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

Harper Creek / Sugar Knob

Harper Creek / Sugar Knob

Approximate Size: 14,767 acres

Roadless Acreage: 7,351 acres

Old Growth Acreage: 224 acres

Location: Avery, Burke and Caldwell counties, North Carolina, 20 miles southwest of Blowing Rock; Pisgah National Forest, Grandfather Ranger District

USGS Topographic Maps: Chestnut Mountain, Grandfather Mountain

Harper Creek, another wilderness study area that the Forest Service recommended in the 1994 Forest Plan for designation, lies just south of Lost Cove. The prime attractions of Harper Creek and its neighbors are their streams, full of trout and waterfalls large and small. North Harper Creek Falls and South Harper Creek Falls are two of the most impressive.

Wild raspberries are abundant in many of the deep, lush mountainsides of the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

The trail system here, as in Lost Cove, is well developed and very popular, offering a fine variety of loops for camping and backpacking. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs through both wild areas. Sugar Knob is best thought of as an extension of Harper Creek to the south. The Forest Service affords it no special status other than having identified it in the 1994 Forest Plan to be managed as a “Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized” area.

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