Turkeyfoot Woods & Crabtree Acres 

Fundraising to expand the Highlands Nature Sanctuary

with these two properties and add additional protection

to the Rocky Fork Gorge was completed in 2017!


47 acres in Highland County

Piecing the Preserve Together. The Singular Rocky Fork Gorge. At 2500 acres, the Highlands Nature Sanctuary is the oldest and largest of the Arc’s 16 preserves. At the heart of the preserve is the breathtakingly beautiful Rocky Fork Gorge, a 100 foot high steep-walled canyon renowned for its stunning rock formations, ancient White Cedars, spectacular wildflower displays, grottos, springs, and stone arches. The deepest section of the canyon runs parallel to historic Cave Road near the town of Bainbridge in Ross & Highland Counties.

More than 60 separate properties have been acquired over a 20 year period to piece together the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. Three tracts are in included in this campaign, Crabtree acres, Turkeyfoot Woods, both of them on Cave Road; and a third property at the entrance of Spargur Lane on the west side of the Sanctuary, a campaign property that is now fully funded. See More About Spargur Lane.

Turkeyfoot Woods is a 45 acre tract on the Rocky Fork Creek. It includes a prairie of Big Bluestem, whose grasses tower above one’s head in the fall. Crabtree Acres is a 2 acre lot that is being purchased with the long term plan of removing the house and returning the land to its natural state – one more step in the re-wilding of Cave Road.

Spargur Lane – Gateway to the Rocky Fork Gorge

Acres: 2 Total Cost: $37,200 Balance to Raise: COMPLETED!!!

Earlier in 2015 we had the privilege of purchasing the gateway to the Highlands Nature Sanctuary on Cave Road and Highway 50, a property we have been wanting to secure for 20 years. An email campaign raised the money in just three short weeks, and we are now its proud owner. Since that time, by synchronicity, a second critical Sanctuary entrance came up for sale this year – this one located at the head of Spargur Lane on State Route 753. The Spargur Lane entrance property overlooks the gorge and lies adjacent to the Ravenwood Lodge. Purchasing this tract not only adds protection to the creek corridor, but  ensures that the tract is not developed so close to the creek. Spargur Lane parallels the Rocky Fork Gorge on the west side of the Sanctuary and is a critical gateway leading into several potential land acquisitions along the Rocky Fork Corridor. Spargur Lane leads into a region that offers much room for growth and preservation.

View of Ceremony Hill from Turkeyfoot Woods
Native Big Bluestem Grasses grow in Turkeyfoot Woods' prairie