Three Rivers Land Trust transfers 215 acres to Morrow Mountain State Park

Published 3:04 pm Monday, December 19, 2022

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In November 2021, Three Rivers Land Trust purchased 215 acres of forest only a half-mile away from the Hardaway Site, a national historic landmark known for its Native American significance, and adjacent to Morrow Mountain State Park in Badin.

TRLT’s long term vision was to expand public lands by transferring the property to Morrow Mountain State Park.

“Our members really like to see us expand public lands, whether its local parks, state parks, national forest or game lands. Increasing public lands/access resonates with so many of our supporters,” said Travis Morehead, executive director, Three Rivers Land Trust.

Not only does this project benefit the public by expanding recreational access, but it is also beneficial from an environmental perspective, as the forested stream buffers help to filter a tributary to Mountain Creek, protecting water quality. This acquisition also connects the town of Badin to an existing state park, providing direct access to the park from this local community.

Associate Director Crystal Cockman knows the importance of a project like this.

“This project is a big deal, not just for TRLT, but for the community,” said Cockman. “Here at TRLT, we have three major pillars that we focus on: expanding public lands, saving family farms, and protecting local waters. This project covers two of those goals by expanding public land and protecting local waters for current and future generations to enjoy. We are pleased to add these 215 acres to Morrow Mountain State Park, which brings the total acreage of the park to over 6,000 acres.”

“This is a project that took many players, and we are grateful that we had the support of donors and private foundations that made this project possible,” Morehead added. “This particular project is significant both environmentally and historically, and we are so pleased to make it possible.”

This conservation project was funded in part by the North Carolina Native Plant Society (, the Carolina Bird Club, Duke Energy, Fred and Alice Stanback, the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and the North Carolina Land and Water Fund.

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting that is planned for 10 a.m. Jan. 6, 2023 to celebrate this achievement. The ribbon cutting will take place along Stanly Street in Badin, where parking is limited.

More details about the ribbon cutting can be found at

TRLT staff will be leading a New Year’s Day hike on this property beginning at 8 a.m. Jan. 1, 2023. For more information on this hike or to sign up, visit