Covid-19 Update (June 3, 2020)
West Virginia’s public preserves remain open, with the exception of Ice Mountain Preserve. We ask all visitors to please follow any local restrictions put in place for your safety as well as guidance from the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others (social distancing).
Parking may be limited at many of our preserves. If parking areas are full, or if you find you can’t social distance at any trail or preserve, it may be best to visit the area at another time.
Thank you for helping us in our efforts to protect our visitors’ health and well-being. Together, we can each do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 so we can continue to do the important work needed in West Virginia.
Secluded amid a 3,600-acre string of protected peaks on North Fork Mountain lies The Nature Conservancy’s Pike Knob – a 1,600-acre preserve boasting some of the finest views in the state. From its open fields, visitors can gaze out over the expanse of West Virginia’s large, intact mountain landscapes, where family farms dot the valleys, golden eagles cruise the skies and coyotes howl in the distance.
To the west of the preserve, Spruce Knob, West Virginia’s highest point, intercepts weather systems, causing storms to drop much of their rain and snowfall before they hit North Fork. As a result, the mountain is one of the driest in the East. These dry conditions help to make Pike Knob Preserve, and the landscape it’s nestled within, one of the most ecologically significant areas in the Central Appalachians.
Main threats to Pike Knob Preserve and North Fork Mountain are habitat fragmentation, invasive species, second home development, and trampling of rare habitats by off-road vehicles and visitors. In order to safeguard the preserve, the Conservancy is:
- Controlling non-native invasive weeds like cheatgrass, viper’s bugloss and mullein that threaten native species
- Studying the historic and ecological roles of fire
- Providing conservation and ecological management expertise to private land owners and public land managers
- Protecting land through acquisitions and conservation easements