The Conservancy purchased the summit and more than 250 surrounding acres in the Plott Balsam Mountains of Jackson County to hold and manage as a nature preserve until it can eventually be transferred to public ownership as park lands, the SAHC said in a press release. The 5,700 foot peak contains “rare spruce-fir forest and two headwater tributaries that flow down its slopes,” said Michelle Pugliese, SAHC’s land protection director. “We are so proud to have preserved this view for all to enjoy.”
The tract’s proximity to and visibility from the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as its high-elevation forest and pristine headwater sources, made it a priority for conservation, Pugliese said. The Blackrock Mountain summit is visible from the Plott Balsam overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The entire property can be seen in the foreground view from the Plott Balsam overlook (Mile Post 458), the Waterrock Knob visitor center (Mile Post 451.2), and multiple locations along the parkway on the drive north from Waterrock Knob. The newly purchased tract adjoins The Nature Conservancy’s Plott-Balsam Preserve and the Sylva Watershed.