There’s no denying Holly Creek Preserve’s forested beauty with its steep slopes, ridges, narrow valleys and rock outcrops. Hikers and mountain bikers have enjoyed this area of the Cohutta Mountains for years on Tibbs Trail which runs through the preserve on its way to Grassy Mountain on U.S. Forest Service land. But what makes the preserve special is its frontage on two important mountain streams, Holly Creek and Dill Creek.
Acquired by the Conservancy in 2005, the 250-acre preserve is bordered on three sides by the Chattahoochee National Forest and provides a crucial buffer for both Holly and Dill Creek as their water flows through the mountains and empties into the Conasauga River. It is these mountain streams that are a stronghold for diverse and rare aquatic species whose health, in turn, affects the Conasauga.
The preserve is located in Murray County in the extreme northwest section of the state, less than two hours from Atlanta and one hour from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Nature Conservancy works with Murray County as well as a host of other federal and state agencies and volunteers on maintenance and management efforts. Chief among these is to improve water quality in Holly and Dill creeks by repairing spots of degradation caused by roads through the preserve, and managing the entire site in the future with prescribed burns to remove invasive species and restore natural plant communities. Volunteers help with litter control along a county-maintained road that borders the preserve.