Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust conserves 63-acres along Laurel Knob Road

Public park and hiking trails in the works

Just north of Cashiers, 63 acres of ecologically valuable land has been permanently conserved with Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT). The new property’s location, on Laurel Knob Road, makes it an ideal site for the creation of a public park with hiking trails, which is exactly what HCLT is going to do.

The Preserve is largely flat with a mix of forest, wetlands, and some open areas which HCLT plans to manage as pollinator wildlife meadows.

HCLT already has plans for a public park and trail system on the 63-acre at Baker Reserve.

It is slated to become the Trust’s newest public access property making it their first recreational property in the Cashiers community.

HCLT conserves over 1,750 acres in and around Cashiers including places like Chimney Top, Rock Mountain, and the meadow at Lonesome Valley, to name a few.

HCLT Executive Director, Dr. Gary Wein said the Land Trust didn’t expand into Cashiers until 2000.

“The Trust has been conserving land on the Plateau since the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until about 2000 that we expanded our service area from Southern Macon to include Southern Jackson County,” said Dr. Wein. “Since then, we have actually gone on to conserve even more land in and around Cashiers than Highlands; however, we are still one of Cashiers’ best kept secrets.”

The Land Trust is currently working on a plan for the new trail system with the goal of opening it up to the general public once the trails are complete.

“Connecting with and growing support in the community is more important than ever,” said Dr. Wein. “As demands on our natural resources are at an all-time high, it has never been more imperative that we work together to conserve our valuable natural resources on the Plateau. By building trails for the Cashiers community, we will also be building something bigger- a stronger connection with the community we serve.”

To learn how you might conserve your land, either by donating your property or by conserving it and still retaining ownership, contact HCLT at info.hitrust@earthlink.net.

To learn more and to make a donation, click HERE.

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is a nationally accredited 501c3 nonprofit charity whose mission is to conserve valuable natural resources for all generations.

Article and photos courtesy of Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

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