By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 26, 2020

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee officials say more than 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) of land have been added to the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park to support wildlife habitat, native ecology and public recreation.

Known as the Lone Star property, the land in east Tennessee was purchased in November 2019 by The Conservation Fund, an environmental nonprofit group, state officials said in a news release Monday.

The group held the land until the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation would buy it. The land was transferred last week to the department, which will use it to develop a segment of the Cumberland Trail that will connect Ozone Falls State Natural Area to existing state owned land, officials said.

When completed, the Cumberland Trail will extend more than 300 miles (482 kilometers) from Cumberland Gap National Historical Park to the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park just outside Chattanooga, officials said.

The trail follows a line of high ridges and deep gorges near the eastern edge of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau.

Justin P. Wilson Cumberland State Park became Tennessee’s 53rd state park in 1998. It is the state’s first “linear park,” cutting through 11 counties and two time zones.

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