Archived Outdoors

New natural area opens to the public

A drone captures an aerial view of Bobs Creek State Natural Area. FCNC photo A drone captures an aerial view of Bobs Creek State Natural Area. FCNC photo

Bobs Creek State Natural Area is officially open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, June 2, attended by Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Reid Wilson. 

“North Carolina is a beautiful place, from the shining coast to right here in the foothills,” Cooper said. “Bobs Creek State Natural Area will help protect our water quality while providing a space for North Carolinians to gather and enjoy nature.”

Occupying more than 6,000 acres in McDowell County, the area was established in 2017 with the passage of House Bill 353, and the three-phase land acquisition process finished March 30. The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will manage the property for low-impact recreation, water quality and preservation of rare plants and diverse natural ecosystems. Hiking, mountain biking, wildlife observation and scenic enjoyment could all be offered on the property. Bobs Creek State Natural Area protects water quality along 5 miles of source streams draining to Muddy Creek, the Catawba River and the Second Broad River. 

The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation made the conservation purchases to form Bobs Creek. The land’s former owner Tim Sweeney donated a significant portion of the property’s value to the sale. Additional funding came from a variety of public and private sources. 

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.