Approximately 85% of the 205 acres is within the view shed of the Appalachian Trail and can be viewed from the Waterfall Byway and surrounding Nantahala National Forest lands. Rainbow Springs has abundant aquatic resources and riparian habitat, including more than one mile of Nantahala River frontage. Upstream of the public section of the river that provides recreation opportunities and economic benefit to both Swain and Macon County, this project further protects these waters that are currently classified as Outstanding Resource Waters by the NC Department of Environmental Quality.
Located within the private property is the Rainbow Springs Marsh, which holds important federal significance. The marsh is part of a bog wetland that is so unique, it’s included the Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge, one of approximately 30 areas in western North Carolina and northeast Tennessee that the US Fish and Wildlife designated in April 2015 as the Firescald Conservation Partnership Area.
This property, located in western Macon County, is now part of a larger node of privately conserved properties totaling 2,619 acres near or bounded by the Nantahala National Forest, including four other conservation easements held by Mainspring and one held by The Nature Conservancy.