All Current News, Events and Hikes

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.

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;

April 15th to 21st is National Volunteer Week!

Celebrate service and volunteerism by getting involved with National Volunteer Week! This annual week-long celebration aims to promote volunteerism and thank those who are actively involved with service in our community. Click here to learn more at the CMLC Volunteer website!

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.

Explore the beautiful woods of Sylvan Habitat, a conservation-based development near Dupont State Forest. Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy invites you on a free, guided hike in a scenic forest near Brevard. Sylvan Habitat has striven to “create a community that minimizes impact while maximizing access to outdoor recreation.” We will traverse parts of the 200+ acres that CMLC has worked to protect since 2001. This 2-3 hour moderate hike will be about 3 miles in length. To sign up, email or call (828)697-5777x211 now!



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.

Join CMLC for a member's-only hike led by CMLC trustee Diana Richards and CMLC Trails & Outreach Coordinator Peter Barr to Pool Creek Falls at Worlds Edge in Hickory Nut Gorge. This 2.25 mile hike on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain is highlighted by Pool Creek Falls, where we will stop to eat lunch and enjoy the scenery. This hike is not on maintained trails and features two very difficult stream crossings. Hikers will also be forced to navigate several downed trees, so this hike is recommended for experienced hikers only. The group is limited to 15 attendees, so sign up now to experience this otherwise inaccesible portion of the Worlds Edge tract!

To sign up, please email or call (828)697-5777 ext. 211. We hope to see you out on the trail!

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.

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