Chimney Rock and Hickorynut Gorge are
located about 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Asheville, near the village of Bat Cave. The site sits on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, which separates the foothills from the mountains. Key features of this site are Chimney Rock, a 92m (302 feet) monolith that rises above the gorge. Hickorynut Gorge rises about 425 m (1,394 feet) above the Broad River. The mountain cliffs at Chimney Rock rise abruptly from an elevation of 305 m (1,001 feet) to nearly 915 m (3,002 feet).

Ornithological Summary

The site supports a great diversity of birds. Eighteen species of warblers are known to breed within the site and others are common during migration. It is one of the only nesting sites in the state for Peregrine Flacons. Cerulean Warblers are known to breed within the site.

Conservation Issues

Residential and commercial development, recreational development and overuse, soil erosion and
degradation, introduced plants.

Residential and commercial development on private land is the key issue that could result in the loss of habitat. Additional surveys of landbirds during breeding season, migration periods, and winter are needed.

Ownership

Residential and commercial development on private land is the key issue that could result in the loss of habitat. Additional surveys of landbirds during breeding season, migration periods, and winter are needed.

Chimney Rock Park, a heavily visited tourist attraction, was acquired by the North Carolina State Park system in 2007. In addition, the World?s Edge tract has recently been acquired by the state for inclusion in the park. The Nature Conservancy maintains Bat Cave as a preserve. The Broad River Watershed Protection Committee is working to secure buffer zones and conservation easements along the Broad River watershed. Much of the Pool Creek Area, although privately owned, is also maintained as a natural area.

Habitat

Northern hardwood forest, mixed forest, cove hardwood forest, rocky cliff, riparian, lake

Land Use

Recreation and tourism, wildlife conservation, forestry, residential development.

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