Cumberland Knob to Saddle Mountain Conservation Area

Did You Know? Protecting land along the Blue Ridge 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.

Milepost: 217 (NC-VA state line) - 223

Protected: 614 Acres

Prioritization Features: Outdoor recreation, trails access, hunting and game lands, scenic views

In 2004, CTNC began efforts to expand protected land around Cumberland Knob National Recreation Area. This 900-acre recreation area lies just south of the Virginia-North Carolina state line, near the site where construction of the Parkway first began in 1935. Much of the land protected by CTNC in this focus area can be seen from the spectacular Fox Hunter’s Paradise Overlook at Milepost 218.6.  

The iconic landmark of Saddle Mountain forms the southern end of this focus area. In 2005, CTNC was able to purchase much of the mountain, creating a connection between the Mitchell River Game Lands to the east, and the Blue Ridge Parkway to the west. CTNC and Piedmont Land Conservancy worked together to purchase surrounding land, most of which was conveyed to NC Wildlife Resources Commission to expand Mitchell River Game Lands. These public game lands are available at no charge for recreation, including hunting, bird watching, nature photography, and wildflower treks. To date, CTNC has protected 262 acres at Cumberland Knob, and 351 acres, virtually all of Saddle Mountain, including the Stanback Trail offering hiking access to the top of the mountain. 

Funding and Conservation Partners who make this work possible: NC Wildlife Resource Commission, Piedmont Land Conservancy, NC Land & Water Fund, National Park Service, Cannon Foundation, and the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Fred and Alice Stanback. 

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 Cumberland Knob to Saddle Mountain Conservation Area


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