Middle Fork Broad River

Middle Fork Broad River

Approximate size: 4,423 acres
Old-growth known: 0 acres

Europeans first began settling the area between Toccoa and Cornelia in the 1780s. Mount Airy, now just beyond the Mountain Treasure area, began as a resort town around the highest station on Richmond and Danville Railroad between New Orleans and New York. Ironically, this area is now one of the most pristine sections of the Piedmont in Georgia.

The Middle Fork of the Broad River glides over scenic rocky shoals and through the center of this Mountain Treasure. Unlike nearly all other Piedmont streams, the headwaters of the Middle Fork lie largely on public land. If water quality cannot be restored in the Middle Fork of the Broad River, it probably cannot be restored anywhere in the Georgia Piedmont.

This area also provides one of the best opportunities for solitude in the Piedmont. Steep slopes shield hikers on the four-mile Broad River Trail from sounds of the outside world. The trail traverses forests dominated by native oaks and shortleaf pine – the Mountain Treasure contains only a few plantations of loblolly pine, which while not natural are common in the surrounding landscape. The remains of stills, probably for fruit brandy rather than corn whiskey, remind hikers of the local landscape’s agrarian past.

The future will bring more southerly species to this area as they migrate north along the river corridor to higher elevations and cooler climate. Some typically southern species already call the area home such as Adam’s needle, a species of yucca. The southern range margin populations of typically mountain species like hemlock, Fraser magnolia, and white pine spring from steep, north-facing slopes along the Middle Fork.

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


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