Black Ankle Bog

             Nearly every citizen of Montgomery County has heard of Black Ankle.  Itís probably a safe guess that many can guess where the name of the community came from.  However, probably fewer folks are aware that a nature preserve exists that contains the namesake of the community.

            In 1991, the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy purchased 284 acres from the Dassow Property Corporation based in Greensboro .  The Conservancy sought out the land because of the unique nature of the bog that exists there.  Moreover, they sought to protect and restore many of the native plants that thrive in such a rare Piedmont bog.  The primary plant involved is the purple pitcher plant, a species seldom found this far south.  Other unique plants that inhabit the moist soils of the bog include the thick-pod white wild indigo, witch-alder, and bog spicebush.  The bog is also crawling with animals that arenít often seen around these parts. 

            Prior to European settlement, it is believed that the area housing the bog was frequently exposed to fire.  This frequent burning would help account for the natural occurrence of long leaf pine that exists on the site.  With this in mind, The Nature Conservancy has teamed up with local partners such as the North Carolina Zoo, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and N.C. Division of Forest Resources to help recreate the intermittent fires that previously presided over the local landscape.  In addition to reintroducing fire these groups are collaborating to replant previously harvested long leaf pines, while also attempting to control invasive species. 

            Due to the sensitivity of this area to human disturbance public access is not available.  However, The Nature Conservancy does offer a field trip program that provides guided tours of these sites.  If youíre interested in learning more about when these field trips are available you can reach them at (919) 403-8558.