Green River Game Land

18,639 acres in Henderson & Polk Counties

A relatively undisturbed wilderness containing narrow gorges, steep ravines, coves and forests.

Open to the Public


Things To Do

Birding / Wildflowers / Canoeing-Kayaking / Hiking / Parking View All

Plan Your Visit

Contact N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at 1 (800) 662-7137 or

View All

Get Directions

Southern Appalachian Mountains
Polk and Henderson Counties






Cliffield Mountain, Hendersonville, Pea Ridge

Topographical maps are available by contacting:
NC Geographical Survey.
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1612.
(919) 715-9718


N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
NCSU Centennial Campus
1751 Varsity Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 707-0010


The Nature Conservancy purchased 5,090 acres from Duke Power Company and Crescent Timber in 1994 on behalf of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission that are now managed as the Green River Game Land.

Located in the southwestern corner of the state, the Green River Game Land is a relatively undisturbed wilderness area containing narrow gorges, steep ravines and coves, old-growth forests, and mixed hardwood forests. The Green River runs through a rugged gorge on the Blue Ridge escarpment. At its most impressive point, the river drops 400 feet in a distance of one and a half miles and runs through a six-foot wide crevice known as "the Narrows." Pulliam Creek cuts a deep ravine near the Green River, forming several small falls and slides.

The gorge is a very soggy area, full of amphibians such as the northern dusky and blackbelly salamanders, green frog, gray treefrog, and spring peeper. The area’s reptilian species include racer, ringneck, eastern garter, and black rat snakes; and box turtle. Many forest songbirds inhabit the gorge, including the scarlet tanager and cerulean and Swainson’s warblers. Rare plants in the Green River area include butternut (white walnut), long-stalked sedge, Cherokee sedge, French Broad heartleaf, and Blue Ridge bittercress. Wildflowers such as large-flowered trillium and showy skullcap can be seen here in late spring. The gorge is also home to an uncommon butterfly, the West Virginia white. Canoeing is popular on the Green River, so summer traffic is heavy on the lower sections.

Birding / Wildflowers / Canoeing-Kayaking / Hiking / Parking

This area has multiple uses. Downloadable maps of the game land and hunting schedules are available on the Wildlife Resources Commission website,

There are many hiking options in the Green River area. The Environmental and Conservation Organization of Henderson County (ECO) has a nice trail map and guide.  Contact them at (828) 692-0385 or


There are many hiking options in the Green River area. The Environmental and Conservation Organization of Henderson County (ECO) has a nice trail map and guide. Contact them at (828) 692-0385 . Remember that the area is hunted, so check the hunting schedule before visiting.

Here’s one hiking option: Southeast of Hendersonville, take exit 28 off I-26 at Saluda. The Laurel Creek branch can be accessed from US 176 just east of US 25. SR 1151 parallels the river and has a few small parking areas. A foot trail leads to Bradley Falls from SR 1142. The land The Nature Conservancy acquired is the upper, narrower section of this gorge, which offers challenging hiking. You may want to bring a rope in case steep sections of the trail are washed out.


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