All Current News, Events and Hikes

Date of this Event: Sat, 06/13/2015 - 10:00am

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, June 13th, for a guided hike through the private trail system of the Connestee Falls community in Transylvania County. This hike features seven major waterfalls, including Connestee Falls, Silver Slip Falls, Upper-, Middle-, Lower-Batson Creek Falls, and more. 

Connestee Falls, Batson Creek Falls, and Silver Slip Falls were protected by CMLC through a conservation easement in 2003. Once privately-owned with restricted access, the falls are now the centerpiece of a new Transylvania County park.

Total cumulative hiking distance is 2 miles. This hike is rated as moderate in difficulty, featuring a total elevation gain of 400 feet

This CMLC hike is open to the public: members and non-members are invited, so please consider registering a friend to attend the hike. The Connestee Falls community trail system is not otherwise open to the public, so take advantage of this opportunity to hike new trails with CMLC.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. Hikers must be age 12 and up.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up FormHike meeting locations, times, and additional details will be sent through email the week of the hike. This hike can accomodate 40 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Harden at Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 27,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.

Date of this Event: Fri, 06/12/2015 - 7:00pm

CMLC is partnering with the Center for Cultural Preservation and David Weintraub for our June Speaker Series! 

Call of the Ancient Mariner, a new film by Hendersonville filmmaker David Weintraub, will hold its Hendersonville premiere at the Unitarian Fellowship in Hendersonville on Friday, June 12th.  The documentary wowed Charleston audiences last month when it played to packed houses and won Best of the Festival at the Charleston Film Festival. 

Mariner tells the story of man’s love affair with sea turtles that goes back since the dawn of time.  The film was shot throughout the Southeastern US and all of the original music was created by local WNC musicians.  In addition to offering audiences a chance to see a film that Charleston Film Festival director Paul Brown called “compelling” and “truly resonating with the audience,” the June 12th showing will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Land Protection Director Tom Fanslow from Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, and representatives from MountainTrue.  The film will be followed by a DVD Release Party in Fellowship Hall featuring musicians Carol Duermit and Michele Skeele as well as refreshments.  DVDs and T-shirts will be available for sale following the screening.

The Hendersonville debut will be held at the Unitarian Fellowship at 409 E Patterson St off of Kanuga Avenue at 7:00 pm on Friday, June 12th.

To order your tickets today, visit the Center for Cultural Preservation's Screening Page and choose June 12th or call the Center at (828) 692-8062.  Call of the Ancient Mariner is a production of the Hendersonville-based Center for Cultural Preservation and is co-sponsored by the NC Arboretum, WNC Nature Center, SC Aquarium and Turtle Hospital. Georgia Sea Turtle Center, MountainTrue, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, and the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Date of this Event: Sat, 06/06/2015 - 9:00am

Help CMLC by shopping at Hendersonville's Mast General Store (527 N. Main St.) and eating at The Green Room (536 N. Main St.) on Land Trust Day: Saturday, June 6th, 2015.

In support of land conservation in western NC, Mast General Store will donate 20% of all sales on Land Trust Day to CMLC (Hendersonville location only) and The Green Room in Hendersonville will donate 10% of all breakfast and lunch sales (8:30 to 3:00 pm) to CMLC. 

Browse Mast General Store online now and make your list to purchase in the store on June 6th. Be sure to also bring your appetite and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch at The Green Room across the street, all in support of land conservation and CMLC! 

For more information, please contact CMLC Donor Relations Manager Laura Pocock at or 828-697-5777 ext 203.

