Catawba conservation purchase to become part of new trail system

  A 68-acre conservation purchase in Catawba County, North Caroina is expected to become part of the planned Wilderness Gateway State Trail, which is intended to meander thorugh Catawba and Burke counties and along the Rutherford-McDowell county line.

The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina bought the property from landowners Becky and Wayne Welch. It is made up of woodlands and former pasturelands near Finger Bridge along the Jacob Fork River.

The conservancy will transfer the property to N.C. State Parks, which will manage public river access for paddling and fishing. A canoe launch is planned as well. In addition to providing recreation, the purchase will protect the drinking supply for the town of Newton.

“We anticipate that this tract will become part of the new Wilderness Gateway State Trail,” said Dwayne Patterson, director of the Division of Natural and Cultural Resources. “We look forward to working with Foothills Conservancy on this exciting project that we expect will bring great things to Catawba County.”

This land acquisition is just one more step toward the protection of Newton’s downstream drinking water supply — and it marks Foothills Conservancy’s third property acquired in Catawba County, with another pending on the Henry Fork River.

Cite…

 

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