SAHC helps Rocky Fork State Park acquire tract for public access

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy helped celebrate Earth Day with the closing of an exciting new project which will enable more people to learn about and enjoy the incredible Rocky Fork region. They worked with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to purchase a 1-acre tract to facilitate public access for Rocky Fork State Park.

“This 1-acre tract is a critical acquisition because it contains the only public access into Rocky Fork State Park,” said SAHC Executive Director Carl Silverstein. “We are proud to have been able to work with the State of Tennessee and other partners over the past decade to conserve the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork watershed. This recent acquisition is an integral part of these efforts, as it will afford public access for visitors to enjoy trails and trout streams in this stunning area.”

Rocky Fork State Park lies within a half mile of the Appalachian Trail and contains a system of existing and planned public trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, including a future connection to the Appalachian Trail.

The park also contains pristine mountain streams, including Rocky Fork Creek, Flint Creek, South Indian Creek and the headwaters of Long Branch. The main branch of Rocky Fork, designated as a TN Exceptional Stream, flows through the recently acquired 1-acre tract.

The 2,036-acre State Park, together with approximately 8,000 adjoining acres now owned by the U.S. Forest Service, comprise the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork watershed. SAHC worked from 2006-2012 to protect this iconic area, in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), The Conservation Fund (TCF), the State of Tennessee, and the U.S. Forest Service.

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