A diver searches for freshwater mussels in the shallows of the Clinch River
Mussel Survey A snorkeler scans the bottom of the Clinch River during a mussel survey at Cleveland Barrens, Virginia. © Daniel White / TNC

Places We Protect

Cleveland Natural Area Preserve

Virginia

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

Overview

The Nature Conservancy acquired a 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.