Places We Protect

Cleveland Natural Area Preserve


A person wearing a wetsuits floats face down in the shallow Clinch River looking for freshwater mussels. The wide river curves curves away in the distance between trees.
Mussel Survey A snorkeler scans the bottom of the Clinch River during a mussel survey at Cleveland Barrens, Virginia. © Daniel White / TNC

An ecological hotspot with national significance for its concentration of rare species.



The Nature Conservancy acquired this 438-acre natural area to protect a globally-rare plant community as well as significant habitat for endangered freshwater mussels. Together, TNC and Virginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation have permanently protected nearly 1,000 acres in the Cleveland area since 1999.  

Cleveland Natural Area Preserve encompasses approximately 1.5 miles of frontage along the Clinch River just outside the town of Cleveland in Russell County, Virginia. The tract is part of an ecological hotspot with national significance for its remarkable concentration of rarities both in the water and on land.

This preserve connects with Cleveland Barrens Natural Area Preserve, where their is public access to three miles of hiking trails, including an overview of the Clinch River, and handicapped access to Tank Hollow Falls.




Russell County, VA

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The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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