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

Woods Mountain

12,681 acres NCMT; 9,905 acres PWA; 9,316 acres IRA          

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

Naturalness: This is a major roadless area with 9,316 IRA acres, giving protection to a long segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway and its viewshed. Many of the steep, narrow valleys contain old-growth forest. The high percentage of untouched forest makes hikes here a pleasant experience. Woods Mountain provides high quality black bear habitat and is prized by local hunters.

Opportunities for Solitude/Backcountry Recreation: The main trail through the area is a segment of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Where the trail leaves the Blue Ridge Parkway, it follows a stunning and unforgettable knife-edge ridge, eventually reaching a point near the top of Woods Mountain itself, from which there is a side trail to an old tower site. The trail then descends to a crossing of U.S. 221 near the Woodlawn Work Center.

As in so many other areas, the Forest Service has abandoned a large percentage of the trails here. Although the Armstrong Creek Trail has been resurrected, hikers have lost the Singecat Creek Trail. Neglect has claimed many other significant trails.

Ecological and other values: The rare turkey beard and the unusual chinquapin are common in the area. Woods Mountain has the only population of mountain golden heather outside of Linville Gorge. This species is islanded on treeless, rocky summits that are maintained by fire. Other areas of botanical interest include the rich cove forests at Bee Rock Creek and “Nettle Patch.” This area has 1,727 acres of old growth forest.

This area contains one State Natural Heritage Area:

Woods Mountain/Singecat Ridge (NCNHP proposed for new priority SIA)

Manageability: The area is bordered by the Blue ridge parkway and other roads that make management s Backcountry feasible.

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