LandTrust acquires Capel property in Uwharries

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina
A Uwharrie conservation tract in Montgomery County has been protected by The LandTrust for Central North Carolina.
The LandTrust recently purchased 245 acres of a larger 308-acre tract long considered one of the most important unprotected large parcels in the Uwharrie National Forest-Morrow Mountain State Park area.
With the closing, the LandTrust also received a three-year option to purchase the remaining 63 acres, which fronts on Lake Tillery directly across from Morrow Mountain State Park.
The LandTrust is partnering with the national conservation group Trust for Public Land (TPL) to ensure that this special property is made available for public use and recreation in the near future.
The tract, formerly owned by the Capel Rug Co. in Troy, is located at the convergence of the Uwharrie River and Dutchman’s Creek, adjacent to the confluence of the Uwharrie River and Lake Tillery.
It is at this point where the “Yadkin River” becomes the “Pee Dee River.”
The recently purchased parcel is located directly across from the boat launch in Morrow Mountain State Park, and is visible from hiking trails within the park.
The land to be protected features unique natural rock formations, a rare and scenic Piedmont waterfall, scenic vistas of the Uwharrie Mountains and Morrow Mountain State Park, and access to both Lake Tillery and the Uwharrie River.
Archaeological resources on this property will be studied and protected.
“We are extremely proud and excited to announce the conservation of this tract, long considered one of the most important land conservation opportunities in the region,” says Jason Walser, executive director of The LandTrust.
“Our long-term goal is to see this property opened to the public as an expansion of Morrow Mountain State Park or perhaps an expansion of the Uwharrie National Forest. For many years, we have been working to make the Uwharrie National Forest and the Uwharrie River more accessible to the public, and this parcel is an absolutely critical piece in terms of enhancing the paddling and fishing opportunities on the Uwharrie River. It also represents the only opportunity to tie the 25 mile Uwharrie Recreation Trail into Lake Tillery, as well as Falls and Badin Reservoirs.
“The public recreational opportunities for this parcel truly cannot be overstated.”
Walser says the tract was acquired with major assistance from a private donor who has provided financial assistance for other Uwharrie area conservation projects. Fundraising for the second phase of the property is just beginning, and donations from the public are encouraged.
The Trust for Public Land will be spearheading efforts to complete the second phase of the project (the 63 acre portion) which encompasses nearly all of the shoreline of the locally popular “Hidden Lake” cove of Lake Tillery.
“We are really excited to be working with TPL on this important recreation project,” says Walser. “As a national conservation organization, they have the resources and expertise to help us maximize all of the public recreational opportunities presented with this property.”
For more information about the project, please contact Jason Walser at 704-647-0302 or jason@landtrustcnc.org. To learn more about The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, visit their Website at www.landtrustcnc.org. Information about The Trust for Public Land is online at www.tpl.org.

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