Last Updated on August 10, 2023 9:48 am
Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) recently transferred a 30-acre property to the National Park Service (NPS) to expand the boundaries of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Watauga County. The Elk Mountain Meadow tract shares a quarter-mile boundary with the Blue Ridge Parkway and lies just a few dozen feet from the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Elk Mountain Overlook.
Portions of the property are visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway and MST near milepost 274, just off Highway 421 near Deep Gap. Conservation of this tract complements CTNC’s protection of an 86-acre property, just across the Parkway below Elk Mountain Overlook and our recent 408-acre acquisition adjacent to that one.
The Elk Mountain Meadow property protects water quality in a tributary of Gap Creek, and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes within feet of this property, ensuring a more desirable experience for hikers.
The addition of the Elk Mountain Meadow property to the Parkway will help increase the connectivity of protected lands in the area to preserve the natural corridor while ensuring a forested buffer along this section of the MST. Conserving land along the Blue Ridge Parkway also enhances the landscape’s resilience to our changing climate by providing protected places where ecological diversity can resist damage and migrate safely to more hospitable areas.
“Protection of properties like this contributes to the integrity of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which attracts millions of visitors to the High Country each year. The addition of the Elk Mountain Meadow property also enhances the experience of hikers along this section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on the outskirts of Boone.
“Conserving more land is so important to the future of our country” said the previous owner who sold the property to CTNC in 2017.