Between 1910 and 1915, the City of Brevard purchased four parcels of land totaling 395.64 acres on the headwaters of both Brushy Creek and Bracken’s Creek, which form part of the headwaters of the French Broad River Basin in Transylvania County, North Carolina. This property was the first public water supply source for the City of Brevard, used until the City began to withdraw from Cathey’s Creek in 1979.
According to a 1987/88 appraisal and timber examination, the City was considering either developing or selling the property. In February 2004, Brevard City Council determined that the property should be preserved from development while providing public access for low impact recreational activities.
In August 2005, the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund awarded the City of Brevard a $1.04 million grant to fund the establishment of a permanent conservation easement on the Bracken Mountain Property
On December 04, 2006, Council adopted the Bracken Mountain Master Plan. The Master Plan provides a framework for the preservation of the property, and for the development of the property for recreational purposes.
In January, 2007, the City of Brevard and the State of North Carolina executed and recorded a conservation easement agreement for Bracken, thus preserving the property in perpetuity.
Work to develop Bracken for recreational purposes began in 2007 with negotiations to secure right-of-way into the property from Pinnacle Drive. Many neighboring property owners, including the Josephine Renzulli family, Brevard Music Center, and the WNC Service Corporation, were instrumental in creating legal access to the property. See below for more information about the development schedule.
The City of Brevard is actively working to develop Bracken for recreational uses. In fact, City Council has fully funded development activities in the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year.
At the present time, surveying contractors are delineating the property boundary and posting conservation easement signs along the property line. This is a requirement of the conservation easement agreement with the State of North Carolina.
The City recently secured approval from the United States Forest Service, Pisgah Ranger District, to establish a connection between the Bracken and Pisgah National Forest trail systems. When complete, a connector trail will link Bracken to US Forest Service Road 475C, from which hikers and bikers can connect to points beyond. The City of Brevard is very grateful for the support received from the Pisgah Ranger District, particularly including former District Ranger Randy Burgess.
The city is working with Long Cane Trails to layout sustainable 6.5 miles of bike, hike trail system.
The City will soon begin construction of a small parking area at the Bracken trail system trail head. A contractor will be hired for this purpose. For more information about contracting opportunities within Bracken please contact: Daniel Cobb
City of Brevard, Planning
Once trails are complete, the City will host a grand opening ceremony sometime this summer. Check back periodically for more information about this ceremony.
Once the property is opened, work will continue on amenities such as benches, observation platforms, and a group campsite. Also, volunteers will be needed to perform routine maintenance on the property.