News & Events: News


Mountain Xpress listed CMLC’s Bearwallow Beast 5K Trail Run as WNC’s 3rd best foot race in 2012. Thank you for voting us a local favorite! Join us again for the Bearwallow Beast 5K Trail Run on May 5th, 2013. For more information on next year's race, check out our Bearwallow Beast website:

In this issue:

  • 2011 - A Year in Review Protecting the Blue Ridge & Beyond;

  • Conservation Through Inspiration by CMLC Executive Director Kieran Roe;
  • New Trail Access to Florence Nature Preserve Completed;

  • 2011 Annual Report, Financial Summary & Donor Listings;

  • Our Newest Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteer: Mark Tooley;

  • AmeriCorps Project Conserve: Service That Impacts WNC;

  • CMLC's Bearwallow Beast 5K and Honey & Hops Festival - Sunday May 6th;

  • More than 50 member complete the CMLC Hiking Challenge;

  • Stewardship Corner: Lewis Creek Nature Preserve;

  • Introducing CMLC's new Development Director Lynn Killian Neill;

  • Save the Date for CMLC's 2012 Conservation Celebration - September 15;

Esteemed videographer Ben Carland interviewed CMLC trustees during our 11th Annual Conservation Celebration at Deerfields in Mills River. Learn why our supporters so deeply value conservation and CMLC's mission to save the places you love in western North Carolina.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy needs your help to win gas for a year! CITGO's Fueling Good Program is awarding $5,000 gas cards to non-profits receiving the most online votes. Voting is easy and takes only seconds. Vote once a day through February 9th.  Help "fuel" our mission to save the places you love!

Click here to vote for CMLC!

How Far Can a Gallon of Gas Go? CITGO is supporting organizations that make our communities a better place--one gallon at a time. The 2011 Fueling Good Program is awarding $120,000 in Gas Gift Cards to 24 non-profits across the country. Will you help CMLC be one of them? Your vote counts--every day.

Want to help even more? Tell others to vote by sharing the news through Facebook, Twitter, or email using the social media buttons below. Remember, everyone can vote once a day! 

Alexander’s Ford protected by CMLC; certified as part of the Overmountain Victory Trail

In 2011, CMLC permanently protected 162 acres at Alexander's Ford in Polk County.  The Alexander's Ford property along the Green River includes more than two miles of the original roadbed traveled by the Overmountain Men, a Patriot militia who in 1780 marched hundreds of miles to fight the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain The victorious battle proved to be the turning point of the American Revolution.

Hosting far more than history alone, Alexander’s Ford is now part of the new Bradley Nature Preserve.  Its verdant forests and botanical diversity make it an ecological treasure.  Polk County plans to build a picnic shelter, a bike path, and hiking trails; a portion of the property may open to the public as early as summer 2012. 

The process of seeking preservation of Alexander's Ford took more than six years.  CMLC worked with the landowner and Polk County to garner grants from three North Carolina trust funds—Parks and Recreation Trust Fund,  Natural Heritage Trust Fund, and Clean Water Management Trust Fund. This collaboration is reflective of the many assets of Alexander's Ford: water quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and public recreation.

In October, the Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA) and the National Park Service certified Alexander's Ford as part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.  Colonial reenactors from the OVTA commenorated the newly protected part of the Trail, firing a volley from their muskets in celebration.

Like the Overmountain Men, CMLC and the project’s many supporters persevered to protect something important for future generations.  The permanent conservation of the land will forever honor those who bravely sacrificed for our nation’s freedom.

To read more about Alexander's Ford, read Saving More Than Mountains: Timeless History Protected at Alexander's Ford.

For driving directions for visiting the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford, click here.

In December, CMLC began construction on a new section of hiking trail that connects CMLC's newly opened trailhead on Highway 74A to the 600-acre Florence Nature Preserve (FNP).  Located in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge near the hamlet of Gerton, the new section of trail will replace a steep and eroded trail that currently accesses the FNP. This new, sustainable trail will feature multiple switchbacks to improve the grade of the ascent to FNP.  The new route, open to foot traffic only, will also incorporate multiple natural and cultural points of interest as it accesses the Preserve and its five-mile hiking trail network on the slopes of Little Pisgah Mountain.  The existing trail will be closed following construction of the new access trail.  Construction of this trail re-route is scheduled to be completed in January 2012.

