Officials with a national conservation organization called the Conservation Fund have ensured the acquisition of 2,744 acres of land adjacent to Mount Mitchell State Park, allowing the 100 year old park to more than double in size.
The park, which currently protects just under 2,000 acres, will now extend into the western slope of the Black Mountains, which contain some of the highest peaks in the East.
“It’s not going to affect the character of the park initially,” park spokesperson Charlie Peek told the Charlotte Observer. “In the next 100 years, there will be a lot of people who will be very glad we had the foresight to do this.”
The Conservation Fund acquired the acreage, which includes two separate tracts, at a price of $8.6 million and sold it back to the state for the significantly lower price of $3.2 million.
One of the more notable peaks contained within the new purchase is Cattail Peak, which until now had been known as the tallest privately owned peak in the Appalachian chain.
The expansion will also bring the Cane River, a well known trout stream, into the auspices of the park and allow visitors more access during snowy winter months.
The expansion comes on the heels of another land acquisition on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which occurred in the Plott Balsam Mountains of Jackson County, North Carolina on Wednesday, August 17.
Click here to learn more to learn more about this significant win for public lands in North Carolina.