Goshen Pass is Virginia's oldest state-managed natural area. Located in Rockbridge County, about 10 miles north of Lexington, the Commonwealth first acquired the property in 1954 to help protect the spectacular views of the 3.7-mile long gorge along the Maury River. More recently a number of biological treasures were discovered on the property. Among them are outstanding examples of chestnut oak forest, pine-oak-heath woodland, rocky riverside scrub communities, a state-rare damselfly called the Appalachian jewelwing (Calopteryx angustipennis), and several rare plants. The preserve, which encompasses the southwest face of the gorge, was dedicated as a State Natural Area Preserve in 2001.
Public access to Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve is only available via a parking area off Route 39 and swinging bridge across the Maury River, both maintained by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) as an access point for the Goshen-Little North Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA). DGIF requires a WMA Access Permit for visitors age 17 years and older who do not possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing or trapping license, or boat registration.
Contact the DGIF Field Office in Verona (540) 248-9360 or go to http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/access-permit/ for information on acquiring a WMA Access Permit.