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

Boteler Peak

Boteler Peak

Roadless acreage: 4,221 acres

Old growth acreage: 917 acres

Location: Clay County, NC; 15 miles southwest of Franklin; Tusquitee Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest

USGS Topographic Maps: Shooting Creek, Rainbow Springs, Topton

The Boteler Peak Mountain Treasure area connects to the Tusquitee Bald area to the northwest and the Southern Nantahala Wilderness area to the southeast. It serves as a vital corridor for bear to travel between the sanctuary in the Tusquitee Mountain Treasure area and the Southern Nantahala Wilderness.

The Chunky Gal Trail traverses the Boteler Peak area and passes beside Boteler Peak. An overlook on Boteler Peak affords a splendid view of the wild lands to the north. The Forest Service dates some stands on the mountain from the 1700s–and these are truly primeval forest–while other portions of the Boteler Peak area are recovering from extensive logging and should be allowed to continue to heal. Boteler Peak and Upper Perry Creek both contain verified old-growth totaling over 900 acres.

The eastern side of this Mountain Treasure has outcrops of serpentine rocks which result in very unusual and rare plant associations and is noted for its abundance of rare species and one-of-a-kind serpentine barren. At least 17 rare species have been reported from the serpentine barrens, including Rhianon’s aster, found nowhere else.

Eastern wild turkey. Photo by Lamar Marshall

The Chunky Gal Trail connects southeast to the Appalachian Trail near White Oak Stamp and going northwest, extends 22 miles to Tusquitee Bald. Hikers can take the Old Road Gap Trail out of the Tusquitee Bald area to connect to the trails in the Piercy Bald unit and then to the North Carolina Bartram Trail near Sutherland Gap. The Bartram Trail also leads north to intersect the Appalachian Trail again at Cheoah Bald. A 135-mile hike south on the Appalachian Trail returns hikers to the eastern starting point of the Chunky Gal Trail at White Oak Stamp.

This wonderful backpacking and bear corridor should be preserved for future generations to experience.

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