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Pennsylvania

Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve


Most visitors seek out the Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve to witness its ancient trees. Located in northeastern Pennsylvania, this 648-acre preserve evokes a rural New England landscape of white pine, hemlocks, ash, maples, oaks and other hardwoods that blanketed the region before European settlers arrived. In fact, nearly 200 acres of the preserve contain the largest remaining old-growth forest in northeast Pennsylvania.

Open fields, wildflower meadows, winding creeks, mossy bogs and historic stone walls complete a scene that invites and inspires artists from far and wide. This varying terrain makes the preserve a hotspot for more than 180 species of birds, including pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls and winter wrens, that nest within this forest that has endured more than three centuries. Scattered wetlands host frogs, snakes and nine species of salamander – including the purple, two-lined and four-toed salamanders – that hide among leather leaf, pitcher plants and other low-lying vegetation.

Donated by a conservation-minded family in 1956, the Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve represents The Nature Conservancy’s first preserve in the state of Pennsylvania. Over the years, the Conservancy has added to the original contribution of 500 acres through additional land acquisitions and the continued generosity of the previous owners. The Conservancy also works to build on their legacy of inspiring and educating others about this extraordinary landscape. 

What You’ll See
White-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bear, coyote, mink, chipmunk, jumping mice, southern bog lemming, snowshoe hare, beaver, raccoon, river otter, lilypad clubtail dragonfly and northern flying squirrel. Bog plants, including leather leaf, pitcher plants, Robbins pondweed and the carnivorous sundew. Painted trillium, wood sorrel, gold thread and other wildflowers. Birds, including pileated woodpecker, great horned owl and red-tailed hawk—and smaller species such as Canada and black-throated green warblers, blue-headed vireos and winter wrens. Nine species of salamanders. 

Pennsylvania's 50 Species of Orchids
Learn about one of the largest plant families found at preserves like Woodbourne. Download a Fact Sheet

Threats
Overbrowsing by deer, pathogens such as hemlock wooly adelgid.

Action
Managing the preserve and its trails with the help of a committed volunteer stewardship committee. Implementing environmental education programs for local schools, scout troops, surrounding communities and other visitors. 

Milestones
Rehabilitation of existing trails and the creation of new trails in rarely visited parts of the preserve by the Keystone Trails Association in 2006. Celebration of the preserve’s 50th anniversary in 2006.
Partners
Keystone Trails Association, Keystone College

Contact
Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve
Jerry Skinner, Resident Naturalist
8566 State Route 29
Montrose, PA 18801-7129
(570) 278-3384

Size
648 acres

Location
Susquehanna County, six miles south of Montrose 

Visit the preserve, including the Swamp and Woodruff’s Hill trails, daily from dawn until dusk, to pursue bird watching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, photography and other nature-based activities. Call in advance to arrange a guided walk for groups of more than eight people.

Directions

From the north, take Route 29 south from Montrose approximately 6.5 miles. Upon entering Dimock Township, continue up the hill. The preserve is on the left. A sign marks the entrance to the parking area. The trailhead is located at the red shelter just north of the parking area.

From the south, take Route 29 north. Go 1 mile past the blinking light at Dimock. The preserve is on the right shortly after Woodbourne Road appears on the left. (Do not turn onto Woodbourne Road.) A sign marks the entrance to the parking area. The trailhead is located at the red shelter just north of the parking area.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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