South Mountains State Park in Burke County, North Carolina’s largest state park, grew a bit larger in December with a gift of 469 acres.
The land, formerly undeveloped portions of the South Mountain Preserve development, was owned by a partnership led by North Carolina real estate developer, Ray Hollowell, who said he was delighted to be able to support the long-term conservation of the property by donating it to the state parks system.
The South Mountain Preserve real estate development dates to the early 1960s when television pioneer and pitchman, Art Linkletter owned a home on the property and was often seen playing golf at the Pine Mountain Golf Course with other California luminaries. Hollowell bought the property in the late 1990s.
The property includes an access road and its acquisition benefits the park by protecting the White Oak Creek watershed, which has numerous waterfalls, and is a tributary to the Class IV Outstanding Resource Waters of the Jacob Fork River. The tract also acts as a buffer for the Raven Rock Trail.
“This addition to South Mountains State Park will help protect natural resources in the park’s southeastern section,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “The donation is representative of the community’s strong support for North Carolina’s largest state park that serves more than 200,000 visitors each year.”
South Mountains State Park was established in 1974 and encompasses more than 18,000 acres.