032114-PACWalnutCreekPreserveHike

Great opportunity to hike at PAC-protected Walnut Creek Preserve this Friday, April 4 reek Preserve this Friday, April 4

Published 6:50pm Friday, March 28, 2014

Outdoor enthusiasts and hikers are invited to join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) this Friday, April 4, for a 4-mile moderate/strenuous hike at the PAC protected Walnut Creek Preserve. PAC will host the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) for a joint hike between the two organizations.
Babs and Bob Strickland, owners and managers of Walnut Creek Preserve, will lead hikers through the Preserve’s varied natural resource areas.
Hikers will enjoy the east end of the preserve and will begin the hike at the home of the owners. The hike will follow Trillium Creek and Walnut Creek along gentle grades with a few relatively short but strenuous climbs and one longer climb.
Hikers will enjoy spring wildflowers and a break is planned along a rocky section of Walnut Creek. The preserve is private land and the public is only allowed on the property by invitation, so take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the serenity of this beautiful property.
The 2,100 acre Walnut Creek Preserve contains two miles of Walnut Creek, including more than 25 tributaries to Walnut Creek, most of which originate on the preserve. The preserve is comprised of lush forests and pasture land and is home to a variety of indigenous plant life, including rare and threatened species, as well as a wealth of animal life. To assure the survival of these native plants and animals, the Stricklands donated three grants of Conservation Easement to the Pacolet Area Conservancy, which protect over 1,500 acres of the Preserve in perpetuity. This Friday’s hike is a wonderful opportunity to witness firsthand how conservation easements help protect the well-being of our rural landscape, and how thoughtful development can provide a sustainable balance for our environment. Of the 2,100 acres only 25 wooded and equestrian home sites, averaging 20 acres each, will be developed.
Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water. Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require. In case of inclement weather, contact the PAC office by 8:15 a.m. on the day of the hike to see if the hike will take place.
If you are interested in attending the PAC/CMLC hike at Walnut Creek Preserve, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.
Hikers will meet in Columbus at the Bi-Lo parking lot at 8:30 a.m. or at McGuinn’s Exxon (located at the intersection of NC HWY 9 & McGuinn Road) at 9 a.m. to begin the journey to the preserve.
If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend the next PAC hike, please visit PAC’s website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PAC’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information. The next hike is scheduled for April 18, to Twin Falls in Pisgah National Forest, a 6.6-mile, moderate loop hike to view the falls.
For more information about hikes offered by CMLC, visit their website at www.carolinamountain.org.
– article submitted
by Pam Torlina

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