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

Overflow Creek

Overflow Creek (Blue Valley)

Approximate size: 6,008 acres

Roadless acreage: 3,509 acres

Old growth acreage: 315 acres

Location: Macon County, NC, 5 miles southwest of Highlands; Highlands Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest

USGS Topographic Maps: Highlands, Scaly Mountain, Rabun Bald, Satolah

Overflow Creek, a congressionally designated wilderness study area, is one of the three chief tributaries that join to make the West Fork of the Chattooga River, which is protected within the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. This area, which adjoins the Three Forks Mouantain Treasures Area in Georgia, provides important watershed protection to the downstream Chattooga River.

Cullasaja Falls. Photo by Ralph Preston

The Overflow Valley lies immediately below the intensely developed Highlands, NC area. There is much local interest in permanently protecting this area from development and from irresponsible forest management. There are numerous communities of old-growth timber in this area, especially in the isolated coves.

The Bartram Trail crosses from south to north along the western side of the area. Glen Falls is a popular and scenic hiking destination that creates a “spray cliff ” habitat important for several species of mosses and liverworts.

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