February 28, 2021
Attention Hikers and Bikers
Posted by: Rick
Attention Hikers and Bikers!
For way too long, Engadine’s location on Smoky Park Highway has presented challenges for guests who are looking for a “nearby” hiking or mountain biking destination. When asked, we usually suggested Bent Creek for mountain biking and the NC Arboretum or Dupont State Forest for hiking.
But that’s all about to change…in a BIG and CONVENIENT way!
Announced last summer and opening this spring/summer, substantial progress is being made on the development of Chestnut Mountain Nature Park by the town of Canton, just west of us. Also, located off Smoky Park Highway (called “Asheville Highway” in Canton and adjoining Haywood County), CMNP is literally a two-minute drive from Engadine. Take a left out of our driveway, proceed about 2.5 miles, turn left into the entrance to the park and you’re there!
This park has been described in the park’s Master Plan as a “game changer” for Canton and the communities around Engadine…
“The permanent protection of the 450-acre park, planned as a nature park for a diversity of passive and active recreation use, will showcase how conservation and recreation can boost the local economy and enhance local and regional quality of life. This park is planned with the citizens of the Town of Canton in mind, but will also draw users from within the region and beyond as it will likely become a premier outdoor recreation destination. It will be a hub for hiking and mountain biking, immersion into a backcountry experience, and easy access to a front country day-use area with a pavilion, restroom, lawn, Hominy Creek access, gateway, and trailhead with parking.”
“A Catalyst For Growth.”
“Eastern Haywood County, where the property is located, is under-served for recreational amenities and in great need of such a public park. With its location one mile from Canton’s town limits with frontage on Highway 19/23 and an NCDOT funded greenway, with easy access to Interstate 40, the project presents an immense public recreation opportunity and could be a catalyst for economic revitalization on the 19/23 highway corridor. The park can also support the local economy as an attractive amenity for relocating businesses and residents.”
“A Conservation Success Story.”
“Decades ago, plans for a motor speedway and associated amenities, including condos and cabins on the property fell flat while construction had barely begun. The property has remained vacant since the initial disturbance was made when first breaking ground in the 1990’s. In 2020, the purchase of the property was facilitated by Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) for the purpose of conservation via easement and donation of the land to the Town of Canton. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) and private donors provided significant funding for the property. This will prove to be a strong investment for the people of North Carolina. This property is a critical piece of a larger wildlife corridor. It will permanently protect nine miles of streams, including a section of Hominy Creek. The property is located on a priority wildlife corridor, connecting the Pisgah National Forest to Sandy Mush and Cherokee Forest of East Tennessee.”
Needless to say, we are excited to welcome Chestnut Mountain Nature Park to our neighborhood. And we also look forward to welcoming guest to Engadine who will be interested in the hiking and biking options that will now be found just beyond our doorstep!