The equestrian community Walnut Creek Preserve evolved out of a commitment by Bob and Babs Strickland to preserve from threatened high density development the 2,005 acre wooded and water-coursed tract of timbered forest that adjoins their 95 acre farm. They believed that an equestrian community could happily co-exist with a nature preserve and educational forest. The Stricklands’ vision is to develop a small community of like-minded families who love horses, hiking and nature, and who seek rural seclusion and large acreage but prefer to be reasonably close to necessary and desirable amenities, including schools, stores and health care facilities.
Nestled at the core of this equestrian community are over 1,500 acres protected in perpetuity from any development through the grant of a conservation easement to Pacolet Area Conservancy, a regional land conservancy. The remaining 500 to 600 acres are offered as equestrian home sites and horse farm sites, each with adjoining pasture lands, creating a community of families within the Preserve to serve as stewards of a rural and wild land ecosystem. Further residential or commercial development of the 2,100 acres will be prohibited in perpetuity, with deed restrictions recorded on the home sites to preclude any further subdivision.
Walnut Creek Preserve is the perfect trail rider’s home. The 50 miles of riding and hiking trails flow easily from one section to another over the 2,100 acres. While some trails are primarily flat, most have variation in elevation since Walnut Creek Preserve drops from 1,200 feet to just over 800 feet where Walnut Creek empties out of the Preserve. The trails are primarily old logging roads, so they are comfortable and safe. Every home site connects directly to the trail system. Every trail can be ridden from every home site.
Walnut Creek winds for over 2 miles through the Preserve and more than 25 tributaries flow from springheads down to join Walnut Creek in the center of the Preserve. Many trails parallel these lovely streams, making summer rides cool and shady. Other trails are along contoured hillsides with magnificent mountain views. Still others drop and rise as they connect the lower and upper trails.
At the eastern end of the tract on Serenity Farm is a well stocked 4 acre lake, 20 feet deep at its dam, adding to the recreational opportunities that abound in Walnut Creek Preserve.