All Current News, Events and Hikes

Alexanders Ford, a naturally and culturally significance property in Polk County, was forever protected by a CMLC conservation easement in 2011. It was purchased by Polk County and opened to the public as the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford, a park for visitors to enjoy its biological treasures and timeless history. The property hosts almost two miles of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the route followed by a Patriot militia during the Revolutionary War en route to the Battle at Kings Mountain. The militia defeated the British a few days after marching through the property and camping on site at the banks of the Green River. Thomas Jefferson later referred to the battle as the "turning point of the American Revolution".

Join CMLC on Saturday, November 10th @ 10:00am for a hike through the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford along the original path marched by the Overmountain Men in 1780. During the hike, hear stories and history from local Alexander's Ford project manager and historian Ambrose Mills as we take a leisurely out-and-back hike to the Green River. Total hiking distance is 2.5 miles. Hiking time will be approximately three hours; this does not include travel time to the hike itself.

This hike is rated EASY to MODERATE as it has a total elevation gain and loss of 200 feet over its distance of 2.5 miles. Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two and a half mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Children of all ages are welcome on this hike. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs at this time. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack to eat during the hike. Note that this hike has no restroom facilities.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 40 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

In this issue:

  • For the Love of Nature: Protecting summer camps for our next generation

  • Land Conservation: A History of Giving by CMLC Executive Director Kieran Roe;
  • 12th Annual Conservation Celebration & Mountains of the World Raffle;

  • Bearwallow Beast 5K Results;

  • Our Newest Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteer: Kevin Simpson;

  • AmeriCorps Project Conserve: 52,000 Hours of Service to WNC;

  • DuPont State Forest Grows By 65 Acres;

  • CMLC Hiking Challenge 2.0 is coming;

  • New Hickory Nut Gorge Guidebook;

  • CMLC is Fueling Good;

  • CMLC Welcomes CTNC Diversity Intern Imani Wilburg-Folds;

  • New Trustees Join CMLC's Board

  • Thanks for the Memories: Julie Brockman & 2011-2012 AmeriCorps Project Conserve members


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:

On Saturday, July 21st, hike with CMLC at Tumbling Fun Falls in Sapphire. This protected property, owned by Patrick Horan and Noel Thurner, will be a special opportunity for the public to explore a private waterfall on the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

Adjoining the Nantahala National Forest, the property is home to several streams and waterfalls including the original Tumbling Fun Falls. We’ll hike mostly on logging roads and trails that the owners have worked to clear. The landowners will also offer a garden tour and discussion on incorporating native plants into landscape and food gardens.


This is a MODERATELY STRENUOUS 3 mile hike. Hikers must be capable of handling uneven ground and always be aware of their footing, as there are many small, sharp stumps covered by leaves on the trail that could result in injury.  Hikers should also come prepared with proper clothing, footwear, water and a snack or lunch. 

Space is limited for our hikes, so email or call (828)697-5777x211 to reserve your spot today! Children 12 and over are welcome to join our hikes. We unfortunately cannot accomodate dogs at this time.

Wednesday, July 18th is International National Mandela Day, a day to inspire and challenge citizens to do service in their communities and be a global force for good. Please stand with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in celebrating and honoring the life and achievements of Nelson Mandela, who spent 67 years of his life fighting for equality and justice, by donating at least 67 minutes of your time to making the world a better place. CMLC will be offering several activities for youth as well as a service opportunity for adults that will fulfill the challenge set forth for the day.

Planned activities and events for the day include:

  • An opportunity to learn about the mission of CMLC and the life of Nelson Mandela
  • An educational guided plant walk showcasing native plants
  • Stewardship volunteer opportunity in CMLC's Community Arboretum
  • Scavenger hunt and crafts for youth (with prizes!)
  • Refreshments, and a chance to socialize with other individuals who are passionate about making the world a better place

This event will run from 10 AM to 2 PM, with scheduled service and activities throughout. 

If you are interested in attending, to do service or for arts and crafts, please RSVP with the number planning to attend.  For RSVPs or general questions on the event, please contact Mark van der Linden at 828-697-5777, ext 211, or by emailing here.  

If you're curious about the day, please visit the International Nelson Mandela Day website!

