Southern Appalachian Mountains
Jackson and Transylvania Counties
Topographical maps are available by contacting:
NC Geographical Survey
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1612
Silver Run Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy and is accessible only through the North Carolina Chapter’s field trip program. Please contact our Mountains office for information: (828) 350-1431.
Silver Run Preserve is the largest Conservancy-owned preserve along the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment, which stretches from Hickory Nut Gorge southeast of Asheville and extends westward to the Chattooga watershed in Georgia. The escarpment boasts more than 300 rare species and natural communities due, in part, to its geological features and weather. The abrupt wall of mountains that makes up the escarpment captures moist Gulf air, giving the region the highest rainfall east of the Pacific Cascades. The diversity in elevation, high rainfall, rushing rivers cascading through deep gorges, and extensive forest blocks create habitat for a wide diversity of plants, amphibians, mammals, birds, and reptiles.
On July 22, 2004 The Nature Conservancy announced the creation of the Silver Run Preserve, which will encompass more than 1,400 acres of forested land just outside of Cashiers, North Carolina. The preserve, surrounded on three sides by the Nantahala National Forest, is the headwaters of the Whitewater River and was donated to the Conservancy from the estate of Ernest Willis in December 2003.
There is already a decades-long history of conservation action near the Silver Run Preserve by the Conservancy, which played key roles in the permanent protection of Panthertown Valley, the Fodderstacks, Toxaway Game Lands, Gorges State Park, and Bonas Defeat Gorge.