As you may already know the Southern Railway terminated its Wilkes County track in Wilkesboro when it contemplated, and decided against, attacking the 8% grade of Wilkes mountain reaching from Wilkesboro up to the Continental Divide. The potential cartage from the town of Boone and the resorts of Linville and Blowing Rock were the business attraction for Southern but were eventually accessed only by the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina railroad (ET&WNC) and the Linville River RR all originating from Johnson City, Tennessee.
Also from the northwest, the N&W had headed south for Boone via trackage along the East Fork of the New River but terminated their track well short of Boone in the small town of Todd, N.C.
I vaguely recall a book somewhere in my collection that noted a railroad company was assembled and had extended some trackage westward from Wilkesboro that followed the valley of a Yadkin River tributary with the goal of reaching Blowing Rock. However, floods destroyed the effort--perhaps the great flood of 1916--I don't recall.