Sassafras Nature Preserve and Park


This property was donated to STPAL via a fee simple deed transfer in 2016. This +/- 1,-025 acre tract consists of typical Appalachian hardwood forest and is generally bounded by limited development, small landowners and rural woodland/farmland tracts. The southern and northern boundaries border development property and the remainder borders mixed woodland.  The tract would originally have consisted of a mix of montane hardwood and hardwood pine on the ridges trending into a white oak forest and mesic hardwood forest along the stream drains. The most distinctive features of the Property are the mixed hardwood forests leading to and joining Clear Creek.

In 2020 park planning for the site began in cooperation with the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and the Friends of Sassafras. To get an idea of Sassafras’ future visit nearby Talking Rock Nature Preserve.

Project timeline as of early 2020:

Friends of Sassafras formed
Private and Public partners engaged
Community awareness developed
Basic concept plan created
Major gift fundraising program launched
Environmental stewardship efforts begin
Site’s boundaries posted
Formal site planning completed
Local business, organization, and individual fundraising begins
Grant applications for recreation and stewardship projects submitted
Permanent conservation of site’s natural areas (90%+ of total site)
Trail construction begins with some trails opened to public
2022 – 2023 – 2024:
Park building

Location: Burnt Mountain area of Gilmer County.

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