Bradley Nature Preserve Opens at Alexander’s Ford Historic Site

From left to right: Paul Carson (NPS), Elizabeth Nager (Polk County Community Foundation), Polk County Commissioner Ray Gasperson, and Ambrose Mills (Project Manager for AF Site) performing the ‘ribbon’-cutting at the opening ceremony.
Photo by Joe Epley

On October 5, 2012, the opening ceremony was held for the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander’s Ford.  The Preserve was established on the historic site at Alexander’s Ford, where revolutionary soldiers on the Overmountain Victory Trail staked camp then forded the Green River on their way to King’s Mountain.  “For many of the soldiers, Alexander’s Ford was to be the final place they lay their heads down to rest on this earth,” as noted by Paul Carson, the superintendent of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail for the National Park Service.  Two days later the patriots would engage General Ferguson and his loyalist troops who were en-route to connect with the main British Army, and Kings Mountain is now recognized as a crucial turning point of the revolution.  Here’s a fantastic video that conveys the historical and natural significance of the site:  Alexander’s Ford – A History.

Alexander’s Ford Militiamen fire off black powder rounds.
Photo by Joe Epley

Equinox is excited to have worked closely with Polk County, The Bradley Fund, North Carolina Parks and Trails Foundation, and the National Park Service to complete the master plan for over 150 acres of the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander’s Ford, which has now been placed into a conservation easement.  Our Master Plan helped to guide construction of a low impact vehicular road access and parking, trail networks, field identification of the actual historical trail, interpretative signage, kiosk, picnic shelter, handicap accessibility along the historic trail bed, historic overlook viewing areas, and general land use for site.

The plan also promotes access to and generates awareness of one of our Country’s most significant historical sites.  We had a tremendous obligation to maintain the integrity of this historic site to honor those who, according to some, were the key to our Country’s independence and the site that was literally a pivotal point for the remainder of the patriots’ campaign.  Construction activities were carefully sited to preserve the existing character of the site, and Equinox is proud to have helped balance modern human access needs while preserving the historic layout and feel of the encampment.

New gates and interpretive signage at the Overmountain Victory Trailhead.
Photo by Joe Epley

Here are a couple of press releases you can check out to learn more about the site:


Fred Grogan, RLA




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