Press Release

1,100 Acres Protected in Key A.T. Area

December 10, 2020

Cove Mountain Preserve Expansion to Help Protect Appalachian Trail Landscape and Views

BOILING SPRINGS, Pa. (Dec. 10, 2020) – One of the most important natural areas in Pennsylvania, the Kittatinny Ridge, will soon benefit from an additional 1,100 acres of protected land within its borders to help conserve important habitats for native species, reinforce climate resiliency and protect the irreplaceable views and hiking experience on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

In an effort led by The Nature Conservancy and directly supported by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the A.T. Landscape Partnership, this new acreage will be added to the Cove Mountain Preserve in Perry County, Pennsylvania, protecting a fragile landscape that has been targeted for potential development in recent years.

The 1,100-acre expansion of Cove Mountain Preserve will conserve key habitats and protect natural views from the Appalachian Trail on Peters Mountain. Photo by Kelly M. O’Neill.

“The expansion of the Cove Mountain Preserve along the Kittatinny Ridge will create a 14-mile stretch of protected land that will be managed in support of forest health, climate resilience and wildlife habitat, providing a critical forest corridor for migratory birds and other animals,” said Mari-Beth DeLucia, Land Conservation Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and Delaware. “Just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the land will increase outdoor recreational opportunities, with trails on Cove Mountain and Pennsylvania state game lands connecting to the Appalachian Trail.”

The Kittatinny Ridge is the core of the most significant bird and butterfly migration corridor in the northeastern U.S., making its fall raptor migration a world-famous phenomenon. Beyond habitat protection, the ATC estimates that the Cove Mountain Preserve addition will help conserve multiple scenic views from the A.T. on Peters Mountain, including views of the Susquehanna River and Cove Mountain. The expansion will also help fulfill the ATC’s goal of further reinforcing the Trail and its surrounding lands as a climate-resilient corridor, helping to mitigate the growing effects of climate change along the A.T. and beyond by ensuring Appalachian forests remain connected and healthy.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy to conserve this important part of the Appalachian Trail landscape, helping to reinforce protections for the Kittatinny Ridge,” said Sandra Marra, President and CEO of the ATC. “The conservation of this area is key not only for maintaining the world-class hiking experience the A.T. provides, but also in maintaining the health and quality of the ecology surrounding the Trail.”

This map shows the 1,100 acres that will be protected through the Cove Mountain Preserve expansion (highlighted in light green). Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.

The ATC contributed $100,000 toward the Cove Mountain Preserve expansion through its Wild East Action Fund, which provides funding for projects that will help further the protection of fragile Appalachian natural resources.

The A.T. Landscape Partnership, co-led by the ATC and the National Park Service, includes close to 100 conservation partners from Maine to Georgia dedicated to greater A.T. protection. To learn more about the ATC’s landscape protection efforts and the A.T. Landscape Partnership, visit

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is 2,193 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. For more information, please visit

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 74 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. Learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s work in Pennsylvania at and follow us @PA_Nature on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Media Contact: Jordan Bowman
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0794