In the last week, the Charlotte Observer reported that three new trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway have opened up to the public from land acquisition through collaboration between a few prominent North Carolina land trusts and individual conservationists.
The Conservation Fund, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and the Blue Ridge Conservancy and others worked together to connect these pieces of Blue Ridge Mountain land together.
Named after prominent land conservationists, Fred and Alice Stanback, the Stanback Trails provide more public hiking grounds for Appalachia visitors. Just a few hours west of Charlotte, the Stanbank Trails are a perfect weekend or day adventure.
The Saddle Mountain trail takes visitors on 2.0 mile loop of Appalachia Country with oak, mixed-pine and mountain laurel lining the trail. Located close to the Virginia state line, hikers can follow the trail up to the 2,000 feet peak at the Horn of Saddle Mountain.
Near Linville Falls, the Little Tablerock Mountain Trail is a 4.2 hike on the Eastern Continental Divide, the watershed division that determines if water drains to the Atlantic Ocean or the Mississippi River.
Lastly, the Rose Creek Trail has opened to hikers that largely stays adjacent to the Little Rose Creek for the duration of the trail. Hikers can enjoy walking on the same trail as the Patriot Army in the Revolutionary War. Located near the Heffner Gap, the Rose Creek Trail features oak and cove forests.
For experienced and inexperienced hikers, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the newly developed Stanback Trails are a great way to engage in the outdoors and appreciate one of the oldest mountain chains in the world.