Since 1976

Our Story

During the early 1970s, two Quakers, Henry and Mary Cushing Niles, envisioned that the tract of forested mountain land that they assembled from several holdings south of Harpers Ferry, WV, should be turned into a wilderness preserve in which people of the Washington Metropolitan Region could experience healing and nurture of body and spirit. Rolling Ridge Conservancy was formed, and Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community (RRSRC) became one of three independent lessee groups by which this vision is being implemented.

 Over the course of several decades, a group of founding families and their faith communities (Partner Groups) began to meet and camp on the land regularly.  They gradually constructed the buildings, community homes and gardens that comprise RRSRC today.  The founders of RRSRC (Nelson Good, Betty Good-White, Alta Miller, Dabney Miller, Vivian Headings, Verle Headings, Ellen Peachey and Paul Peachey) committed to “provide religious retreat experiences for individuals, families and groups and to educate participants and other interested persons regarding matters of peace and social justice, environmental pollution, and community and spiritual renewal.” (For more information about these incredibly rich and formative years, please contact us to request a free copy of Tom Donlon’s booklet “Faith Road to Rolling Ridge”).

 RRSRC is a nonprofit membership association governed by a Board of Directors, elected by the members at its annual business meeting. The Partner Groups share in the use and maintenance of the retreat facilities.  RRSRC maintains a retreat environment for groups and individuals throughout the year, and designs study and retreat occasions in four broad thematic areas: spirituality, faith, and meditative arts; ecological integrity and earth-keeping; family and community; and justice, peace, and global issues.  Rolling Ridge serves as a “safe place” for communities of faith and other moral concerns to explore new frontiers.  It is both a place nestled on the beautiful slopes of the Blue Ridge above the Shenandoah River and a ministry to pursue new possibilities for the well-being of the world.

Shared Conservancy Lands

RRSRC shares a 1600 acre land trust with our neighbors, Friends Wilderness Center (FWC). Our sister community, Still Point Mountain Retreat (SPMR) is immediately adjacent to Rolling Ridge Conservancy land, on the eastern border. Each of these groups has designated boundaries and facilities, though hiking is permitted throughout the entire conservancy and SPMR lands. Please be mindful and respectful of our neighbors as you hike or camp. If you are interested in using amenities at FWC or SPMR, please contact them directly to make arrangements.

Rolling Ridge Conservancy:

Friends Wilderness Center:
Still Point Mountain Retreat: