North Fork Mtn, Pike Knob, Panther Knob

Kent Mason, Photographer / Conservationist

North Fork mountain is unusual in that it has a quartzite rock ridge that runs along much of its 34 mile length. It is just east of and in the rain shadow of the Eastern Continental Divide and is one of the driest mountains in the Appalachians. Red pines and table mountain pines are common on the top of the mountain although the lower elevations are generally oak and mixed hardwood forests. Pike Knob, at 4,300 feet, has an open meadow summit that provides a spectacular view. Both Pike Knob and Panther Knob are Nature Conservancy Preserves and support rare plant life. Panther Knob rises to 4,498 feet, one of the highest points on North Fork mountain, and has the largest pine barrens in the Appalachians as well as the worlds largest area of variable sedge. Beach Heather, normally found in coastal dunes, is found on the top of this mountain? TNC protects biologically significant wild places. This gallery provides a visual tour of these unique areas.