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

Ash Cove

Ash Cove

Approximate Size: 5,884 acres

Old Growth Acreage: 1,708 acres

Location: Northeast of Andrews, NC, in Cherokee County bordering the Tusquitee Ranger District boundary, Nantahala National Forest

USGS Topographic Maps: Andrews, Robbinsville, Hewitt, Topton

The Ash Cove Mountain Treasure is on the eastern end of the Snowbird Mountains that rise above Andrews, NC. The Snowbird ridgeline carries the old western extension of the Bartram Trail. With completion of the Bartram Trail to Cheoah Bald, the Forest Service abandoned the western extension.

The Cheoah Ranger District now refers to this old trail as the Valley River Trail and is searching for volunteers to restore it to suitability for hiking. The trail travels along the ridgeline for 20 miles to Porterfield Gap, passing near 4,700-foot Teyahalee Bald (formerly Joanna Bald) at the northwest end of the Ash Cove area.

A cosmogram -- or sun circle -- on a rock near the Cherokee Town site of Cowee.

Teyahalee Bald is a prominent feature for hikers traveling the Fires Creek Rim Trail that is just across the valley to the south on the Valley River Mountains. The Piercy Bald Mountain Treasure is close to Ash Cove on the northeast end and the Ash Cove Mountain Treasure should be considered together with the Piercy Bald unit as a smaller but representative sample of a primitive area in need of protection.

If the Valley River Trail is reconstructed to Porterfield Gap, it can carry hikers north over the Snowbird ridge spine to connect with the Snowbird Trail system in the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area, thus connecting these two Mountain Treasures areas. The proposed 4-lane Corridor K, if built, would threaten this area.

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