Elk Knob State Park fall color

The Division of Parks and Recreation is seeking public input on the Elk Knob State Park Master Plan.

RALEIGH — The Division of Parks and Recreation is seeking public input on the Elk Knob State Park Master Plan. A public meeting will be held on Aug. 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Optimist Park Clubhouse, located at 1012 State Farm Road in Boone.

The master plan will be a 20-year plan that covers the entire state park, which contains over 4,200 acres spanning Watauga and Ashe counties. The park is sited within the Amphibolite Mountains, an ecological hotspot of global significance.

E2 Landscape Architecture in Asheville is working with the division and the public to develop the master plan, initially identifying both the recreation and conservation needs for the park. Stakeholder input is important to the process, and an open house-style public meeting will allow feedback from the community.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and can expect to spend 20-30 minutes to review, discuss and weigh in on their preferred recreational amenities for the park.

Amenities that will be considered for the master plan include a natural and cultural heritage center or visitor center, day use areas, campground areas and hiking trails, including sections of the Northern Peaks State Trail.

An online public survey is available for those who cannot attend the public meeting. Interested citizens can take the survey by visiting https://www.ncparks.gov/elk-knob-state-park/future-development.

North Carolina State Parks manages more than 239,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 18 million visitors annually.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship.

For more information, call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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