Open to the Public
The Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain, a 2,250-acre property with miles of hiking and bicycling trails located just northeast of Scranton, is the perfect location for getting out into nature. View All
Located in Lackawanna County, the Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain provides sweeping views of Pennsylvania’s northeastern corner and represents one of the best locations in the northeastern U.S. for ridge-top heath barrens. Contrary to its name, the Moosic Mountain “barrens” comprise a healthy mosaic of stunted pine and oak forest dominated by huckleberry, blueberry, rhodora and other low-lying shrubs that attract a broad array of birds, butterflies and moths — including the globally rare sallow moth and barrens buckmoth.
Because of its location on a cool, windswept mountain ridge, the wildlife inhabiting the Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain has not been as well documented as other natural areas in Pennsylvania. However, the area has not remained immune to the development pressures and lack of fire that has led to a decline in these unique habitats across the state.
In 2001, The Nature Conservancy purchased 1,200 acres in the heart of Moosic Mountain that were slated to become a business park. With support from the state of Pennsylvania, the business park was relocated nearby to a former industrial site. This public-private partnership created 5,000 jobs, protected sensitive mountaintop habitat and reduced impacts to water quality from improper development. Today, the Conservancy works with state government and local partners to foster compatible uses and a sense of ownership among bird watchers, mountain bikers, sportsmen and other community groups interested in protecting Moosic Mountain’s ecological resources.
In 2009, the Conservancy named the preserve after Dick and Nancy Eales, whose generosity has enabled the Conservancy to continue to expand the preserve, which today encompasses about 2,250 acres, and to conduct the robust prescribed burning necessary to maintain the fire-dependent natural community.
The Conservancy continues to expand the preserve, which today encompasses about 2,250 acres.
You help secure the long-term health of this landscape when you support our work.
Land development, ATV use and fire suppression.
Encouraging compatible uses and fostering community involvement in stewardship activities. Pursuing ecological management and restoration, including the management of fire. Negotiating the acquisition of additional land and conservation easements. Conducting an inventory of moth and butterfly species.
- Purchased 1,210 acres in 2001 from the Scranton-Lackawanna Industrial Building Corporation.
- Added 300 acres in 2007 as part of a 5,000-acre project in partnership with The Conservation Fund, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
- Completed an ecological management plan in 2007.
- Created eight new miles of single-track hiking and biking trail (.pdf 2MB) in partnership with the Hubbard Bike Club in 2008.
- Introduced prescribed fire for habitat management in 2008.
- Purchased an additional 277 acres in 2008 and 470 acres in 2009.
Dick and Nancy Eales, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, The Conservation Fund, Jessup Borough Council, Moosic Lakes Property Owners Association, Lackawanna River Corridor Association, local municipalities, sportsmen’s groups including the Hubbard Bike Club and the Deer Run Club.
The Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain, a 2,250-acre property with miles of hiking and bicycling trails located just northeast of Scranton, is the perfect location for getting out into nature. See the slideshow of this beautiful preserve.
Watch a video of the speech given by Dick Eales, at the dedication of the Dick and Nancy Eales Preserve.
Approximately 15,000 acres under permanent protection, when combined with lands owned by PA Game Commission and PA Bureau of Forestry.
Lackawanna County, eight miles northeast from the city of Scranton, entrance off PA-247.
What You’ll See
Sweeping mountaintop views from one of the best and largest ridge-top heath barrens in Pennsylvania. Scrub oak and pitch pine forest. Globally rare sallow moth and barrens buckmoth. Breeding birds that include prairie warbler, black-and-white warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, hermit thrush, northern harrier and broad-winged hawk. Game species such as white tail deer, black bear, turkey, ruffed grouse and coyote.
Enjoy the scenic views. Participate in recreational activities that include bird watching, hiking and biking. Dozens of migratory songbirds make spring visits to the area, and rare plants carpet the forest floor beneath an unusual pitch pine and scrub oak barrens ecosystem.
Contact the Nature Conservancy’s Long Pond office to learn about hunting on or near the Preserve.
Use this map to find your way to and around the Dick and Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain.
From I-81, take exit 187 for Carbondale/Route 6. Once on Route 6, go just over four miles. Take Exit 3 for Jessup, and travel south on Moosic Lake Road/Route 247 for about two miles. The entrance to the parking area will be on your left.