Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jones Gap State Park Adds 305 Acres

Photos by L. Ross of species found in Jones Gap State Park

Jones Gap State Park was recently expanded by a gift of 305 acres from the Naturaland Trust. The gift was worth $1.8 million. In addition, another 200 acre is expected to be given by the Nature Conservancy in the future.

The gift includes Grassy Top Mountain, the second highest peak in South Carolina at 3,268 feet. Grassy Top is only 300 feet lower than Sassafras Mountain, the location of a recently constructed observation deck.

This pristine property will be protected from development and will be available for public access. The tract is east of Jones Gap State Park and 40 miles north of Anderson, SC. It includes the headwaters of Tankersly Branch River and the elevation offers a spectacular view.

Tommy Wyche, a Greenville attorney and founder of Naturaland Trust and his son, Brad Wyche, founder of Upstate Forever, were instrumental in obtaining and arranging easements assuring that the Jones Gap area will be enlarged and protected from development. In addition, they were involved in helping to protect 1,900 acres at Asbury Methodist Camp near Caesar's Head three years ago.

These new additions will provide wilderness areas that may be used for recreation and enjoyment by citizens and we owe our continuing gratitude to those responsible for helping to protect them.

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