Bracken Preserve

Bracken Preserve, also called "Bracken Mountain," is a 395 acre property owned by the City of Brevard. The City has owned the property for decades, but it didn't open to the public until July of 2012.

Bracken is located due west of downtown Brevard. In fact, if you stand on Main Street in downtown Brevard and look westward, you will see the distinct mountain range framed by the buildings along Main Street. Bracken is adjacent to Pisgah National Forest and its trails connect to Forest Service Road 475-C which provides access to the Fish Hatchery and the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.

History of Bracken

1910-1915

The City of Brevard purchases 4 parcels of land totaling 395.64 acres on the headwaters of both Brushy Creek and Bracken’s Creek, which form part of the headwaters of the French Broad River Basin. This property was the first public water supply source for the City of Brevard, used until the city began to withdraw from Cathey’s Creek in 1979.

1987-1988

According to an appraisal and timber examination, the city considers either developing or selling the property.

FEBRUARY 2004

Brevard City Council determines the property should be preserved from development while providing public access for low impact recreational activities.

AUGUST 2005

The North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund awards the City of Brevard a $1.04 million grant to fund the establishment of a permanent conservation easement on the Bracken Mountain Property.

DECEMBER 4, 2006

Council adopts the Bracken Mountain Master Plan. The Master Plan provides a framework for the preservation of the property, and for the development of the property for recreational purposes.

JANUARY 2007

The City of Brevard and the State of North Carolina execute and records a conservation easement agreement for Bracken, preserving the property in perpetuity.


Work to develop Bracken for recreational purposes begins with negotiations to secure right of way into the property from Pinnacle Drive. Many neighboring property owners, including the Josephine Renzulli family, Brevard Music Center, and the WNC Service Corporation, were instrumental in creating legal access to the property.

JANUARY 2012

Trail construction begins on Phase 1 trails.

JULY 2012

Bracken Preserve officially opens for recreation use.

MAY 2018

City Council passes Resolution No. 2018-13 endorsing the expansion of the Bracken trail system by building three new additional trails.