|You can see the tiny patch of open space in pretty much the direct center of the photo. Not the larger one on the right, which is just classic exposed rock and shrubs.|
The problem is, you can't legally go down there. I'm pretty sure it's part of the Asheville watershed and that land is jealously guarded by the city. Sure, you can break the law and hike in there, but if you're caught, the penalties are severe. Best case, you don't serve jail time, but a heavy fine is levied against you.
Some timber companies were arguing that the concept of the city watershed has outlived its day and that they should be allowed to go in and cut all of the trees. Most of the watersheds above the major mountain towns in North and South Carolina are packed with old growth trees. Timber barons drool at the idea of felling those trees and getting their hands on the profits. I hope it never comes to that.
|On the safe side of the watershed. If I were to walk around the other side of the tree, I would be in violation of the law.|