Vistas, Forest, Water Quality Preserved Forever

CTNC purchased a 34-acre forested property along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville. We intend to convey the Big Cove Ridge property to the National Park Service (NPS) for inclusion in the Parkway’s official boundary.

Big Cove Ridge, between Mileposts 439 and 440, connects two properties that CTNC previously protected and conveyed to NPS (Cove Field Ridge, 87 acres, and Richland Creek Headwaters, 110 acres).

All three properties are highly visible from several Parkway vantage points including the Cove Field Ridge Overlook. The property contains headwaters of Richland Creek, which flows through the Town of Waynesville (along the Waynesville Greenway) and into Lake Junaluska less than seven miles downstream.

The three properties are part of a growing landscape of protected land in the area. They lie between the 8,030-acre Waynesville municipal watershed to the south (protected by CTNC, Southern Appalachian Highlands ConservancyLand Trust for the Little Tennessee, and NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund), and the proposed Plott-Balsam/Waterrock Knob park to the north.

“If Big Cove Ridge was developed, it would mar the scenic views from nearby overlooks,” said Phil Francis, Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent. “We appreciate the Conservation Trust for North Carolina stepping in to protect this wonderful property in its natural, forested state.”

“The more pristine we can keep our mountains, the better it will be for all of us and for generations to come,” said Phil Ferguson, one of the family members who made the charitable sale to CTNC.

“The protection of Big Cove Ridge will ensure the integrity of the vistas in this stretch of the Parkway, protect water quality in Richland Creek, and contribute to the growing tourism economy in Haywood County,” said Reid Wilson, CTNC Executive Director.