The Natural World:
Our cove in the French Broad River valley is a wonderful place to explore, play, learn, and gain an appreciation of the natural world and a connection to the land. The property has open fields, forests, trails, creeks, mountain views, and farm land.
Gwynn Valley is a second home to many of our campers and alumni who have established a connection to our land and our community. We are situated on 300 acres in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and we lease another 100 acres where we play, farm, camp-out, trail ride, and mountain bike. Carson Creek runs from the top of our property at Connestee Falls all the way through camp and empties into the French Broad which we use as a take out spot for our tubing trips. A hiking trail leads to the base of Connestee Falls where our campers are able to swim and play. Those seeking more of an adventure they can creek hike from Main Camp up to the Falls where they experience beautiful wilderness and rushing water. For our younger campers, the Hillside creek is a fun place to explore and look for salamanders and crayfish. The beauty of our site helps our campers gain confidence and competence in the natural world.
The Conservation Easement
In 1995, former owners of Gwynn Valley, Howie and Betty Boyd, created a conservation easement to protect the 300 acres of camp property in perpetuity. The easement was the culmination of one step in Howie and Betty’s dream to allow Gwynn Valley to continue far into the future and preserve the natural environment of the camp in order to insure its continued success. The easement was placed with the Pacolet Area Conservancy, now called Conserving Carolina. A biological assessment of the land was conducted by the Nature Conservancy, and found the property to be the home of several rare and potentially endangered plant species, and even a unique spider, Nesticid. Most recently, in May of 2015, Gwynn Valley was found to be home of a Rare and Endangered salamander known as the Green Salamander.
Conditions of the Easement
The easement contains restrictions against subdividing the property, undertaking industrial activities, mining, and timbering. The 43 acre main-camp area allows for replacement or new structures as necessary for the operation of camp, while the natural areas of camp will remain preserved. The terms of the easement are monitored on a yearly basis using the current baseline of land surveys, biological assessments and photographs.We are pleased to have our land protected and to know that Gwynn Valley will be home to many future generations of campers.
Beautiful Gwynn Valley
“I am grateful for everyone I interacted with at this magical place. That you to each one of you who contributed to me finding happiness again. I’m grateful that I had such an amazing family this summer. I cannot remember the last time I have been this happy. Thankful for waking up here every morning. For each pink cloud that made up each sunset. For every petal on every flower. For great stargazing spots. For every inch of this camp.”