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

Dobson Knob

11,790 acres NCMT; 11,010 acres PWA; 6,128 acres IRA

Recommendation: Backcountry Management Area/Special Biological Area

Naturalness: Dobson Knob is an extremely rugged area. Much of the area has never been logged, containing at least 5,002 acres of existing old growth. The rugged outcrops are covered with some of the best remaining stands of Carolina Hemlock. Table Mountain Pine, a Southern Appalachian endemic species is found throughout the area.

Opportunities for Solitude: The Dobson Knob Area is extremely rugged. The interior of the area, a very difficult place to navigate to, would offer ample solitude.. A majority of this area is inaccessible and likely to remain so. The hollows drained by Black Fork and Yellow Fork, and below their confluence, Paddy Creek, are laurel and rhododendron “hells.”

Opportunities for Recreation: A recently constructed portion of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail that climbs the western slope of the area gives access to it for the first time. In addition to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a segment of the Overmountain Victory Trail goes through the area.

Ecological and other values: Tennessee Volunteers used this historic trail to reach the Revolutionary War battlegrounds at Kings Mountain and at Cowpens. Dobson Knob has several high-quality Carolina Hemlock Bluffs that are excellent rattlesnake habitat. At the writing of this document, the Carolina hemlock, a species endemic to the Southern Appalachians, has suffered because of hemlock wooly adelgid, but many of the stands have now been treated. The Carolina hemlocks at Dobson Knob remain some of the healthiest in the region and are prime candidates for preservation. The area includes a Significant Natural Heritage Area:

Linville Mtn Dolomite Areas (NCNHP proposed for new priority SIA)

Manageability: The ruggedness and inaccessibility of the area as well as its important species and backcountry value argue strongly for backcountry management.

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