Why You Should Visit
Chrome Barrens is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year. In the spring, catch glimpses of migrant birds and wildflowers. The fall offers colorful foliage. Late summer marks the peak of butterfly season at the Chrome Barrens.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site The Chrome Barrens are part of the State-Line Serpentine Barrens, the largest occurrence of serpentine barrens in the eastern United States.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy uses management techniques such as prescribed fire, grazing, and scraping (bulldozing to remove leaf litter and excess soil buildup) to restore prairie and savanna habitats in the Chrome Barrens.
What to See: Plants
The serpentine aster, one of the many rare plants found at Chrome, lives on the serpentine barrens in Pennsylvania and Maryland. It can be found nowhere else in the world. Its nearly leafless red-colored flower stalks and ground-hugging rosette help it to withstand heat and drought. The round-leaved fameflower grows on isolated rock exposures scattered across the southeastern United States. Like a cactus, it is a true succulent, tolerating heat and drought by storing water in stems and pads.
What to See: Animals
Chrome is home to about 15 species of butterflies and moths, plus various birds such as whippoorwills, bobwhite quail, and several species of owl.
Update on Visitation:
The parking lot is gated due to vandalism. Interested visitors should contact The Nature Conservancy office for information on parking and visitation schedules.
How to Prepare for Your Visit
For more information on visiting this or any other Pennsylvania preserve, call the office at (717) 232-6001.
If you would like to lend a hand at this site, check out our volunteer workdays for currently scheduled activities.
From Route 1 take the Oxford exit (Route 10). Turn south on Route 10 and drive 1.7 miles to the center of Oxford and turn left onto Market Street. Cross over railroad tracks and turn right on Fifth Street. Follow Fifth Street 2.7 miles to the intersection with Media Road (Media Mennonite Chapel is on the right corner). Cross over Media Road, and you are now on Barrens Road. Follow Barrens Road for another 0.8 miles. The parking lot entrance is on the left.