Launching a legacy: Canton’s Chestnut Mountain Park officially open

As Earth Day bloomed under one of spring’s sunniest skies yet, more than 150 people gathered on a concrete bridge spanning Hominy Creek just outside Canton to celebrate what Mayor Zeb Smathers termed a “gift of genesis” — the long-awaited opening of Chestnut Mountain Nature Park .

Five ways public lands won big in 2021

For Western North Carolina’s outdoor enthusiasts, a toast to 2021 means a toast to the impressive slate of conservation successes that took place on the region’s public lands this year. 

Budgeting for conservation: State budget amplifies funding for trails, parks and conservation

Western North Carolina will see a new state park, rail trail efforts and miles of backcountry paths following Gov. Roy Cooper’s Nov. 18 signature on the first state’s first comprehensive budget law since 2018. 

Canton’s catalyst: Chestnut Mountain aims for April open

Seth Alvo makes defying gravity look easy. Pushing off on his mountain bike, he gathers speed on a rolling portion of Berm Park’s double black diamond trail, careening around a curved berm until it joins a vertical wall. The bike lifts off the berm and, for just a moment, rolls perpendicular to the wooden boards before a solid landing again submits it to gravity’s rule. 

‘A trail for everybody’: YouTuber raises funds for Canton bike park

The first trails at Canton’s Chestnut Mountain Park will be ready to ride before the leaves drop this fall thanks to an overwhelmingly successful fundraising effort from Asheville YouTuber Seth Alvo. 

‘A trail for everybody’: YouTuber raises funds for Canton bike park

The first trails at Canton’s Chestnut Mountain Park will be ready to ride before the leaves drop this fall thanks to an overwhelmingly successful fundraising effort from Asheville YouTuber Seth Alvo. 

Ten great outdoor moments from 2020

There’s been a lot of focus lately on all the ways that the last 12 months have been hard and frightening and challenging, but believe it or not, 2020 has had its share of bright spots, too. Here are 10 of the most inspiring, beautiful and joy-filled moments from this year’s outdoors news. 

Land deal could bolster Canton’s Chestnut Mountain project

A critical piece of the Chestnut Mountain puzzle could soon come under control of the Town of Canton after town officials voted to make an offer on a small tract of land adjacent to it. 

Bringing backcountry to the back door: Early plans unveiled for Chestnut Mountain park

The project may still be in its early stages, but plans are beginning to take shape for the 448-acre park that will soon occupy the Chestnut Mountain property just outside of Canton. 

“We’re looking forward to building an amazing place that really helps merge conservation and recreation and just something we can make for future generations,” said Assistant Town Manager Nick Scheuer during a public meeting on the project held July 29 via Zoom. “This is a big idea and a huge project and something that really has the potential to impact our region for not just our lifetime but for our kids and our grandkids.”

Gateway to recreation: Canton begins planning for 448-acre outdoor park

The 448-acre woodland property sitting right off U.S. 23/19 and Interstate 40 near Canton was almost a speedway. Then, it was almost an indoor ski resort. It was almost a lot of things over the years, but now it will be a public park and conservation area. 

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