REGIONAL: Two properties permanently conserved in Montgomery County

Published 3:49 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2022

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With the warm weather approaching, people often choose to venture into the great outdoors as a means of recreation. Whether it is to hike, bike, paddle or walk Three Rivers Land Trust has made it its mission to provide public access for their 15-county region. With the closing of two projects in Montgomery County on March 11, there will now be 221 more acres for the public to explore in the future. The plan is to eventually transfer these lands to the US Forest Service.

The larger of the two properties, Watery Branch Headwaters, is 210 acres and adjoins the Uwharrie Trail in an area where the US Forest Service land is very narrow. The majority of the property is a beautiful hardwood forest. In fact, there is a trail shelter aptly named “Crystal’s Place,” built by the Uwharrie Trailblazers and partially funded by the Randolph EMC’s Sharing Success Community Grant, for trail hikers and backpackers to use. It also has frontage on several tributaries of Watery Branch, which is a pristine stream in the area.

The other property conserved, Uwharrie Riverbend, is 11 acres, with approximately 2,000 feet of
frontage on the Uwharrie River. This property has mature hardwood forest and adjoins US Forest Service property in the Badin Recreational Area. This section of the Uwharrie River is popular for paddling from Highway 109 to Dennis Road, and is especially scenic. The area is even frequented by river otters, bald eagles, great blue heron and many other species.

“These projects in Montgomery County are perfect examples of why Three Rivers puts an emphasis on acquiring land for future public access,”  TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead said. “Projects like these will provide outdoor recreationists with places to hike, paddle, and enjoy the natural landscapes that we are lucky to have here in the piedmont of North Carolina.”

“Three Rivers has always worked earnestly to protect the Uwharrie region because it is so unique, which makes these two projects especially important,” added Crystal Cockman, TRLT associate director. “Not only will these projects provide public access, but various wildlife species and the water quality is protected, which is another major focus of ours.”

This project was made possible in part by funding from Fred and Alice Stanback, along with donations from Land Trust supporters.

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land
Trust in their conservation mission, contact Emily Callicutt, land protection specialist at Three Rivers Land Trust, by calling 704-647-0302 or by email at