Date of this Event: Sat, 06/06/2015 - 9:00am
Get your hands dirty with CMLC, Carolina Mountain Club, and REI Asheville on National Trails Day, Saturday June 6th. Help build the new extension of the Little Bearwallow trail in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge.
Spend a fun day in the woods while being part of constructing one of the region's newest and most exciting hiking trail systems. The new trail is a segment of the developing 15-mile Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail that will connect the grassy bald of Bearwallow Mountain to other conserved lands in the Gorge, including the scenic summit of Blue Ridge Pastures as well as CMLC's 600-acre Florence Nature Preserve.
No experience is necessary, but adequate physical fitness (for working in rugged terrain while using heavy tools) is required. Participants will receive a special edition REI volunteer T-shirt. Space is limited to 20 volunteers. Ages 12 and up are welcome. Workday will last from 9:00AM - 2:30PM. Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, dress for poison ivy, bring work gloves, sun protection, water and snacks/lunch.
Registration via REI Asheville is required. Meeting information/directions can be found through the link below.
For questions, contact CMLC Trails and Outreach Coordinator Peter Barr at or 828-697-5777 ext. 215.

Date of this Event: Sun, 05/31/2015 - 2:00pm

The Mills River Partnership (MRP) is pleased to sponsor the second annual “Mills River Day” on Sunday, May 31st from 2-5 p.m., hosted by local farm, North River Farms (3333 North Mills River Road). Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, Weed Action Coalition of the Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG), and many other groups will be in attendance.

Join MRP in celebrating the theme “The River Connects Us” to learn the many aspects that join the Mills River community and watershed to the greater Hendersonville/Asheville area through the use of the river’s resources.  This event aims to educate participants about the river and water quality issues, help build stronger sense of community, and raise awareness of local agriculture.

This fun and educational community event for kids of all ages will have a bounce house, farm animals, wagon rides, farm equipment demonstrations and displays, fire safety house and fire truck demonstration, ice cream and BBQ. Live music by the Lonesome Road Band. 

It will also feature fun-filled water quality activities including fly-fishing and kicknet demonstrations for river “bugs” and water improvement projects near the river, as well as agricultural activities including the Farm Simulator and a no-till demonstration.

Also, meet local author Marci Spencer available to sign her newest book Pisgah National Forest: a History

The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. The first 100 visitors will receive a flowering hanging basket. 

For more information or media inquiries, please contact MRP at 708-7388 or visit

Through Mills River Day, the Mills River Partnership hopes to foster connections between the Mills River, the people who use its water resources, and the people who live within its watershed. The Mills River Partnership is a not-for-profit organization that addresses water quality in the Mills River watershed. MRP has a diverse board of directors, with members from the agricultural community, local governments, and conservation organizations. MRPs work focuses on educating the local community about water quality issues and helping farmers and other landowners implement best management practices to control sediment pollution.

Date of this Event: Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:30pm

CMLC needs your help cleaning up trash on the top of Bearwallow Mountain, home of one of our most well-known and stunningly-beautiful conservation easements. This beautiful vista is littered with remains of illegal trash disposal and vandalism around the firetower. Join us in removing the trash, to help protect the fragile ecosystems nearby and make it a more beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.

The clean up event will be Friday, May 29th from 12:30 to 4:00pm.


Trash bags will be provided. Gloves will be available, but bring your own if you like.

Other things to bring:

Water, lunch, snacks, sunglasses/hat, sturdy shoes, dress for the weather!

Meeting locations:

1. CMLC office at 12:00pm in Hendersonville to carpool. Click here for Google Maps.

2. Bearwallow trailhead at 12:30pm. Limited parking. Please pay attention to "No Parking" signs! Click here for Google Maps.

Please contact Jenn Tutor to RSVP and for more info at

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina’s 24 local land trusts bestowed their annual awards on deserving winners during a lunch celebration at the land trusts’ annual meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville on May 15th. The NC Land Trust awards are given annually to businesses, nonprofits, governments, and individuals who lead efforts to protect the state’s streams and lakes, forests, farms, parkland and wildlife habitat, thereby protecting clean drinking water and air quality, local food, and outdoor recreation.

Five years ago, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) began pursuing a complement to our budding conservation efforts in the Hickory Nut Gorge: the development of an extensive hiking trail network that would provide public access to visitors seeking to enjoy these natural treasures as well as connectivity to enable them to traverse the ridges, hollows, and forests that link them together. This trail network—which has now reached nearly 10 miles in length—enables nature seekers of all abilities and interests the opportunity to enjoy our conserved lands, and ultimately make the connection between the importance of natural resource protection and public access and recreation. CMLC quickly discovered that public trails quickly increased the immediate relevancy and the direct tangibility of land conservation.

