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Blue Ridge Parkway tract protected, conservation group says

By Bruce Henderson
bhenderson@charlotteobserver.com

A 128-acre tract that holds part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and is visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway has been protected, a conservation group said Thursday.

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina bought the McDowell County property, near Altapass. It’s at the parkway’s Heffner Gap Overlook (milepost 326) and also visible from the Bear Den Overlook.

The tract lies between two other properties the trust has protected, a 1,488-acre CSX easement and the 534-acre Rose Creek/Overmountain Trail natural area. It contains a short section of the trail that links those properties.

The Conservation Trust paid an Atlanta couple $700,000 for the property in December, using a $544,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byways program, money from the N.C. Environmental Enhancements grants program and Salisbury philanthropists Fred and Alice Stanback.

The trust expects to transfer the property to the National Park Service for inclusion within parkway boundaries.

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