Little Long Mountain now in U.S. Forest Service Ownership!

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina is pleased to announce that the Little Long Mountain property, the last gap in the Uwharrie Trail in Montgomery County, is now in U.S. Forest Service ownership! The LandTrust purchased this property in 2011 because it filled a critical gap in the Uwharrie National Recreational Trail, and possesses unique species and ecosystems. Uwharrie Trail - New Section of Trail

The LandTrust’s plan long-term plan was to work towards transferring the tract to the U.S. Forest Service for inclusion in the Uwharrie National Forest. Now, thanks to funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, this vision is complete. “We are excited to see this property finally become part of the Uwharrie National Forest, and for the trail section here to be officially owned by a public agency for the enjoyment of all,” states Executive Director Crystal Cockman.

The Little Long Mountain property boasts the only panoramic views of the Uwharrie Mountains along the Uwharrie Trail. Federally endangered Schweinitz’s sunflower is found along the roadside, and unique Piedmont glade communities are located atop the mountain, which rises to approximately 920 feet in elevation.

The property was clear-cut before The LandTrust purchased it, and so the remnants of the old Uwharrie Trail section were lost. Thanks to the work of a dedicated group of volunteers who call themselves the Uwharrie Trailblazers, that section of trail has been rebuilt and reclaimed. Now hikers can enjoy approximately 3.5 miles of trail from Jumpin’ Off Rock to the new trailhead at the northern base of Little Long Mountain, named the Joe Moffitt trailhead after the Uwharrie Trail’s founder. Another 3.5 miles can be hiked from that trailhead to Pisgah Covered Bridge Road, as well, thanks to this acquisition.

“With the filling of this last gap in Montgomery County, we are closer than ever to fully reconnecting the 40-mile Uwharrie Trail,” remarks Cockman. For the past three years, The LandTrust has led a backpacking trip of the historic trail, walking on roads for approximately 3 miles where the last and largest gap in the trail still remains in Randolph County south of the Birkhead Wilderness. Two other small acquisitions in the area, one in partnership with the NC Zoo Society, have brought a completely reconnected Uwharrie Trail closer to realization.

The Little Long Mountain property is a critical step in making the complete reconnection of the Uwharrie Trail an eventual reality, and The LandTrust is thrilled that the property is finally a part of the National Forest. Thanks to all the many partners along the way who made this possible, including The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (www.ctnc.org), the U.S. Forest Service, the Uwharrie Trailblazers and other volunteers and supporters.

*For more information about The Land Trust for Central NC, please contact The Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or crystal@landtrustcnc.org, or visit their website at www.landtrustcnc.org

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