Waterrock Knob Park?

Big news on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Waterrock Knob has been in the news lately. On National Trails Day, Carolina Mountain Club and Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail opened a section of the MST around the Knob.

Now the Conservation Fund has been acquiring thousands of acres around Waterrock Knob over the last few years. The Blue Ridge Parkway is planning to turn the
Knob into a park similar to what it has done at Price Park and Doughton
Park. They are having a big announcement on August 23rd and all are
invited.

WaterrockKnob steps
WaterrockKnob steps

The Conservation Fund says that “An effort to conserve more than 5,000 acres in the Plott Balsam Mountains and much of the spectacular views from Waterrock Knob will be achieved through collaborative efforts led by The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service, with significant donations from The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

This tremendous conservation success was made possible in part with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Fred and Alice Stanback, Brad and Shelli Stanback and other private supporters.” A lot of groups had a hand in this.

But an interview with  Bill Holman, NC state director of The Conservation Fund, done a couple of years ago by Smoky Mountain News, hints at more than picnic tables and even camping spots.

What if the NC Wildlife Commission managed the land as open meadow? Could it attract elk?

Elk in the Smokies
Elk in the Smokies

Elk are getting crowded in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and could move into Waterrock Knob Park, given the right circumstances.

Wow! That might be the only place where MST hikers might see elk in their natural habitat!

A lot to think about! In the meantime, plan to go to Waterrock Knob on August 23 and ask questions.

Here’s the formal invitation. Waterrock Knob 8-23-16 Invitation

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