Chestnut Mountain opens this weekend
The long-awaited Chestnut Mountain Nature Park, just outside of Canton, will open its doors to the public on Saturday, April 23, with a grand family opening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located like a park within a park, Berm Park will open up to the mountains. bikers the same day.
“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day than the opening of this incredible conservation and recreation project,” said Canton City Manager Nick Scheuer. “The importance of Chestnut Mountain State Park cannot be overstated and its impact on wildlife protection, improved quality of life and economic development will impact generations to come.”
The event will feature music from Life Like Water and food from Woof Street Bistro, Pig in a Basket BBQ, Pelicans of Asheville and Papertown Coffee. A long list of vendors and organizations will be in attendance and hosting activities, including the Pigeon River Garden Club, which will host its Earth Day celebration during the event.
The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy purchased the 450-acre Chestnut Mountain property in 2020 as part of an ambitious endeavor to combine the permanent protection of habitat and water resources with the creation of community space focused on conservation for outdoor recreation. The City of Canton engaged Equinox Environmental to lead the master planning process and Elevated Trail Design completed the trail design. Seth Alvo, creator of the YouTube channel Berm Peak and Seth’s Bike Hacks, has galvanized his followers to support the development of Berm Park – a mountain biking oasis and park within a park at Chestnut Mountain Nature Park. This year, SAHC will transfer the property to Canton, but the land trust will continue to oversee the conservation easements that protect the parcel in perpetuity.
The grand opening celebrates the completion of the first phase of the project, with approximately 35 acres open to the public and available for daytime use thereafter. This area includes Berm Park and a hiking/biking trail that climbs 350 feet from the parking lot to the pedestrian bridge that forms the gateway to the property. The city continues to secure funds for infrastructure development and plans to open more trails, recreation areas and park facilities over the next two years.