This trail network—and its incalculable benefit on land conservation in our region—would not be possible without the tireless efforts and dedicated service of the Carolina Mountain Club (CMC). Simply put, the CMC has put these trails on-the-ground. Since our initial partnership with the CMC on the Bearwallow Mountain Trail in 2010, to the completion of the Trombatore Trail linking conserved lands of CMLC and SAHC in 2013, to the extension of the Little Bearwallow Trail in 2015, the CMC has created—from scratch—the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail and brought its planned 15-mile length to 66% completion. And they’re still just getting started.

To do this, the volunteers from the CMC donated an astonishing 5,563 hours to Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. That is the equivalent of one volunteer building trail eight hours a day, every day, for nearly two straight years. And while their donated hours are impressive, the demanding nature of their selfless work is even more impressive. Volunteers endure extreme temperatures and challenging weather conditions all while carrying heavy tools in particularly rugged and steep terrain. Their work is mentally daunting, sometimes often dangerous, and always physically taxing. Bugs, snakes, poison ivy, falling rocks, dirt and mud, sweltering humidity to frozen ground, and long arduous hikes to the work sites—no obstacle is too much for the CMC in their pursuit of building trail to enable others—for generations to come—to enjoy our natural heritage and cherished conserved lands.

The CMC has defined selfless devotion to facilitating the enjoyment of our natural heritage among the community. Land conservation is more known, appreciated, and directly “touched” thanks to the immense involvement of the CMC in the Hickory Nut Gorge. And thanks to their hard work, the stage is set for much more of it to come.

For their incomparable, selfless contribution of time, effort, and energy to CMLC’s Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail network—as well as their ongoing steadfast stewardship to the trails they have created—the NC Land Trust Council and CMLC are honored to recognize the Carolina Mountain Club as the 2015 Community Conservation Partner of the Year.

Why Use Goats?

Using livestock to control non-native invasive plants is an ecologically friendly technique. Using no machinery, and little to no herbicide, animals can browse a variety of vegetation, including woody plants, to control and rid that site of non-native invasive plants. Goats in particular are excellent browsers in the gorge. Their small body size, agility at navigating steep terrain, and their large appetite make them good candidates for the job. Goats will browse above eye level, de-foliating trees as well as ground cover vegetation. They also aerate and fertilize the soil.

Because of all of the benefits of goat herbivory and the growing need for this type of control, the Weed Action Coalition of the Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG) facilitated the start of a new goat business in the Hickory Nut Gorge – KD Ecological Services, run by CMLC’s own David and Kristen Lee. This unique partnership allows WAC-HNG to facilitate projects in the gorge using the goats, by renting goats out to landowners to help control invasive plants on their own land. As the popularity of the goats has picked up recently, WAC-HNG has created an “Adopt a Goat” program to allow community members to support the goats off-season, and contribute to future projects. 


Adopt A Goat

On average, $365 will support one goat for one year - just $1 per day.

Adopt A Goat

  • Yearly
  • Monthly
  • One Time

Click to view WAC-HNG's Adopt A Goat page.

Say 'Hello' to Some of our Goats!

Anna Lee                               Jasper



Bonnie                                   Jill


Cassidy                                  Max


Daisy                                     Clyde


Goats provided by KD Ecological Services.

If you have questions about WAC-HNG, how you can help fight invasives, or are interested in adopting a goat, please contact WAC-HNG at or 828-625-9983 ext. 506.

Mills River Watershed - The River Connects us

Learn more about the Mills River Watershed, and the work that the nonprofit, Mills River Partnership, is doing to collaborate with organizations and individuals to improve the water quality in the Mills River.

Video from

A look at the habitat and species of the Hickory Nut Gorge in North Carolina. By Sean Keuroghlian-Eaton and Evan Lamb, students in a Warren Wilson College documentary class.

Video from

Please download the current version of Internet Explorer. IE 6 is no longer supported.