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LandTrust for Central North Carolina buys 70-acre peak of Dark Mountain

Staff report

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has purchased the peak of Dark Mountain in Montgomery County.

The 70-acre property boasts the second-highest mountain in Montgomery County, about 940 feet in elevation, which has wide views from the pinnacle.

The purchase will protect part of Uwharrie National Recreational Trail, which is a top priority for LandTrust and the U.S. Forest Service. LandTrust has worked over the past decade to protect the view sheds and reconnect the Uwharrie Ttrail with acquisitions such as King Mountain and Little Long Mountain.

For the past five years, LandTrust has led a four-day hike of the 40-mile Uwharrie trail. This year’s hike is planned for late October and is capped at 70 participants. There is currently a 20-person waiting list.

In addition to the Uwharrie trail hike, the annual Uwharrie Mountain Run starts with a climb of Dark Mountain, a signature location.

More than 500 runners come through this property. Because of the LandTrust purchase, this section of trail is permanently protected for hikers and runners.

To support LandTrust’s efforts to conserve and reconnect Uwharrie National Recreational Trail, visit its website at www.landtrustcnc.org.

From a natural resources perspective, the property has a mature hardwood forest that is home to a variety of wildlife including turkey, deer and neotropical migratory birds. Additionally, it is surrounded by Uwharrie National Forest. The ultimate goal is for the property is to be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service and included in the national forest.

“The LandTrust is so excited to have worked with the Smith family to protect this wonderful property,” Executive Director Travis Morehead said. “They had not considered offering this property to any other buyer, and the LandTrust is honored that they worked with us to see the special tract conserved.”

The acquisition of the Dark Mountain project is made possible through the financial support of LandTrust members, such as the Uwharrie Trailblazers. In addition, Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury assisted on the project with a financial gift.

To learn more about this project or how you can support LandTrust for Central North Carolina, contact Crystal Cockman at 704-647-0302 or crystal@landtrustcnc.org.

 

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