Historic Rhyne Conservation Area | Catawba Lands Conservancy

Historic Rhyne Conservation Area

This state significant natural area protects a forested and rugged valley of the South Fork River near the Historic Laboratory Mill, a cotton factory dating to 1819. Reminiscent of a mountain locale, the valley is covered with mature hardwood forests, which are home to the threatened dwarf-flowered heart-leafed ginger. The South Fork Rail Trail, a part of the Carolina Thread Trail, winds through the area passing waterfalls, historic mills and following the turbulent South Fork River.
Paul and Agnes Rhyne Conservation Preserve

This property is rich in natural and cultural history, both of which are influenced by the underlying bedrock that provides a strong base for the mill dams along this stretch of river, including the historic Laboratory Mill dam.  The bedrock also creates steep slopes with dry, shallow, rocky soils ideal for unique monadnock forests.  Here, you’ll find one of the largest populations of the protected dwarf-flowered heartleaf ginger.  All of this is available to the public to enjoy by walking or biking the South Fork Rail Trail, a segment of the Carolina Thread Trail which follows the old bed of a narrow-track rail-line.

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