National Park Trust and National Park Service Partner to Protect Appalachian Trail’s Landscape and Wildlife with Key Property Acquisition

National Park Trust and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced the successful acquisition of a 128-acre parcel of land along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Virginia. This collaborative effort marks a significant milestone in preserving the scenic beauty and ecological integrity of one of America’s most cherished hiking trails.

Previously listed on the open market, the property faced immediate threats from potential development, which would have severely impacted the trail’s natural scenery and hiking experience. Recognizing the urgent need to add this land to the national scenic trail, National Park Trust assisted the NPS by purchasing the land to hold until the NPS could take ownership. The Park Trust quickly acquired the property to meet the property owner’s timeline, ensuring its protection from imminent development.

The acreage holds substantial ecological and conservation value. Its location, within view of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail near Berryville, Virginia, ensures the preservation of the trail’s wild and undeveloped character, thereby enhancing the hiking experience for millions of visitors. Rated “very high” in ecological and forest conservation value by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the land supports diverse flora and fauna. Moreover, The Nature Conservancy identified the property as highly resilient to climate change, further underscoring its significance in broader conservation efforts. National Park Trust initiated and executed a comprehensive strategic plan, including property appraisal, environmental site assessments, and negotiations with the property owners. This collaboration culminated in the successful acquisition and temporary management of the property by the Park Trust, safeguarding it until NPS could purchase the land from the Park Trust. NPS took ownership 19 months after the Park Trust purchased the land.