Point, these plans were abandoned during World War II. The site was then deeded to the N.C. Department of Transportation for use as a roadside park. The opening of the new U.S. 421 in the early sixties coupled with a cutback in funding during the mid-seventies, caused the Department of Transportation to close the site in 1978. Its ownership then reverted back to the Federal Government.

Although the site was closed and not maintained, its popularity with its users did not diminish. When the possibility of acquiring the land through the Federal Surplus Property Program arose, there was avid public support. Through a generous donation by the Northwest Environmental Preservation Committee, Forsyth County purchased the majority of the property in early 1983. The park was developed and opened for use that summer. Additional acreage was donated to complete the site in late 1986. Improvements have been made over the years to bring the park to its current state.