Our Protected Land

Fundraising Initiative

This 123-acre tract in the Monongahela National Forest was put on the auction block by a timber company… and knowing its scenic importance near Elkins, the viewshed below the Bickle Knob observation tower, and its recreation potential, the Land Trust made a winning bid to prevent it from being developed. We have borrowed funds to secure this site, and now are asking our supporters to help us ensure its permanent protection.
Estimated need: $100,000.

Community Open House

Join the us for a community open house to learn more about our project to save the iconic Bickle Knob view! Guests will be invited to share their stories and memories of Bickle Knob.

Friday, March 23
Randolph County Art Center
Between the hours 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Refreshments will be served and entertainment by Seth Maynard.

Questions? Contact Jessica Spatafore at jessica@wvlandtrust.org or call (304) 413-0945.

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Historical Site Protected

Last fall, WVLT purchased a historic Civil War site in Pocahontas County, known as Camp Bartow. The property was the scene of the Battle of Greenbrier River in October 1861. The 14-acre property lies in the heart of the battlefield and was a campground of the 31st Virginia Infantry. As part of the first campaign of the Civil War, the battle proved instrumental in the creation of West Virginia in 1863.


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An 84-acre wooded sanctuary

The Elizabeth’s Woods Nature Preserve is located just south of Morgantown, W. Va. Trails and parking are currently being developed. Future developments will include improving parking and accessibility, extending trail networks, adding interpretive signs and planning educational programs.

The preserve was deeded to the WVLT in 1995. The WVLT manages the property under guidelines outlined in the deed which require keeping the property in its natural condition while accommodating hiking and nature study.

We offer volunteer trail work opportunities on the property.



Unique habitats for rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals, including:

  • Federally-endangered Indiana and Virginia big-eared bats;
  • Eastern hellbender, a sensitive and large aquatic salamander;
  • One of the world’s largest known populations of Virginia spirea, a threatened plant;
  • Barbara’s Buttons, an imperiled and vulnerable plant species;
  • Diverse communities of migratory bird species, hawks, and other birds of prey.

The property links to other public lands, including the Gauley River National Recreation Area and Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park. It is historically unique as the location of a Confederate retreat during the Civil War.

The Gauley River National Recreation Area was designated as part of the National Park system in 1988. It contains 25 miles of the Gauley River and 5 miles of the neighboring Meadow River.

An Ancient Forest

In memory of John Paul Jones and Daniel & Isa Cox Hall

The Marie Hall Jones Ancient Forest Preserve is a 190-acre property in Doddridge County, which will be open to the public as a nature preserve in the near future, after parking and access have been developed.

Allen Jones donated the property to the West Virginia Land Trust (WVLT) in 2016, to uphold his mother’s wishes to see that this untouched forest be protected forever. The natural features include a seasonal stream and a 15-acre stand of old-growth trees, ranging from 160 – 300 years of age.

WVLT manages the property under guidelines outlined in the deed, which require keeping the property in its natural condition, while accommodating hiking and nature study.

Two Islands

Two islands in the Ohio River were donated to the West Virginia Land Trust and will be protected as essential habitat for years to come.

The shallow waters of the river can provide quality habitat for freshwater mussels, including endangered species, such as the pink mucket and fanshell. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons and Indiana bats also use islands along the river as habitat.

With much of the islands submerged underwater, WVLT will work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners in upcoming years to stabilize stream banks and restore habitat. In addition to the long-term benefits to fish, wildlife, and other habitats, this land protection effort will also help improve water quality and maintain the ecosystems that offer public recreational opportunities for people in the Ohio River Valley.

Restoring floodplain forest

Floodplain forest species, including sycamores and cottonwoods, exist in narrow swaths along the preserve’s stream banks. Restoring and expanding them will contribute to improved water quality in the South Fork and the South Branch of the Potomac, which flank the property, as they flow to the Chesapeake Bay. As a recreational resource, the preserve has potential not only for the immediate community, but also for travelers who access the area from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area via Corridor H.

With one of the few known barn owl nesting sites in West Virginia, as well as lowland fields, stream frontage, and wetland habitats, the Hardy County property easily lends itself to nature watching. The ‘sloughs’ (pronounced “sloos”) are an especially interesting feature of the Poppy Bean Preserve. As ‘off-channel habitat,’ these slow-moving backwaters provide an environment for smaller fish and other aquatic species to escape high flows and avoid predation in the main river.

Management plans are underway, so stay tuned!

A 52-acre natural area

The Wallace Hartman Nature Preserve is a 52-acre natural area located minutes from downtown Charleston, W. Va. Trails are established on the property and are open to the public.

The preserve is owned by Kanawha County Parks and Recreation but is protected under a conservation easement held by the WVLT. The easement requires managing the property for recreational and educational opportunities, habitat protection, and scenic enjoyment.

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