Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill that authorizes the State Parks system to establish a new park near Asheville.
The 1,600 acres in Buncombe and Haywood Counties would be known as Pisgah View State Park.
The land varies in elevation from 2,600 to 4,600 feet, according to State Parks Spokeswoman Katie Hall.
"And in that range, there are pretty significant changes in the types of plants and animals that thrive there,” Hall said. “With the varied topography and the varied habitat, it's a special place for wildlife and a unique opportunity to conserve such a large area at one time.”
The land is valued at more than $18 million. The money will likely come from federal grants, state funds and private donations.
Hall said the state will have to hold public meetings about access, trails and facilities at the park before it can open to the public. She said the entire process usually takes five to eight years.
A state park designation will protect the area from future development, added Hall.
“We have landscape types that are pretty rare: exposed cliffs, dry ridges and wetlands areas,” she said. “And the Pisgah View property in particular is kind of a little bowl surrounded by mountains with a beautiful view of Pisgah Mountain.”
Pisgah View would be the 40th state park in North Carolina.