In 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) contacted the National Park Trust seeking help to acquire a 128-acre parcel of land along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) in Virginia.

The property owners had listed the property on the open market and were unwilling to wait 6-9 months for NPS to complete a purchase. To ensure that this important parcel would stay pristine, in September 2022, the Park Trust purchased the property using funds from our Treasure Forever Revolving Fund, promising to hold the land until NPS could complete its process for accepting the property.

In May of 2024, NPS took ownership of the 128 acres, ensuring that hikers will continue to enjoy the spectacular views as they traverse the trail.

Equally important, this addition to the AT also increased the wild and undeveloped buffer to the trail itself, protecting important habitat. The Land Trust of Virginia had identified the acreage, rated as highly resilient to climate change, as one of its highest priority parcels for protection under its Blue Ridge Conservation Initiative. The Commonwealth of Virginia rates it “very high” in ecological value and “very high to outstanding” in forest conservation value.

Project Details:

Project Years: 2022-2024 

Parcel Size: 128.26 acres 

Project Cost: $566,652

Park Trust Role: Due diligence, buy and hold

Value to the Park and Public:
  • Eliminates the possibility of development in close proximity of and within view of the AT.
  • Adds additional green space along the AT, to continue to give hikers the experience of hiking in a wild, undeveloped woodland
  • Incorporation into the AT adds and permanently protects climate change-resilient land
  • Furthers NPS protection mission as well as Commonwealth of Virginia, Nature Conservancy and Land  Trust of Virginia conservation objectives

Map of site location in relation to Front Royal, VA and close-up of locations