Appalachian Headwaters

The Mammoth Preserve

The Mammoth Preserve is a 4,800-acre parcel, located in the Gauley River watershed (in Kanawha and Fayette counties). The Mammoth Mine was one of the first mountaintop removal mines in West Virginia.

When complete, the project will provide recreational opportunities, including mountain bike trails and hiking trails.

More about the Mammoth Preserve

Restoration of the site’s approximately 2,500 acres of mined land involves removing invasive species, de-compacting mined soils so seedling trees of native hardwood forests can take root, and, ultimately, returning these disturbed sites to forest more closely resembling the natural forest that once thrived here. At the same time, we are also restoring stream channels affected by past mine activity. We will plant close to 1,000,000 native hardwood trees and other forest plants on this site.

The Preserve will also offer recreational facilities to reinvigorate the local economy and to expand local opportunities for recreation. Headwaters is working with partners to create a destination that complements the redevelopment of nearby communities. Headwaters is developing a system of biking and hiking trails on site, and has donated the land to the West Virginia Land Trust to ensure public access and protection of the site in perpetuity.

The Upper Kanawha Valley Tourism Project has already identified the Mammoth Preserve as a key feature in its Upper Kanawha Valley Master Recreation Plan, which envisions a recreational corridor along the Kanawha River connecting the city of Charleston with the New River Gorge National Park.