We purchased 200 acres near the headwaters of the Catawba River, located southeast of the Town of Black Mountain. It bridges two SAHC conservation easements and a corner of Pisgah National Forest. On its west side, the property adjoins 400 acres protected by the SAHC conservation easement at Christmount. On the east lies 329 acres that landowners Mary and Joe Hemphill worked with SAHC to protect with a conservation easement in 2003. The Glade Creek tract was owned by Joe’s sister, Lynn Hemphill Wolter, and her husband Bill.
“This land has been in the Hemphill family for over 65 years,” said Land Protection Director Michelle Pugliese. “Mary and Joe Hemphill, who protected their adjoining property with a conservation easement, had long desired to see the Glade Creek property protected. We are so pleased to fulfill the family’s wishes to preserve it for posterity.”
Water on the property contributes to three major watersheds in the southeast: the French Broad, Broad and Catawba River systems. The Catawba River headwaters are located only 1,000 feet north of the property, and the popular Catawba Falls recreation site is nearby. Pristine springs and headwater streams of Glade Creek (classified as Trout Waters by the NC Division of Water Resources) and its tributaries flow through the tract. The property contains part of the Eastern Continental Divide. Water sources on one side of this continental divide flow to the Atlantic Ocean, while those on the other side flow to the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are very grateful to Fred and Alice Stanback for making a generous philanthropic gift to enable SAHC to purchase this tract,” said Executive Director Carl Silverstein. “This completes the protection of a large, contiguous swath of land containing important clean water sources.”
The property, visible from Highway 70 and points within the adjoining section of Pisgah National Forest, contains diverse forest habitats. Old trees with diameters over four feet are not uncommon. The property is also home to Pine-Oak/Heath Forest dominated by table mountain pine, as well as a hemlock grove, acidic coves, and specimens of mature American chestnuts.
We intend to own the property for the long term and lead guided hikes on it as part of our outings program.