Last updated on October 2nd, 2017 at 12:45 am
Mountaintop for You and Your Horses
Walnut Creek Preserve, located in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, is near the resort community of Lake Lure, famous for its golf and boating. But Walnut Creek Preserve is not a resort. It is an exceptionally large tract of over 2,100 acres of land whose development has been carefully designed with horseback riding, hiking and nature study in mind. Horse owners and hikers struggle with a frustrating truth: A small family farm may have enough pasture for horses and a few trails for riding and hiking, but rarely contains sufficient acreage for riding or hiking day in and day out. Large acreage becomes a maintenance burden for most families. Walnut Creek Preserve offers the best of both worlds: reasonably sized farm acreage surrounding over 50 miles of trails. Walnut Creek Preserve is a community made up of like-minded people whose greatest joy is a walk, jog, or horseback ride in the woods, a picnic by the waterfall, or a casual dinner watching the sun set over the mountains.
The Preserve’s 2,100 acres of forest and pasture land shelter a tremendous variety of indigenous plant life, including several rare and once-threatened species, as well as a wealth of wild animal life. To assure their survival, only 25 wooded and equestrian home sites averaging 20 acres each will be offered for sale on the 2,100 acres, with the remaining acres of wilderness protected in perpetuity by deeded conservation easement.
North Carolina is known for its many cultural and recreational opportunities, and the immediate area surrounding Walnut Creek Preserve is no exception. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are just minutes away. Excellent golf courses abound. The North Carolina state theater in nearby Flat Rock. Asheville and its artist colony is less than an hour away. Plus, the well-recognized equestrian community of Tryon, N.C. (home to the Blockhouse Steeplechase and the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center), makes Polk County a mecca for horse lovers and those who serve them.
Sheila and Phil Nungesser explain how their life changed at Walnut Creek. “We came from Atlanta, where we had to drive at least an hour each way to ride our horses,” they say. “Now we love living with our horses, watching them graze in their pasture from our window, and we so enjoy the many miles of riding trails that allow us to ride out right from our home.”
Finding the Perfect Match
The array of options for private equestrian communities is vast, as are the possibilities of lifestyles for you and your horses. Perhaps a road trip to investigate them is in your future?
The Divide at Bald Rock
Cashiers (Sapphire) N.C.
224 acres abutting 6,300-acre preserve
Homes: $400,000 to $3 million
Homesites: $50,000 to $1million
Amenities: 2 golf courses, tennis, swimming, 53-acre lake, spa.
Equestrian: equestrian center, arena, 16 stalls in 2 barns, with acres of lush pastureland, stables, and over 9 miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails that access multiple waterfalls and a rare highland bog.
20 Continental Drive #2077
Sapphire, NC 28774
Homes: 3,500 sq. ft begin upper $500s; 2,500 begin upper $400s.
Homesites: 5-acre begin at $124,000
Amenities: Community pavilion with swimming pools, kitchen, fireplace, and waterfall. Fishing, hiking, beautiful large lakes with fountains.
Equestrian: Full-care, 29-stall, multidiscipline equestrian facility with personal tack lockers, grand prix indoor and outdoor arenas, 8-mile conditioning trails.
Equestrian Lakes by Kentucky Plum Creek Properties
P.O. Box 4, Finchville, KY 40222
Homes: $250,000 to $3 million
Homesites: $70,000 to $550,000
Amenities: 24-hour security, 18-holes golf, 6 clay Hydro-Grid courts, 77,000-square-foot clubhouse, fitness center, salon, spa. Equestrian: Full-service multi-discipline equestrian center, large sand and clay arena, miles of riding trails.
Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club
4090 NW 84th Terrace
Ocala, FL 34482
Daufuskie Island, S.C.
Homes: to $2 million
Homesites: to $450,000
Amenities: Beach, golf, tennis, fitness center, biking, kayaking, 2 pools, 2 restaurants, community park and playground
Equestrian: Fully-staffed 12-stall central barn with lounge. 4 turnout pastures, riding trails.
Haig Point at Daufuskie Island
10 Haig Point Circle
Hilton Head Island, S.C. 29928
Spring Island, S.C.
Homes: $500,000 to $4 million
Homesites: $125,000 to $1.35 million
Amenities: 18 holes golf, shooting, sports complex with 2 pools, 6 tennis courts, fresh and salt-water fishing on 30 ponds, miles of creeks, Atlantic Ocean a 30-minute boatride.
Equestrian: 24 stalls, 15 paddocks, 2 rings, 35 miles of riding trails through live oaks.
Spring Island Plantation
42 Mobley Oaks Lane
Okatie, SC 29909
Walnut Creek Preserve
Lake Lure, N.C.
Homes: none currently available
Homesites: $350,000 to $650,000
Amenities: Walnut Creek Preserve Nature Center; developed and maintained roads, electric gates, underground utilities.
Equestrian: Mature pastures. More than 50 miles of groomed, private riding trails. Owners build their own barns/facilities.
Babs & Bob Strickland
503 Grassy Knob Road
Rutherfordton, NC 28139