We recently protected 34 acres in Wilkes County in the upper reaches of the Yadkin Pee-Dee River basin. One of the streams on the property is the primary origin of the North Prong Lewis Fork. The stream cascades down the 240-foot Betsey’s Rock Falls.

CTNC acquired a conservation easement from the landowners.  The lasting agreement will prevent development along the stream and preserve both water quality and scenic views of Betsey’s Rock Falls.

“We are very happy to assist the Conservation Trust for North Carolina in its mission to protect views and water quality for the citizens of North Carolina and the visitors to America’s most visited national park, the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said Ann Lisk, who owns the property with her husband John and operates the Southern Sun Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit horse rescue, there.

The property is visible from the Betsey’s Rock Falls Overlook at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 267.8.  The dramatic waterfall is named after Betsey Pierce, a mother of two who lived on the property growing and selling ginseng and other herbs during the Civil War.  Betsey is buried at the Blue Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery near the overlook.  Betsey’s Rock Falls is a combination of free-falls and cascades and is most visible after heavy rain or in the winter when the trees are bare.  The easement is on private property and is not available for public access.

CTNC acquired the conservation easement on January 14th with support from the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund. “This grant from Duke Energy Foundation’s Water Resources Fund will help ensure that pristine water quality, healthy wildlife habitat, and scenic views will be preserved on a beautiful stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Wilkes County, said Reid Wilson, CTNC Executive Director. “We greatly appreciate Duke Energy’s generous support of this project.”