Spencer Mountain Conservation Area

The largest of CLC’s conservation areas sits in the shadow of Spencer Mountain, where the South Fork River flows through one of the most ecologically rich areas of our state. The mature hardwood forests, rocky bluffs, rolling pastures, and flowery meadows protect rare species such as bald eagles, Schweintz’s sunflower, bigleaf magnolia and pink lady slippers. The South Fork Trail and South Fork River Blueway, both a part of the Carolina Thread Trail, offer public access so all can enjoy this unique region by boat or hiking.
Redlair Preserve

Thanks to the generosity and foresight of the Rankin Family, one of the most ecologically rich areas in the Southern piedmont is protected forever.  Nestled within the valleys and hollows are hardwood forests that are over 100 years old, pristine creeks, the endangered Schweintz’s Sunflower and the largest concentration of bigleaf magnolia in North Carolina. This area is a true ecological gem on the banks of the South Fork River.

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Pharr Yarns Preserve

Hugging the banks of the South Fork River, Pharr Yarns Preserve allows the public to enjoy an area rich in cultural and natural history.  A segment of the Carolina Thread Trail called the South Fork Trail follows the river and is open for hiking, mountain biking and fishing.  At the trailhead in McAdenville is a boat launch/take-out for those who want to paddle the river.  The South Fork Trail takes visitors past stone buttresses of a circa-1800s railroad bridge there, burned by Union troops after the civil war.  There are also great fishing spots, views of rocky shoals and geocaches to be discovered onsite.

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Spencer Mountain Wetland

The namesake of this property is a wetland created by a small hydro-electric dam constructed at the turn of the last century.  The wetland provides an important refuge for migrating waterfowl including wood ducks and blue-winged teal.  The wooded slopes surrounding the wetland and the scenery of the Spencer Mountain valley are also protected.

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