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

Piercy Mountain Range

9,111 acres NCMT

Recommendation: This entire Mountain Treasure Area should be placed in Special Biological Area management or Backcountry Management Area

Naturalness: This area 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.

Opportunities for Solitude/Backcountry Recreation: 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.

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.

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.

Ecological and other values: This area is a significant wildlife corridor, with 2,519 acres of old growth forest.There are 3,054 acres of State Natural Heritage Areas identified: Upper Nantahala Gorge

Piercy Bald/London Bald Piercy Range/Kennedy Top

Manageability: 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 rare species habitat rather than logging roads and timber.

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