HIKERS: Please use extra caution. Hiking access to FNP will remain open during trail construction. However, please pay extra attention to safety while hiking to FNP during the construction process. Heavy machinery & tools are in use among the trail crew.  Stay alert and ensure your presence is known if you hike near the construction.

For directions to the trailhead, click here to enter your address and receive turn-by-turn directions to the the trailhead. GPS users may enter N35.4734, W-82.3320 in their units. Located off of Highway 74A, the grassy parking area is most recognizable by a rock wall and stone chimney.  Park here, making sure to leave space for other vehicles.

Florence Nature Preserve'a 600 acres harbor pristine mountain streams, old growth forest, and rock outcroppings with scenic views.  The Preserve was donated to CMLC for preservation and public access by Dr. Tom & Glenna Florence in 1996 and 2001.  FNP and its new public trailhead on Highway 74A will one day be part of the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Loop Trail that will link conserved lands at Bearwallow Mountain and Hickory Nut Gap by footpath. For more information on CMLC's Florence Nature Preserve, click here.

CMLC's Landscape Winter 2011 Issue

In this issue:

  • Saving More Than Mountains: Timeless History at Alexander's Ford Protected Forever, Forever Remembered
  • 2011 Conservation Celebration: Bringing Together Our Mountains' Finest - Photos & Thank Yous
  • Mills River: Protecting Drinking Water For Tens of Thousands
  • CMLC Oktoberfest Celebrates New Bearwallow Mountain Trail
  • Our Newest Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteers: Bill & Jerry McAninch
  • New AmeriCorps Project Conserve Members at CMLC
  • CMLC Welcomes New Staff & Family
  • Take the CMLC Hiking Challenge! 18 Challenge Completers Through October

Fill the stockings of your family & friends with mountains this year! Or enroll them in CMLC's White Squirrel Hiking Challenge for the New Year!

Gift Memberships:

It's as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Select a level of membership below and click Buy Now
  2. Be sure to include your friend's name, address, phone number, and email.  If paying using PayPal leave this information as a note to the merchant, or call CMLC to give the additional information.
  3. Practice saying "You're welcome!" for all the "Thank yous!" you will receive for giving such a priceless gift

Don't forget to give us their address!

We will mail a welcome package to your friend including:

  • A letter of welcome from Kieran Roe, our Executive Director
  • A $20 Diamond Brand gift card (for gift memberships of $50 or more)
  • Our latest newsletter
  • Our annual report for the last year
  • General information about the organization

Membership Levels
Name of Friend

** Don't forget!  If you are a current member and you buy a gift membership for a friend at the $50 level, you both get a $20 gift card to Diamond Brand!

New and Improved Access to Florence Nature Preserve!

CMLC is proud to announce that a new trailhead for the Florence Nature Preserve is now open to the public.  Located directly on Highway 74A, the new trailhead offers convenient and scenic public access to the Florence Nature Preserve and the developing Hickory Nut Gorge Trail System.  

The new trailhead is now the only point of public access to the Preserve. When preparing for your trip to the Preserve, please plan on using this access because Kelly Hill Road and the trailheads off of it (red and blue) are now closed.

Located approximately 0.9 miles east of the Hickory Nut Gorge Community Center and Nita and Susan’s Hickory Creek Market, the new trailhead allows for more vehicle parking and provides a much more scenic route of entry into the Preserve. 

Please note that the existing trail is strenuous for a short stretch up the mountain from the trailhead.  CMLC is currently planning improvements to the existing trail that will accommodate access by a broader range of trail users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation as we continue to improve the Hickory Nut Gorge Trail System!

New Trail Map

Visit the main Florence Nature Preserve Page for more information

Thank you to everyone for Springing into Action and Running for the Hills! 

Race Results:

Overall and Age Group Winners on the main race page

Please download the current version of Internet Explorer. IE 6 is no longer supported.