The Conservation Trust for North Carolina purchased the land in a charitable sale from the Ferguson family.
“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 landowners.
The tract is part of a growing landscape on conserved land along the Parkway corridor above Waynesville. This tract borders two other private tracts totaling 210 acres, adding to a larger conservation corridor along the Parkway above.
The tract, which lies between milepost 439 and 440 and visible from the Cove Field Ridge Overlook, will be donated to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Parkway’s official boundary.
“If Big Cove Ridge was developed, it would mar the scenic views from nearby overlooks. We appreciate the Conservation Trust for North Carolina stepping in to protect this wonderful property in its natural, forested state,” said Phil Francis, Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent.
The three conserved tracts also border the 8,000-acre Allens Creek watershed owned by the town of Waynesville, which is also protected through a conservation agreement.
“People travel from all over the country to experience the Blue Ridge Parkway’s majestic views. The protection of Big Cove Ridge will ensure the integrity of the vistas, protect water quality in Richland Creek, and contribute to the growing tourism economy in Haywood County,” said Francis.