Asheville Daily Planet
RSS Facebook
Dude ranch outside of AVL becomes 40th N.C. state park
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 22:46

From Staff Reports 

RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 535 into law on July 19, authorizing Pisgah View State Park as a new state park in Buncombe and Haywood counties, according to a July 22 press release from the governor’s office.

The 1,600-acre Pisgah View Ranch, a former dude ranch in Candler outside of Asheville, is now North Carolina’s 40th state park. 

Senator Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, introduced the bill in April and noted that the land  has been owned by the same family since 1790.

Cooper said he expects the new state properties — including a separate Senate bill authorizing three state trails — to have widespread positive impacts for health, quality of life, and the economy. 

“These new parks and trails will conserve important wildlife habitats and support North Carolina’s flourishing outdoor recreation industry,” the governor said in his press release. 


 The new state park will be in “highly scenic southwest Buncombe and Haywood counties,” the governor’s press release noted, adding that “the area is full of trails, unique habitats, cliffs, coves and upland forests that are home to several rare plant and animal species.”

The opportunity to enhance visitor opportunities, unique experiences and education for all ages speaks to state Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi H. Hamilton, the governor’s press release stated.

“People love parks and trails, so I’m pleased that we’ll be able to provide new opportunities for our residents and visitors to experience some of the most spectacular places in our state,” Hamilton said in the release.

In addition, the governor signed a bill, authorizing the Division of Parks and Recreation to conduct a feasibility study that will further refine a corridor for the new Wilderness Gateway State Trail that would connect Chimney Rock State Park to South Mountains State Park, the Town of Valdese, the City of Hickory, the newly authorized Overmountain Victory State Trail and other natural areas located in Burke and Catawba counties. The division is to report back to the General Assembly by Dec. 1. 

A state trail is comprised of multiple connected sections, each sponsored by a state or federal agency, local government or private landowner working in partnership to fund, build, and maintain the trail, the governor’s press release stated.

Meanwhile, in a separate June press release, Edwards, who introduced the bill in April, stated that “the 1,600 acres Pisgah View Ranch in Candler, N.C., has been family-owned since 1790 and was  opened to the public in 1941 by Ruby and Chester Cogburn.

“The ranch will be restored and remain open to the public once it becomes the newest state park. I am enthusiastic about helping preserve this beautiful piece of history,” Edwards stated in his press release. “I visited Pisgah View Ranch many times as a child, and I have enjoyed revisiting it during these contract negotiations. This park will present a remarkable economic opportunity for WNC. 

“With its proximity to Asheville and I-40, as well as to the Pisgah and Great Smokey Mountain National Forests, this could be one of the most visited attractions in our state. 

“We should all be thankful to (the) Cogburn family for allowing the citizens of North Carolina to continue to enjoy this incredible property. We should also recognize the significant contribution made by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy while they have spearheaded the negotiations alongside the N.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, and they have already raised $1 million from private donors,” Edwards said in his release.

Further, he noted, “S535 names the park, and permits it to receive donations of appropriated land or purchase other needed lands for Pisgah View State Park with existing funds from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and other available sources of funding. 

“Buncombe County currently contains no state park facilities. It is expected that land for the park would be purchased for approximately $18.2 million over a span of five years with the first phase beginning after the contract closes at the end of 2019,” Edwards pointed out in his release.

Regarding Pisgah View Ranch, Edwards  noted, “Natural lands in southeastern Buncombe County and nearby Haywood County have been identified as Natural Heritage Areas significant to North Carolina. 

“These lands contain a wide variety of landscape types from exposed cliffs on dry ridges to medic coves and alluvial and wetlands areas. Elevations span a wide range from 2,600 to 4,600 feet, with varied topography providing both habitat variety and beautiful scenic views. Existing and potential trails could host hiking, camping, and horseback riding.

 The area is easily accessible from Asheville and other population centers,” Edwards’ press release stated.



contact | home

Copyright ©2005-2015 Star Fleet Communications

224 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 | P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814
phone (828) 252-6565 | fax (828) 252-6567

a Cube Creative Design site