Morning mist over the Dry Fork River, a tributary of the Black Fork of the Cheat River in eastern West Virginia.
Dry Fork River Morning mist over the Dry Fork River, a tributary of the Black Fork of the Cheat River in eastern West Virginia. © Kent Mason

Places We Protect

Brooklyn Heights Preserve

West Virginia

These oak and hardwood forests are nestled between McGowan Mountain and the Black Fork River.

In the early 20th century, Brooklyn Heights was an incorporated town across the river from Hendricks whose population never exceeded 100. In 1983, Dr. and Mrs. H.M. Mills donated the Brooklyn Heights property to the Conservancy and it became a preserve.

Ecology

The preserve borders the Monongahela National Forest and is near the Otter Creek Wilderness Area and Fernow Experimental Forest. It consists of mixed-oak and northern hardwood forests.

In a 1984 report, 39 bird species and 180 plants including 10 species of violets were documented on the property. The preserve provides habitat for Virginia big eared bats, black bears and other common mammals. Many wood warblers use these forests during annual migration and breeding season. In spring, a wide variety of wildflowers grow in the preserve's rich soils that are underlain by limestone. The preserve is also home to a number of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea), a type of walnut that has become rare due to a disease known as butternut canker.

Near the town of Hendricks, this preserve lies along McGowan Mountain adjacent to the Black Fork River—a short stretch of stream where the Dry Fork and Blackwater Rivers merge. The Black Fork and the Shavers Fork River then merge to become Cheat River.

The newly developed Cheat River Water Trail starts in Hendricks near Brooklyn Heights Preserve.

Support Our Work at Brooklyn Heights Preserve

You can help us protect diverse plant and animal communities in West Virginia. The Nature Conservancy works at Brooklyn Heights Preserve to conserve the land and water on which we all depend..