New place to hike and rock climb: Wildcat Rock Trail opens in Hickory Nut Gorge

Some might call him the mountain whisperer. John Myers is that special kind of person who can look up at a mountain, listen to a mountain and know instinctively what it needs – to remain protected, wild and free. Myers, a landowner, conservationist and rock climber, has lived in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge for nearly 20 years with his wife, Jane Lawson.

He has had the steely focus, the patience and the friend-making capacity to take care of the mountains that are his home, and to make sure they are forever protected and available for the enjoyment of others who share his love of wild places.

At a ceremony Dec. 14, 2017 hosted by Conserving Carolina at Myers’ and Lawson’s Laughing Waters Retreat butting up against Bearwallow Mountain, about 130 people turned out to celebrate three significant conservation and recreation projects:

Completion of the 3-mile Wildcat Rock Trail that ascends Little Bearwallow Mountain and reaches Little Bearwallow Falls on the way to the scenic summit.

Completion of a Conserving Carolina conservation easement on land owned by Myers and Lawson that forever protects another 38 acres on Little Bearwallow Mountain.

Formal opening of a rock and ice climbing area at Little Bearwallow Falls and its dedication to Myers.

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