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BRC Hike: Pond Mountain Game Land

Hike 1 – Pond Mountain Challenge

Distance –5 mile loop

Difficulty – Very Strenuous with a 1,000 foot elevation gain


Hike 2 – Pond Mountain Ridge Walk

Distance – 2.5 miles

Difficulty Level – Moderate

Named by Thomas Jefferson’s father while surveying the Virginia-North Carolina border, Pond Mountain received its name from the unusual natural ponds that dotted its high ridge. BRC led the way in protecting this ecologically and culturally significant area perched at an elevation of 5,000 feet. Currently under Christmas tree cultivation, the project offers major environmental benefits by presenting an opportunity to restore a high mountain habitat to a thriving natural area. Pond Mountain also connects with the Cherokee National Forest which adds to a large contiguous area important for wildlife habitat. Finally, the property contains the headwaters for Big Laurel Creek, Big Horse Creek and Little Horse Creek, enhancing and protecting local and regional water quality. Beyond ecological benefits, the area will offer passive recreational opportunities such as horseback riding and hiking.

A post-hike pizza picnic will be hosted by Virginia and Michael Tate at Ripshin Farm!

Sign up for the hike at