MAYO BEACH — The Mayo River State Park keeps growing — 64 acres this time.
The Piedmont Land Conservancy announced Thursday that, with the help of money from Duke Energy, the new acreage had recently been acquired.
The property includes the famed “Mayo Beach” and the “Boiling Hole” on the river and will improve access to the Fall Creek waterfall, the land conservancy, or PLC, said in a news release. The future park land encompasses the forested area on both sides of the river.
Later this summer, the land is expected to be conveyed to the Mayo River State Park, where it will provide a northern access point to the river near the Anglin Mill Road bridge.
The Mayo River, one of the Dan River’s largest tributaries and part of its watershed. The Duke Energy support its part of its effort to address how the massive 2014 coal ash spill at one of its sites along the Dan near Eden affected recreation and the ecosystems.
The utility provided $363,000 to help PLC acquire the 64 acres.
Duke Energy officials said in the release that the company has now paid for more than 600 acres along the Mayo River for state parks in North Carolina and Virginia.
“Local officials expect the river to be a key economic driver for communities on both sides of the state line, so we’re proud to support this community growth and perpetual legacy,” Davis Montgomery, Duke Energy district manager for Rockingham County, said in the release.
Legislators authorized the Mayo River State Park in 2003, and over the years, more land along the river has been added to the park.
“Early on it was more of a dream than a park,” PLC Executive Director Kevin Redding said in the release. “With this acquisition, plus the 320-acre parcel PLC and Duke jointly completed in 2016, the dream of a regional recreational attraction has come to fruition.”
With the latest addition, the Mayo River State Park will soon total 2,500 acres, PLC said.
Virginia has begun assembling land to create its own Mayo River State Park. Duke Energy and PLC added a 213-acre parcel along the North Fork of the Mayo River to their holdings earlier this year, the land conservancy said.