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

Piercy Mountain Range

Piercy Mountain Range

Approximate size: 9,107 acres

Old growth acreage: 2,515 acres

Location: Cherokee and Macon counties, NC; 8 miles east of Andrew; Wayah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest

USGS Topographic Maps: Topton, Hewitt, Andrews

There are 26 miles of developed trails in this area including a section of the North Carolina Bartram Trail. Clusters of old-growth oak are visible from the some of the ridgeline trails. The London Bald Trail travels from Junaluska Gap on the southeast end to the Bartram Trail near Sutherland Gap and stays near the ridgeline with views of the Nantahala Ridge spine and Nantahala Lake.

This is an important corridor for both game and recreationists, providing a continuous, wild corridor between the Southern Nantahala Wilderness and the Cheoah Bald Mountain Treasures areas. Its many hiking loops offer great day-hiking.

The North Carolina Bartram Trail crosses the northern side of the area. A long ridge trail begins near Junaluska Gap and winds along the high ridge almost the full length of the area. Intersecting this ridge trail are many side trails that offer short loop trips. Another trail along Piercy Creek leads to a trailhead on the Nantahala River and the road which parallels it.

Wilderness tranquility. Sketch by Janice Barrett

The Appletree Group Camp near the eastern corner of the area is an important destination for larger groups. Campers here can hike out of the campground or by short drives reach a variety of other trails in the western mountains.

The aqueduct from Aquone Reservoir to the Nantahala powerhouse passes under this area. Uniquely, there is a waterfall inside the duct: builders drove bores from each end and when they finally met they were vertically misaligned.

The old-growth forests, high mountains and clear streams of the Piercy Mountains provide first-class hunting, fishing, and hiking opportunities and habitat for several rare plants and animals but the wilderness quality of this area is compromised by a network of logging roads and recent logging.

The next Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan should manage this area for recreation and wildlife habitat rather than logging roads and timber.

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