This area lies outside Shenandoah Mountain, but Friends of Shenandoah Mountain included it in our proposal because it is so special. Kelley Mountain - Big Levels is an ecologically rich area on the Blue Ridge Mountains and a popular mountain biking destination. Its proximity to Sherando Lake Recreation Area and the Blue Ridge Parkway makes National Scenic Area designation appropriate.This status would protect the biological richness, water quality, and scenic beauty of the area, while continuing to allow mountain biking access
Where: AugustaCounty, Pedlar Ranger District, George Washington National Forest,
Size: 12,895 acres
Boundaries: Bordered by Sherando Recreation Area, FR 160 (by St. Marys Wilderness), National Park land along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Coal Road. Access to FR 160 and reservoirs along Coal Road would remain open.
In 1935 President Roosevelt signed an act enlarging the Big Levels Game Refuge from the original 3,000 acres to more than 32,000 acres.
Note: The GWNF Forest Stakeholders Consensus Agreement submitted to the GWNF Planning Team on Oct. 17, 2011, does not include a recommendation for Kelley Mountain-Big Levels as a National Scenic Area; however, FOSM will continue to advocate for protection of this area through the stakeholders ongoing collaborative process. The Kelley Mountain-Big Levels area will be managed as a Special Biological Area according to the new draft plan for the GWNF, offering a measure of protection, albeit only for the 15-year life of the plan.