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 over a century, 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.

Rules and Regulations

  • Trails in Bracken are for hiking and non-motorized biking only. 
  • No fires.
  • No hunting or fishing.
  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • No drones.
  • Remove all trash and follow Leave No Trace principles. 

Visit the City's Code of Ordinances for full rules and regulations.

Bracken Camping Registration Form

  1. Registration Required

    There is one designated camp site in Bracken, with a wooden shelter and seating area. Campfires are not allowed at this time. This site is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Users of the campsite are required to compete the registration form below before their trip.

  2. This is the responsible party for the group and should be someone who will be onsite for the entire stay.

  3. Rules and Regulations*

    Please indicate that you agree to the rules and regulations of Bracken Preserve.

  4. Leave This Blank:

  5. This field is not part of the form submission.

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 developing or selling the property.

FEBRUARY 2004

Brevard City Council determines the property should be preserved 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 recreational use.

MAY 2018

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

AUGUST 2019

Pinnacle Trail officially opens for use.

July 2021

Horse Cove Connector Trail is completed, expanding connectivity among the Estatoe Trail, Pisgah Ranger District, N.C Wildlife Education Center, and Bracken trail system. 

MAY 2022

The City starts a fundraising campaign in coordination with Conserving Carolina for the purchase of an additional 34-acre property close to the main trailhead area, which would allow for the creation of additional, more moderate trails.

OCTOBER 2023

Councilman Mac Morrow receives the 2023 Planning Advocacy Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association for his work as a champion of Bracken Preserve. In accepting the award, Councilman Morrow talked about the state agencies that have supported preservation efforts at Bracken over the last two decades.

DECEMBER 2023

The City closes on the transfer of 34 additional acres from Conserving Carolina.