Anderson Creek

Anderson Creek

Approximate size: 5,833 acres
Old-growth known: 387 acres

Far removed from any town, this area sits just west of Springer Mountain. Standing in the middle of the area, unnamed ridges cut off the view of the outside world, and a stream with a forgotten name provides the background music. All most people see, though, is the eastern edge of the area, where the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail leads hikers to Springer Mountain.

The eastern end is also where the most extensive old-growth forest lies. Commercial logging operations never penetrated the headwaters of Anderson Creek. The only development that ever occurred in the area was a small church and a few hardscrabble farms. A mixture of various species of oak, typically found on drier sites, dominates the nutrient-poor forest right down to the small streams. The remaining oldgrowth occupies unusually gentle terrain and contains the oldest known oak tree in the national forest, a 375-year-old chestnut oak.

This area is also the southern end of the chain of contiguous public land in the Appalachians. Animals and plants migrating north in response to climate change will need to reach at least
this far to find a corridor of suitable natural habitats.

Help us protect this 16,000-acre oasis of waterfalls, old-growth, rare species, panoramic views, and world-class trails.


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