North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures
Help Protect the Vulnerable Wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

Fishhawk Mountain

Fishhawk Mountain

Approximate Size: 5,668 acres

Old Growth Acreage: 389 acres

Location: Macon County, NC, north of Highlands, NC Wayah Ranger District

USGS Topographic Maps: Scaly Mountain

The outstanding feature of this gem is its cliffs. A dozen or more rock faces afford the hiker an abundance of long-distance views, at least one in every direction. The cliffs provide excellent nesting habitat for peregrine falcons.


Cedar Cliff, on the western end of the area, is a rock face on which cedar trees have gained a toehold, pushing their roots into fissures on the cliff’s hot, southern exposure. These ancients have clung there for over a century in one of the most adverse environments imaginable. Botanists consider Cedar Cliff among the best examples of a mountain cedar glade because of its size, diversity and the rare plants it harbors.

At Jones Gap the springtime blossoms of trillium and other ephemerals make a dazzling display of color. It’s worth a trip just to see them. There is much private land surrounding Fish-hawk, and it is being hemmed in by development. That makes protection of this area even more critical.

The North Carolina Bartram Trail bisects this Mountain Treasure, running generally along the crest of a long ridgeline. It is well marked and a corps of volunteers fully maintains it. There are several good camping sites with plentiful water along the trail.

Bookmark and Share