About and How to Visit:
Located in the Haywood County near Lake Logan and the Shining Rock Wilderness, the Cold Mountain Game Lands are managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. The game lands are open to the public and predominantly used for hunting, so please consider safety measures (wear blaze orange) during hunting season.
Just south of the game lands on Little East Fork Road, you’ll find a parking area and trail head for a section of the Art Loeb Trail, which connects to the Cold Mountain Trail and leads to the summit of this iconic peak (one of the Southern Sixers). It’s a steep trail that offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, including the Cold Mountain Game Lands and tracts protected by SAHC. The trail climbs from the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp on the Little East Fork of the Pigeon River, up to Deep Gap on the ridge between Shining Rock and Cold Mountain, where it connects to the spur trail to the Cold Mountain summit. Since this route is entirely within Congressionally-designated wilderness, you will find no signs or trail blazes. Be prepared to practice map reading and compass skills.
SAHC’s involvement in conservation:
In 2016, SAHC assisted the NC WRC with the acquisition of a 64-acre tract incorporated into the Cold Mountain Game Lands, and that same year we purchased a 162-acre tract of land on the northwestern slope of Cold Mountain, in the Dix Creek watershed. This property was later transferred to the State of NC and included in the Cold Mountain Game Lands.
The Balsam Mountains contain some of the most recognized public lands in the Southern Appalachians, including the Shining Rock Wilderness, Cold Mountain Game Lands and Mount Pisgah. They are a biodiversity hotspot and critical wildlife corridor between the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, characterized by fertile cove forests, rich species diversity, and hardwood forests. Since 1999, SAHC has protected nearly 11,000 acres in this area. We hold conservation easements on more than 800 acres on Crawford Creek on the east side of Cold Mountain adjoining the Shining Rock Wilderness and on the 8,000-acre Waynesville watershed (co-held with the Conservation Trust for NC & Clean Water Management Trust Fund).