ALERT/JANUARY 2023: Heavy rains in the Upstate have created a small sinkhole on Pennell Road, just past the pedestrian bridge, that leads to our Blue Wall Preserve. Please take care to avoid this hazard while hiking the preserve and use the trails at your own risk.
The Blue Wall Preserve is part of a mosaic of protected parcels that cover approximately 20,000 acres within the Blue Ridge Escarpment of the Southern Appalachians. With its abrupt rise in elevation and abundant rainfall, the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment is one of the most ecologically important areas in the eastern U.S. The preserve was designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society; 114 different bird species have been observed on the preserve. There is a variety of natural plant communities, including hardwood uplands, Virginia pine succession forest stands, saturated southerm shrublands and open-water lakes. There is also a majestic waterfall along the trails.
The Cherokee called the Blue Ridge Mountains the “Blue Wall.” Standing at The Nature Conservancy’s Blue Wall Preserve, looking 1,400 feet up the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment to views of Hogback Mountain and surrounding peaks, one can see how the preserve earned its nickname.
This 575-acre preserve, named for this view, is part of a larger collection of 22,000 acres of conserved land that provide clean drinking water, quiet recreation and protection of ecological diversity in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
What Are We Doing?
We are working on eradicating invasive plant species on the Blue Wall Preserve, including Chinese privet, kudzu, multiflora rose, English ivy, princess tree and Tree of Heaven. We also maintain a partnership with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), which helps us update kiosk information and maintain trails. The PCF has established a part of the Palmetto Trail crossing South Carolina on the Blue Wall Preserve.
The Nature Conservancy is grateful to the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund for supporting road repairs at Blue Wall that improve water quality and benefit people and nature.