Land trust closes on 448 acres for outdoor rec in Canton

After a year of planning, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy has closed on a 448-acre purchase in Haywood County that it plans to gift to the Town of Canton as an outdoor recreation area. 

Indoor pool question likely to appear on Jackson ballot

A proposal to include a referendum question on the November ballot asking voters to approve funding for an indoor pool in Jackson County will be the topic of a public hearing slated for 5:55 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, at the Jackson County Justice Center. 

Planning to begin on massive Canton recreation parcel

Despite the reticence of some local governments to spend money on non-essential services due to uncertainty in revenues amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Town of Canton and Haywood County are moving full speed ahead with development of the Chestnut Mountain project. 

Public land managers discuss closure decisions and plans for re-opening

While people nationwide are lamenting the loss of bars, restaurants, concerts, festivals and countless other aspects of community life amid the COVID-19 crisis, for many in Western North Carolina the deepest blow has been the loss of access to hundreds of thousands of acres of cherished public lands. 

Fighting an uphill battle: Motion Makers Bicycle Shop

Emerging from the back of his bicycle shop in downtown Sylva, Motion Makers owner Kent Cranford squeezes around a service desk blocking the front entrance and steps outside to ensure he’s adhering to proper social distancing in the era of the coronavirus while being interviewed. 

Keeping the doorstep green: Canton likely to receive 448 acres for outdoor rec

If all goes as planned, Canton will soon have a 448-acre park for hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor recreation activities just a mile from town limits. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy hopes to close on the property, known as the Chestnut Mountain Tract and currently owned by Canton Motorsports LLC, within the next couple months. 

Stakeholders offer initial feedback on long-awaited forest management plan

The atmosphere inside the Lake Logan Conference Center was more akin to a reunion of friends than to a gathering of business associates as members of the Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision arrived Wednesday, Feb. 26 — and perhaps there’s good reason for that. 

River park efforts revived in Cullowhee

Work could begin on a long-awaited river park in Cullowhee sooner rather than later following completion of an N.C. Department of Transportation bridge project in the Old Cullowhee area. 

“We got the new maps from the DOT of where the road configuration was, and DOT had to acquire a lot of property to swing that road around,” said Anna Fariello, a longtime member of the community nonprofit Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor, or CuRvE. “I didn’t realize how much land they actually took. We’re looking at these maps, and I was blown away.”

Panthertown chosen for Leave No Trace awareness program

Panthertown Valley’s popularity is increasing, and advocates for the backcountry area — located near Cashiers in the Nantahala National Forest — hope its newfound designation as a Leave No Trace Hot Spot will help head off some of the less-than-pleasant effects of that popularity.

Ride on: Kids mountain biking park opens in Jackson

More than a year of planning, collaboration and plain old-fashioned hard work has resulted in a new kids bike park along the Jackson County Greenway, an accomplishment celebrated during a sunlit ribbon-cutting event held at noon Thursday, Oct. 24.

“This park right here, not only is it a tangible, concrete resource for kids immediately and today, but it also stands for, I think, effective and incredibly positive collaboration and partnership between our organization and Jackson County, which I think could materialize into other exciting things,” said Michael Despeaux of the Nantahala Area Southern Off Road Bicycling Association. 

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