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Pennsylvania

Thomas Darling Preserve at Two-Mile Run


Emerging from underground springs and seeps, Two-Mile Run feeds into Tobyhanna Creek, and eventually feeds the Lehigh River. Along the way, it traverses the 2,500-acre Thomas Darling Preserve at Two-Mile Run, a place where visitors can witness an extensive mosaic of glacial wetlands via a two mile trail and boardwalk system.

Named for Wilkes-Barre naturalist Thomas Darling, Jr., the preserve attracts interest in every season. In spring, large sweet viburnum shrubs decorate the preserve with white, flat-topped flowers releasing a musty odor that earns them the nickname of “sheepberry.” During the summer, sheep laurel and bog laurel thrive in the preserve’s acidic soils. Fall reveals blueberries and a vivid palette of wildflowers. Year-round, spongy sphagnum moss blankets an array of swamps, fens, bogs and wet meadows encircled by stands of balsam fir, tamarack and one of Pennsylvania’s largest native spruce forests. The area also teems with wildlife typical of the Pocono Plateau, including black bears, river otters, and snowshoe hares, and hosts state rare plant species including bog sedge and creeping snowberry.

For more than twenty years, The Nature Conservancy has managed this largely wooded and undeveloped landscape. Together with partners, the Conservancy continues to protect the natural legacy of this region.

Threats
Potential residential development.

Action
Acquiring land and enhancing public recreational access.

Milestones
Protected 2,500 acres since 1990.

Partners
Tobyhanna Township, Wildlands Conservancy, ESSA Bank & Trust Company Foundation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Size
2,500 acres

Location
Monroe County, three miles north of the town of Blakeslee

What You'll See
Boreal wetlands with native black spruce, balsam fir and tamarack, surrounded by a forest of northern hardwoods, including eastern hemlock and red spruce. Flowering shrubs and rare plants, including bog sedge, thread rush and creeping snowberry. Black bears, river otters, eastern coyotes, snowshoe hares, beavers and a variety of breeding birds, including Canada warbler, black-billed cuckoo, scarlet tanager, barred owls, ospreys, golden-crowned kinglets, hooded mergansers, ravens and dark-eyed juncos.

Witness colorful shrubs blooming from early May until July. Pick blueberries during the late summer and fall. Explore the preserve via a 2 mile trail and boardwalk system, supported in part, through the ESSA Bank & Trust Foundation. Hunting is permitted at the Preserve, in cooperation with PA Game Commission.

Directions

Two parking locations exist to access the preserve. Access off of Burger road is a larger parking lot with access to the main trails system and boardwalk, and access off of Caughbaugh Road provides parking for about 2 vehicles with one trail leading into the preserve (this access point does not connect to main trail system).

From the North (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): Take I-81 south from Scranton to exit 170A for PA-115 south (Just get on PA-115 South from Wilkes-Barre). Take PA-115 south through bear creek for 15.5 miles to Caughbaugh Road on the left OR 17.5 miles to Burger Road on the left.

From Philadelphia/Allentown: Take I-476 north to exit 95 and take a left off of the ramp onto PA-940 east. Travel 6.4 miles to take a left onto PA-115 north. Travel 1.1 miles for Burger Road on the right OR 2.1 miles for Caughbaugh Road on the right.

From the East (New York/New Jersey): Take I-80 to exit 284 (Blakeslee) and turn right off of the ramp for PA-115 North. Continue for about 2.4 miles to take Burger Road on right (1.1 miles after crossing PA-940) OR Continue for about 4.4 miles to take Caughbaugh Road on right (3.1 miles after crossing PA-940).

From the West/Southwest & Harrisburg: Take I-81 north to I-80 west. Take exit 284 (Blakeslee) and turn left off of the ramp for PA-115 North. Continue for about 2.4 miles to take Burger Road on right (1.1 miles after crossing PA-940) OR Continue for about 4.4 miles to take Caughbaugh Road on right (3.1 miles after crossing PA-940).

From TNC’s Long Pond Office (Hauser Nature Center): Turn right out of the driveway onto Long Pond Road. Continue on Long Pond Road to its end (2.7mi) and turn right onto PA-115. Take PA-115 past PA-903, past I-80, and past Blakeslee’s 4-corners at PA-940 (4.6mi). Turn right onto burger (1.1 mi) for the main preserve entrance OR right onto Caughbaugh (3.1 mi) for a smaller parking area and entrance. Follow directions below for burger or Caughbaugh.

Burger: Continue 0.7 miles down Burger road until the paved section ends. The main parking lot and trail access is to your right.

Coordinates for parking area: 41.114700, -75.598663

Caughbaugh: From PA-115 continue down Caughbaugh Road past the quarry. You will cross a power line right-of-way and will see a house on your left. The parking area is just past the house across the road on the right and accommodates about 2 vehicles (2.4 mi).

Alternately, if traveling to Caughbaugh Road from Locust Ridge road travel 1 mile to the parking area on the left across the road from a house.

Coordinates for parking area: 41.139470, -75.587216
 

Discussion

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