The Graysville Mountain area in Hamilton and Rhea counties has just been added the Tennessee's only linear park - the 300-mile Cumberland Trail State Park.
Adding 10 miles to the trail between Sale Creek and Dayton, the deal buys more than 3,200 acres in property and easements from seller Richard Kinzalow.
It was purchased using $3.5 million in federal grants, a $1 million grant from the state's Heritage Conservation Trust Fund from fiscal 2008 and a $300,000 contribution from the Cumberland Trail Conference.
The Land Trust for Tennessee brokered the transaction.
Additionally, the state on Monday announced a 1,388-acre acquisition in upper East Tennessee to add another 19 miles to the Cumberland Trail in Claiborne and Campbell counties.
That property, purchased from Molpus Woodlands Group, includes a dramatic ridgeline overlooking the scenic Powell Valley and protects McLean Rock, a natural landmark where the founding of the Cumberland Trail was announced in 1965.
The Trust for Public Land purchased the Molpus property for $2.08 million, and the state, in turn, will purchase the land from the trust, according to Rick Wood, director of TPL's Chattanooga office.
Tisha Calabrese-Benton, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said the state's participation in the Molpus purchase was funded in 2003, using money from the stateside funding pot of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the State Lands Acquisition Fund and the Natural Resources Trust Fund.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.