Foothills Conservancy Protects 208 Acres at Bear Den Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

The scenic view from the popular Bear Den Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway is now permanently protected thanks to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina.

Foothills Conservancy moved swiftly to acquire 208 forested acres along 1.6 miles of the parkway between mileposts 323 and 325 in McDowell County. The conservancy purchased the tract on September 20 from the Moody family, who own the popular Bear Den Campground.

The land trust’s acquisition was made possible by a generous gift of $898,000 from Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury, a $22,000 grant from Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC), and a $590,000 loan from CTNC’s Mountain Revolving Loan Fund, which is also underwritten by the Stanbacks. The loan fund enables land trusts to respond quickly when critical conservation properties become available.

“We are very pleased to protect spectacular vistas at the Bear Den Overlook, one of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s most loved vantage points enjoyed by countless visitors each year,” said Tom Kenney, land protection director for Foothills Conservancy. “The land’s protected source streams that feed Honeycutt Creek and its natural habitats at 3,000 feet elevation add great value to and buffer the adjoining parkway.”

Foothills Conservancy plans to transfer the property to the National Park Service for addition to the Blue Ridge Parkway lands after raising additional public and private funds to retire the loan.

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