VOF Reserves

Blue Ball Mountain

Clarke County

A landmark along the scenic Shenandoah River.

The 100-acre Blue Ball tract sits as a distinctive scenic landmark on the bend of the Shenandoah State Scenic River just south, or upstream, of the State Route 50 Harry Byrd bridge crossing. The elevation of Blue Ball at over 1,100 feet forms a highly visible uniquely conical mountain perched overlooking the river. The picturesque Blue Ball is the subject of many photos and is enjoyed regularly by river floaters and travelers on Route 50 as they look up river.

In the years subsequent to its acquisition, VOF has protected much of the private lands that surround Blue Ball with conservation easements. This mature deciduous eastern forest also provides habitat and refuge for native wildlife.

The Blue Ball mountain tract was donated to VOF by deed of gift in December 1982.  The terms of the gift require that the property be protected from all development and maintained in a natural state.

Historical references to the “Blue Ball Mountain” trace back to the original land patents in the area.  The Blue Ball was purportedly named after the Blue Ridge Mountains and James Ball.  James Ball, who patented most of the Crooked Run Valley in 1731, was a first cousin of Mary Washington, mother of George Washington.  Lord Fairfax arriving in the valley to inspect his lands for the first time in 1736 is said to have “descended Ashby’s Gap via an old buffalo trail which turned south under the side of the mountain and passed behind or to the east of the Blue Ball”.

Blue Ball Mountain is again referenced as a landmark when Lord Fairfax’s land agent Robert “King” Carter transferred property to his son Landon Carter in the 1730’s.  When Landon Carter left land by will in 1770, he left “also my lands upon the Shenandoah River as well as those in the county of Frederick as that tract on the Blue Ridge or the Virginia side of the Shenandoah River, as it is called by the upper inhabitants, which includes the Blue Ball Mountain.

This reserve is not open to the public except by written permission from VOF. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a visit for educational, research, or scientific purposes.

This property does not have frontage on a public road.

This reserve is not open to the public except by written permission from VOF. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a visit for educational, research, or scientific purposes.

If you would like visit this reserve for educational, research, or scientific purposes, please contact Leslie Grayson at (703) 850-3924.

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