The Cantrell Creek Project
Pisgah Trout Unlimited (Pisgah TU) received a grant of $8,000 through the Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream grant program for its Cantrell Creek Trail Project and raised additional funds, including several large awards, by participating in the Embrace A Stream Challenge, sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited.
The Cantrell Creek trail crosses Cantrell Creek 9 times and portions of the trail are located in the creek channel. Repeated traffic results in significant erosion and sediment load to downstream reaches. Having the trail located in the stream channel disturbs and destroys instream habitat every time the trail is used. Benthic macroinvertebrates are dislodged or killed, fish are displaced and sediment washes downstream and fills the interstitial spaces in the creek bed.
This project involves a diverse group of partners including the US Forest Service (USFS), the Land of Sky Chapter of TU (LOSTU), the North Carolina State Council of TU, Mills River Partnership (MRP), and Mountain True.
Portions of the trail in the upper reaches of Cantrell Creek follow an old railroad grade constructed in the early 1900’s for timber harvest. This is the section of trail to be relocated. The lower section of trail was upgraded about 20 years ago. This is the section that will be upgraded to current sustainable trail standards.
Relocating and upgrading the Cantrell Creek Trail will greatly reduce the erosion and sediment load in Cantrell Creek and Mills River. This will improve the health of Cantrell Creek and Mills River.
Cantrell Creek enters the South Mills just upstream of the Transylvania/Henderson County line.
To reach it is a 4 mile trek from the Turkey Pen trail head.
The project is currently in the organization phase, and construction will begin as soon as plans are finalized and approved by the US Forest Service.
There will be many volunteer opportunities available, and we will tell you more about those as the finalized plans evolve.
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