Asheville Watershed Conservation Area

Did You Know? Protecting land along the Parkway is more than counting acres and preserving views. It serves a deeper conservation purpose.

CTNC’s land protection team continues building trusting relationships with partners and landowners up and down the Parkway. East of Asheville and just south of Mount Mitchell State Park lies the Asheville Watershed conservation area, where we are protecting the City of Asheville’s drinking water supply.

Milepost: 354-370

Protected: 17,543 Acres

Prioritization Features: Water quality, scenic views, wildlife habitat, climate resiliency

The Asheville Watershed is nearly 18,000 acres of protected land surrounding two reservoirs in the headwaters of the Swannanoa River. The watershed stands as the primary drinking water source for nearly 125,000 customers both inside and outside of the city limits — including Asheville’s beloved food and beverage industries.  

The property is permanently protected by a conservation easement held by CTNC. With the presence of dense forests and pristine freshwater, this parcel of land serves as an ecological hotspot. It hosts eleven plant species and nine animal species considered endangered, threatened, or significantly rare. The Asheville Watershed conservation area is also a beautiful outlook area that can be spotted from the Parkway, making the protection of this area crucial to preserving the picturesque landscape that’s essential to the health and vitality of local and migratory plants and wildlife. 

Partner: The City of Asheville, which showed tremendous foresight in its decision to work with CTNC to protect the land that safeguards its drinking water. 

Preserving the land along the Parkway does not exclusively benefit those residing in Western NC, but throughout the entire state. The access to recreational areas, providing clean drinking water, furthering climate resilience, and ensuring that the natural beauty of our state is preserved for future generations are just a few of the reasons why land conservation along the Blue Ridge Parkway is so critical. 

Where to Find Asheville Watershed Conservation Area


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