"America's Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches over 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina.

The Blue Ridge Parkway was started as a service project during the Great Depression, providing jobs for thousands of underemployed Americans. As one of the most visited National Park Units in the country, its 88,000-acres are home to over 360 miles of trails, 100 species of trees, 50 species of mammals, and 150 species of birds, spanning some of the most ecologically diverse forestlands in the world.

Protecting land in this region is more than counting acres and preserving the views from Parkway overlooks; it has a deeper conservation goal. Every acre protected means that the land, forest, wildlife, and headwater streams are free from destructive development and incompatible uses but instead are safeguarded in perpetuity.

Our land protection team is focused on ensuring the land is genuinely protected. By permanently protecting critical forestland, CTNC ensures the land can continue producing clean air and water, safeguarding vibrant plant and animal communities and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. CTNC prioritizes conservation projects where conserved land will allow fresh water to flow and will continue to offer wildlife a safe place to produce the next generation or rest during migration.

In many places, local land trusts, federal land managers, and tribes are finding ways to share stewardship and management responsibilities on conserved lands. The Conservation Trust for North Carolina is doing its part by protecting land, water, and wildlife along the Blue Ridge Parkway, honoring the legacy of stewardship begun by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other indigenous peoples.

waterfall at crabtree falls

Our unique relationship with the National Park Service represents a model for land protection that allows CTNC to acquire land from willing landowners and stakeholders. We then work to prepare it for transfer to the National Park Service or other state or federal conservation agencies. These partnerships preserve land forever and demonstrate the true value of conservation.

Inspired by the success of our Parkway partnerships, CTNC has continued to build new conservation programs across North Carolina designed to build community resilience. CTNC is working alongside our partners in communities to offer land conservation and other solutions that address the impacts brought on by climate change.

Gateway to a Resilient Future

It’s undeniable that our planet is under pressure, and the Blue Ridge Parkway has a part in helping our region remain resilient in the face of a changing climate. As the temperatures rise and the rainfall fluctuates, the Parkway will be the pinnacle of resilience. The wildlands along the Parkway will continue to serve many community needs. The mountains are sacred places worthy of our efforts and investments.

The conservation strides being made in the mountains inspire models for the rest of the state. We are taking clear actions to respond to climate-related disasters that build more resilient communities while preparing for future challenges. Through hard work, innovative technology, people-first relationships, the lessons learned in the mountains permeate all of North Carolina through the work undertaken by CTNC and our partners.

It’s Your Turn to Help Protect the Parkway

Our work along the Blue Ridge Parkway will never be done. There is always more to do to protect this region's expansive views, globally-significant biodiversity, plant and animal migration routes, pristine waters, recreation areas, and wilderness.

Only through the support of our donors, landowners, and partners can CTNC continue to build greater resilience for our beautiful state. Put yourself in the driver’s seat of protecting the Blue Ridge Parkway. Your support of CTNC will be put to immediate use and will have lasting impacts on building innovative solutions to protect "America’s Favorite Drive” for future generations.