In the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment Gorges, the Blue Ridge Mountains rise dramatically from the rolling hills of the Piedmont to nearly 4,000 feet above sea level. The Escarpment stretches from southeast of Asheville in North Carolina, westward to the Chattooga watershed in Georgia.
Spanning three states (North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) and encompassing 859,000 acres, the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment contains some of the highest natural diversity of rare plants and animals found anywhere in the world.
The Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment is home to more than 300 rare species and natural communities and is home to 50 waterfalls. Moist air traveling inland from the Gulf of Mexico gives the region the highest rainfall east of the Pacific Cascades, making it a refuge for ferns, mosses and other moisture-loving species.
The Nature Conservancy has helped protect nearly 70,000 acres in the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment and has an extensive program in place to deal with invasive species, one of the biggest threats to the region.
Public Natural Areas