We Did It! White Horse Mountain Returns to the People
Thank you for helping us make White Horse Mountain the area's newest recreation destination!
Once slated for development, it's now the state's newest public land! And, its forest, streams, and wildlife habitat are permanently protected by a conservation easement.
Potomac Conservancy officially protected and transferred White Horse Mountain to the state of West Virginia in May 2018. The new public recreation area will open this fall for hiking, bird-watching, hunting, and other recreation allowed within the site’s wildlife and conservation goals.
When we bought the mountain from developers back in 2015, it became the single largest land deal in our twenty-five-year history.
Home to bald eagles, bobcats, and black bears, White Horse supports unique habitats, rare plants, and clean water. Its seven miles of streams and springs flow into the South Branch of the Potomac River and provide clean drinking water to nearby Green Spring and Springfield, West Virginia.
We thank Janet and Frank Woodson for their vision and determination, and the 300 donors whose generous support made this conservation victory possible.
Thank you! Your support made this conservation victory possible.
Over 300 private citizens, foundations, organizations, and corporations donated to White Horse Mountain. Several gave two and three times! Two foundations made their largest gifts ever.
That first swell of public support allowed us to make the down payment and secure The Conservation Fund loan needed to buy the land from a developer back in 2015.
The second wave of funding from citizens, partners, and foundations paid off the loan so we could transfer the land to the State.
This was a heck of a community effort, and we should all be proud.
White Horse is home to black bears, bald eagles, and bobcats as well as delicate spring wildflowers, tawny white-tail deer, and brilliant scarlet tanagers. It is almost 100% forested, overlooks the South Branch Potomac River for nearly 6 miles, and contains over 3 miles of perennial streams and nearly 4 more miles of ephemeral streams. These clean waters trickle down the mountain into the South Branch, flow onward to the Potomac River, and rush all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.
The Conservation easement on White Horse restricts uses (like subdivision, mining, and road construction) that would damage these conservation values, and it requires that any management activities safeguard water quality, wildlife habitat, soils, and forest health.
White horse plays an even larger role as a hub of conserved land in a community with a number of private conserved lands. Linked together, these properties form a corridor of natural and agricultural lands in the South Branch Valley, facilitating wildlife movement, assuring clean water, and sustaining the rural lifestyle cherished by so many in Hampshire County, WV.
Explore White Horse Mountain
White Horse Mountain is open for walk-up hiking, fishing, and bird-watching; motorized activity and camping are NOT allowed on the property. Mountain-biking and horse-back riding will be permitted on the mountain’s main roads.
6 Activities You Can Enjoy on White Horse >
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources opened the property for hunting on September 1, 2018. **IMPORTANT NOTICE: Before planning your excursion on the mountain, please take a moment to review the updated hunting season dates/times here. During active hunting seasons, we advise that you wear blaze orange apparel. For hunting regulations on Wildlife Management Areas and safety information, contact the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources with any questions.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has developed signage that will soon be put into place and plans to create a small parking area to facilitate broader recreation. Parking outside the main gate is allowed, but there is limited space.
When searching for online directions, please note that the name, “White Horse Mountain” does not appear on topographic or satellite maps. Search for “Springfield Wildlife Management Area,” to locate White Horse Mountain. Map >
Keep an eye out for the new White Horse Mountain Wildlife Management Area at wvdnr.gov
You helped us make White Horse a public playground!
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Contact us at 301-608-1188.
Top banner image: © William MacFarland, courtesy of MacFarlandPhoto.net