Raleigh-based group protects land along Blue Ridge Parkway

From staff reportsFebruary 1, 2013 

— The Raleigh-based Conservation Trust for North Carolina has purchased land along the Blue Ridge Parkway in McDowell County that will allow the National Park Service to connect two segments of a planned 330-mile hiking trail.

The trust paid $700,000 for 128 acres near The Orchard at Altapass that will include a short segment of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. The trail follows the path taken by American revolutionary soldiers from what is now East Tennessee across the Great Smoky Mountains to fight in the battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.

The land lies between the Rose Creek Overmountain Victory Trail Natural Area and land owned by CSX railroad that includes a conservation easement purchased by the trust. Both properties include segments of the overmountain trail.

The trust bought the property in part with a $544,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byways Program. It plans to transfer the property to the National Park Service, which will make it part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina acts as an umbrella organization for the state’s 23 local land conservation organizations and also protects land along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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