Hickory Nut Gorge State Natural Area Trail Professional Review and Guide
"This area sits on the north rim, just above Lake Lure. The Nature Conservancy, working with smaller area land conservancies, moved in and purchased two tracts: the 312-acre Cedar Knob and 800-acre Rumbling Bald, which make up the Hickory Nut Gorge State Natural Area. (The conservancy also has been active on the south rim, most notably with its 1568-acre purchase of the Worlds Edge parcel.)
There’s also the unique Bat Cave property, best known for being home to the largest known granite fissure cave in North America, extending about a mile into the mountain. It’s also one of the most ecologically lush areas in the Southeast, hosting about five hundred different plant species, not including the fifty different species of trees. A recent inventory of the gorge found forty rare plant species, twenty rare animals, and fourteen distinct plant communities."