Conservation Trust for North Carolina recently donated three properties totaling 123 acres to the National Park Service for addition to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The land, made up of three tracts, contains a significant section of Woodfin Creek upstream of the Woodfin Cascades, between Parkway mileposts 446 and 450 in Jackson County. Each of the tracts adjoin other properties protected by CTNC that will also be donated to NPS for inclusion in the Blue Ridge Parkway.
All of the land is highly visible from Waterrock Knob and is part of a growing area of protected public land around Waterrock Knob near Cherokee and the southern terminus of the Parkway. Waterrock Knob and the surrounding region attracts millions of visitors each year due to its natural beauty and unique heritage. The partnership with the National Park Service, local communities, and other land conservation organizations ensures all these qualities will endure for generations.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which hikers can access directly off the Parkway at Woodfin Cascades Overlook, hugs the boundary of two of the tracts. The third property rises to 6,000-feet elevation and hosts a healthy population of native spruce.
Conservation Trust originally purchased these properties in 2013.
CTNC has already donated four others in the immediate area, and owns three more adjoining properties that will also be donated to the National Park Service. These transactions are part of a collaborative effort to bolster the area’s resilience to climate change, protect water quality in the Little Tennessee River basin, and strengthen the local economy by expanding tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities.