The Pond Mountain Game Lands now offers 2,900 acres of protected, accessible land for public use with a new acquisition by local non-profit, Blue Ridge Conservancy.
The new acquisition consists of 97 acres located on the north slopes of Pond Mountain bordering Virginia. The headwaters of Big Horse Creek flow through the property and two small bogs are located in the cleared areas.
The property contains a mix of forest and open land providing diverse habitat for a variety of wildlife.
“Beyond ecological benefits, Pond Mountain offers exceptional public access for hiking, hunting, fishing, and cross country skiing, making this a year round destination,” says Walter Clark, Blue Ridge Conservancy’s Executive Director. “As the recreational resources of Pond Mountain and northwest Ashe County are discovered, the local economy should benefit from the potential growth resulting from a greater number of visitors.”
Blue Ridge Conservancy partnered with NC Wildlife Resources Commission in 2008 to create the Pond Mountain Game Land in northwest Ashe County. Through several acquisitions over the past seven years, Pond Mountain now offers one of the largest public access game land properties in northwest North Carolina.
It contains the headwaters of Big Laurel Creek, Little Horse Creek and Big Horse Creek which flow into the North Fork New River and are classified as Outstanding Resource Waters. All of the stream sources originate on the game lands.
Pond Mountain was named in 1749 by Peter Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s father, as he surveyed the North Carolina/Virginia border. Mr. Jefferson was so intrigued by the numerous small pools on the summit that he named the area Pond Mountain. Many of those small ponds are still evident today although they have been altered over the years for irrigation purposes.
Funding for this project was made possible by Fred and Alice Stanback, Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program. To learn more about Pond Mountain, please visitwww.blueridgeconservancy.org.
Blue Ridge Conservancy is a private, nonprofit, non-governmental organization incorporated in North Carolina that works with willing landowners and local communities to permanently protect land and water resources with agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational, and scenic value. BRC has protected over 18,000 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties.