HCLT honors legacy of Hillrie Quin

Those fortunate enough to have known the late Hillrie Quin know the kind of impact he made on the Plateau.

Hillrie’s love of nature and passion for conserving it was obvious through his long-time service on the board of directors of Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve our forests, waterways and vistas here in Southern Macon and Jackson Counties.

During Hillrie’s many years of service with HCLT, he was involved with the conservation of thousands of acres of some of our most treasured lands in and around the Plateau. 

Hillrie Quin at a trail workday in 2011.

In fact, he and his wife, Beverly Quin, made significant land donations of their own property including Rhododendron Park, a public access trail that connects to HCLT’s Kelsey Trail Preserve.

In keeping with Hillrie’s generous spirit and commitment to conservation, he also donated Quin Farm, a former farmstead complete with a barn full of tractors, mowers and other tools, and equipment that helps the Land Trust manage many protected properties.

Hillrie was also a founding member of another organization, the Highlands Plateau Greenway, which is still a thriving nonprofit organization responsible for the creation of ten miles of walkable trail throughout Highlands. Many of these trails cross through properties conserved by the Land Trust including Sunset Rock and Kelsey Trail.

One of Hillrie’s many endeavors included working with the local country clubs to institute a hike of the original, historic Kelsey Trail every few years, complete with historical reenactors.  Hillrie knew how to put on a fun event!

To honor his legacy and dedication to promoting outdoor recreation and conservation, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is proud to announce “Hillrie’s Loop,” a new loop trail slated to be open this spring at the Kelsey Trail Preserve.

The Kelsey Trail Preserve and home to Hillrie’s Loop. The trailhead for the Kelsey Trail is the patch of concrete at the bottom of the frame just to the right of the watermark.

At a little over a quarter mile, Hillrie’s Loop will provide hikers an alternative route through HCLT’s Kelsey Trail Preserve.

The trail was built largely thanks to the hard-working volunteers of the Highlands Plateau Greenway. The trail crosses through an area undergoing forest succession after the loss of some old hemlocks due to hemlock woolly adelgid.

It provides hikers an opportunity to see a different side of the preserve and bird species more common in open areas.

There is a small waterfall along the trail people can enjoy, as well as marveling at some of the old dead hemlocks the trail leads you through. The Land Trust would like to thank Pat and Hilda Patrick and the Patrick Family Foundation for their generous gift in honor of our mutual friend, Hillrie Quin.

To learn more about Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and their mission to conserve the Plateau’s natural resources, click HERE or email info.hitrust@earthlink.net.

To learn more about Hillrie’s Loop, click HERE.

To learn more about Hillrie Quin, click HERE.

Article and photos courtesy of Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

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