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Foothills Conservancy Hosts Hike at Bear Den property along Blue Ridge Parkway April 22

MORGANTON, NC (April 5, 2017)…On Saturday, April 22, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina hosts a guided hike on a conservancy-owned property, known as the Bear Den property, which lies along the Blue Ridge Parkway in McDowell County.

The tract includes a prominent mountain ridge, streams, and cascades in close proximity to the parkway’s spectacular Bear Den Overlook. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the hike is moderate after a short but steep descent, and is expected to take two to three hours. Participants are asked to wear appropriate footwear and pack water and snacks or lunch.

Hikers will meet and carpool to the trailhead. The hike is free to Foothills Conservancy members and $10 for non-members. RSVP is required. RSVP by Tuesday, April 18 by emailing bwillardpatton@foothillsconservancy.org or calling 828-437-9930. Additional details (including the meet-up location) will be provided to those who register.

Foothills Conservancy purchased the 208-acre Bear Den property in September 2016. The property adjoins both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest. Its acquisition further protects critical lands amidst a complex of federal, state, and privately owned conservation lands along the Blue Ridge Parkway east of Spruce Pine, N.C.

In addition to preserving scenic views from the parkway, purchase of the Bear Den property will also protect water quality in the Honeycutt Creek watershed in the Catawba Basin’s headwaters in McDowell County. The property contains more than 1.5 miles of streams that drain into Honeycutt Creek.

Foothills Conservancy plans to transfer the property to the National Park Service for addition to the Blue Ridge Parkway lands after raising additional public and private funds to retire the loan.

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is a nationally accredited, nonprofit regional land trust based in Morganton. The conservancy works cooperatively with landowners and public/private conservation partners to preserve and protect significant natural areas and open spaces. Focus areas include watersheds, forests and farmland across the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills in eight counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford. Since 1995, Foothills Conservancy has protected more than 50,000 acres, including lands added to South Mountains, Lake James and Chimney Rock state parks; Wilson Creek, South Mountains and the Johns River state game lands; Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Information about Foothills Conservancy, including ways to support its work, can be found online at www.foothillsconservancy.org or by calling 828-437-9930.

For more information, contact:
Beth Willard-Patton, Development Director
Ph: 828-437-9930 • bwillardpatton@foothillsconservancy.org

WHAT: Hike at Bear Den

WHO: Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina

WHERE: Bear Den Property, McDowell County

WHEN: Saturday, April 22 • 10:30 a.m.

COST: Free to Foothills Conservancy members. Non-members $10.

RSVP: RSVP required. RSVP by Tuesday, April 18 by emailing
bwillardpatton@foothillsconservancy.org or calling 828-437-9930.

Information provided by the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina.

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