South Toe River in North Carolina Protected

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Tucked away in Western North Carolina, where it starts in a ravine between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the eastern side of the Black Mountains, North Carolina’s beloved South Toe River came close to having its natural splendor altered in 2005. Fortunately, conservation groups stepped up in hopes of preventing such an action, and they were victorious. In response to the efforts by said conservation and environmental organizations, District Ranger Paul Bradley withdrew the South Toe River rehabilitation project before it ever got off the ground.

The original project had called for the re-routing of a portion of the South Toe River in order to redirect flow away from Forest Service Road 472, which was undercut severely due to rainfall from tropical storms in 2004. The South Toe River is a renowned trout fly-fishing area, and is specially protected by the state as such.

Undisturbed Beauty

In the ensuing years since Ranger Bradley withdrew plans for the rehabilitation project, South Toe River has retained its natural, uncompromised flow, and continues to be a popular regional fishing destination. Since it is tucked away between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Black Mountains, the river doesn’t experience any pollution from commercial or residential runoff. So the waters remain pristine and healthy year round, which adds to its appeal.

Bountiful Fishing

Another reason the South Toe River remains such a popular fishing destination is that, because there has been no change due to re-routing of the water flow, the area’s indigenous fish species remain undisturbed, plentiful and varied. The upper section of the river, which extends from the headwaters to the local Black Mountain Campground, is home to rainbow, wild brown, and brook trout. The lower section of the river, which runs through the Yancy County Recreation Park and is close to the campground, is a fly-fishing only, catch and release area that spans about a mile in length. It is also an area that is supported by the local hatchery.

Bonding with Nature

In addition to fishing, the South Toe River area offers a variety of outdoor activities and two campgrounds, as well as privately owned cabins for rent. Families and fishermen alike can choose between the Black Mountain Campground and the Toe River Campground. Anyone interested in outdoor activities other than fishing can participate in hiking, biking, tubing, and whitewater rafting on and along the South Toe River.

Those who prefer to be pampered in the great outdoors, can check into the Toe River Lodge. They even offer canopy zipline adventures, disc golf and rock climbing.

Local Wildlife

The South Toe River is home to more than just a bountiful variety of trout. A lot of wildlife call the surrounding area home, as well. Nature lovers may just catch a glimpse of a wild turkey or two, and perhaps even some deer or a black bear. Thanks to the diligent efforts of the conservation groups who take an active interest in preserving the natural environment for such animals, their habitat remains undisturbed by change and they continue to thrive in the area.

The success of conservation groups in preserving the natural state of the South Toe River may seem like a small step to many. However, for those who enjoy fishing, camping and exploring the area, the actions taken by such groups are appreciated, and to the wildlife who call it home, those actions are a significant lifeline. In fact, their efforts may very well have helped to preserve the South Toe River for years to come.

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One thought on “South Toe River in North Carolina Protected

  1. Hay everyone,Sorry I have not petosd a comment lately. I’ve been having to much fun this summer on the river to spend any time on the computer, but it is raining cats and dogs today so here I go. The river and the weather have been awesome and the paddling has been so good. Everyday on the river is different and you never know what you will see. The bald eagles have been seen by most groups that paddle the river below our shop, and one guest even had a black bear run across the river in front of him. There is so much wildlife in the area that chances are you will see something as you float down river. With all the rain overnight and today the river should be running at a little high level for the rest of the week so there should be some fun white water for the next couple of days. Nows the time to get out here and have a wet and wild time.See you on the river,Jason

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