The earliest record of the property that is now Yankauer Nature Preserve indicates the land was a part of two land grants issued by Thomas Lord Fairfax. The northern half of the property was part of a 400-acre parcel given to Thomas Caton in 1750. The southern half was part of a 236-acre parcel given to John Carlyle in 1761. Both of these men were known associates of George Washington.
Speeding up a few years, Dr. Alfred Yankauer and Mrs. Marian Yankauer purchased the present day, 104-acre, Yankauer Preserve property in the early 1960s. Alfred, a doctor of medicine, and Marian, a lawyer, used the property as a weekend getaway from their busy careers in Washington DC.
In 1966, the Yankauers’ moved to Massachusetts and donated their West Virginia property to The Nature Conservancy. It then became known as Yankauer Nature Preserve.
PVAS agreed to assist The Nature Conservancy in the land management of the Preserve in 1984. In 1994, the existing formal agreement was made for PVAS to manage Yankauer.
Check out this article to learn more about the history of the preserve and the Yankauer Family. (PDF)
Yankauer has 2.4 miles of hiking trails with interpretive signs, a spacious outdoor pavilion, outdoor classroom/bird watching station, several pollinator gardens and eco-friendly composting toilets. PVAS hosts many events and workshops throughout the year at Yankauer, as well as summer camps and school programs for children.