On Saturday June 9th, join CMLC for a hike to view the spectacular Connestee Falls waterfall from a vantage point not typically available to the public. In addition to Connestee Falls, hikers will have the opportunity to view four other waterfalls: Upper Batson Creek Falls, Middle Batson Creek Falls, Batson Creek Falls, and Silver Slip Falls. Our route will follow well-groomed trails constructed and maintained entirely by volunteer trail stewards of the Connestee Falls neighborhood residents.The hike will take about 3 hours, including time for viewing the falls and a lunch/snack break. At 3 miles in length with 500 feet of elevation change, this hike is rated moderately strenuous. Hikers should come prepared with proper clothing, footwear, sunscreen, water, and a snack.

Space on this hike is limited. Email or call (828) 697-5777 x211 to reserve your spot today! Children 12 and over are welcome to join our hikes. We cannot accomodate dogs at this time.

Connestee Falls is one of the eight hike part of the CMLC Hiking Challenge.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy presents Cherokee artisan, James W. Long, who will demonstrate traditional river cane weaving and dying techniques, Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 2:00pm at the Fletcher Community Park. After the presentation, CMLC will lead a guided tour of the Cane Creek greenway highlighting recent projects that improve water quality and wildlife habitat along Cane Creek. This is a FREE event and open to the public.

Long will use river cane and dyes he has gathered himself from natural sources to demonstrate how artisans split and weave river cane and use native plants and roots to create the rich browns and oranges of baskets and mats. The guided tour will showcase river cane growing in its natural habitat and focus on CMLC’s work to restore this once-abundant plant to the banks of Cane Creek.

In addition to its cultural uses, river cane provides habitat for wildlife and prevents erosion. In partnership with the Town of Fletcher, CMLC volunteers and staff are replanting river cane and removing competing non-native plant species at the greenway.

Long, a member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, began learning the art of basket weaving from his parents at the age of 11. He soon mastered other crafts as a way of continuing cultural traditions. He said it has become harder to find the quality natural materials he needs for his artwork and he is always excited about the opportunity to share his craft with others. Long’s work will be available for sale at the event.

The demonstration and tour will highlight the important relationship between culture and nature and will appeal to anyone with an interest in history, art, or the environment. All are invited to attend this free event sponsored by the Community Foundation of Henderson County


Join CMLC for a special public hike to the Johnson Branch property on Saturday, April 28th. Permanently protected in December 2009, Johnson Branch has over 8,600 feet of streams and is an integral part of the French Broad River watershed. On our hike, we will follow Morgan and Betty Jones' preexisting trail system along these tributaries to see cascading waterfalls and sprouting wildflowers. Further highlights include an awe-inspiring vista and a newly constructed trail that eases the severity of our route. Hike leader Betty Jones has catalogued hundreds of species on her land, and will make for an excellent guide. This is a strenuous 2.5-mile loop trail with an elevation change of 700 ft. Hikers must be in good physical condition. Proper hiking gear and poles are highly recommended. Join us for a special hiking opportunity otherwise inaccesible to the public. Email or call (828) 697-5777 x211 to reserve your spot today!

The Hendersonville-based Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) and CMLC are seeking volunteers for service on ECO's Earth Stewardship Day Saturday, April 28, 2012.  Volunteer opportunities include constructing a community garden, pollinator & native grasses planting, trail maintenance at Holmes Educational State Forest, beautification and stream buffer restoration at Hendersonville's Sullivan Park, orchard plantings at Upward Elementary School, beaver dam removal on Lewis Creek, and other great service projects that will improve our environment and community. For more information or to sign-up for a project, contact ECO's Water Quality Administrator, Rachel Hodge, at 828-692-0385 or

Not sure which plants in your yard are invasive? Or why invasive plants are such a problem? Don't know where to start  or how to get rid of the plants that pose the greatest threat ? Worried that your efforts to eradicate invasive plants aren't making a difference?

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Friends of Hickory Nut Gorge invite you to a FREE workshop at the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Center to help you to take charge of the invasive plants around your home.

You'll learn how to identify and treat invasive plant species, where to access and purchase resources for treatment, and where a variety of organizations and fellow landowners are already working in the Hickory Nut Gorge.

Do you have something from your yard you need help identifying? Seal it up in a plastic bag and bring it with you--we'll help you figure out what it is and how to treat it!

When: Wednesday, April 18th at 6:00 pm

Where: 4730 Gerton Hwy. 74A, Gerton, NC (next to Nita's and Susan's Hickory Creek Market)

Snacks and beverages will be provided. Bring a friend!

For further details, contact Julie Brockman at or 828-697-5777 ext. 209.

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