Choose your own adventure at our preserves in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The Great Outdoors The Nature Conservancy's preserves in Pennsylvania & Delaware, like Eales Preserve pictured here, are excellent places to get outside and explore nature. © Kelsey Shady/TNC

If you’re looking for an opportunity to get outside and explore nature, look no further than The Nature Conservancy’s public preserves in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Our dedicated stewardship team works year-round to protect these critically connected ecosystems and create safe public access for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

Bring the family and enjoy all that TNC’s public preserves have to offer with one of these suggested activities. Prefer to join a group? TNC is hosting several guided events at our preserves throughout the year!

Mountain Biking at the Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain

A person on a bike moves through a green field.
Mountain Biking at Eales Explore more than 16 miles of singletrack along one of the best and largest ridgetop heath barrens in Pennsylvania. © John Rogan

Explore more than 16 miles of singletrack along one of the best and largest ridgetop heath barrens in Pennsylvania, a mosaic of stunted pine and oak forest dominated by huckleberry, blueberry, rhodora and other low-lying shrubs that attract a broad array of birds and butterflies. 

An orange sun sets in the distance behind a forest filled with bright fall colors.
A Fall View A stunning fall sunset at Eales Preserve © Jeff Mitchel

In autumn, the ridgetop views from the Eales Preserve are a nature lover’s delight. Visitors can enjoy the sights of colorful changing foliage as well as migratory songbirds and raptors that are heading south for the winter.

However, if you decide to explore the preserve, you’ll have numerous trail options to choose from across 2,250 protected acres. Take the Blueberry Trail or the Pink Floyd Trail to explore ridgetops dotted with small trees and shrubs and incredible views to the west, or challenge yourself on the Moosic Mountain Big Tour, rated as a difficult, 12-mile trail with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. There are also wheelchair-accessible trails beginning at the main entrance.

Snowshoeing at Long Pond Preserve

A view looking down at a person's feet in the snow next to a pair of snowshoes and a wooden bench with a red mug sitting on it.
Snowshoeing at Long Pond. Bring your snowshoes and explore the 1.7-mile woodland loop along Cathy’s Trail. © Yann Allegre via Unsplash

When the snow falls, bring your own snowshoes and start your journey from the Hauser Nature Center and explore a 1.7-mile woodland loop along Cathy’s Trail, where you’ll encounter a unique mixture of northern hardwood forest and boreal coniferous swamp, both with beautiful evergreens. Make your way to the Boulderfields, which feature rocky remnants from the last glacial age, before heading back for hot chocolate. Keep your eyes peeled on the wintry landscape for the snowshoe hare and its distinctive winter white fur.

Kayaking at the Edward H. McCabe Preserve

A metal dock stretched out into a body of water with a kayak at the end.
Kayaking at McCabe Enjoy a 2-mile paddle eastward to the dock at the McCabe Preserve, where you can stop to enjoy a waterfront picnic. © Kayaking Delmarva
A snowy egret stands on a piece of driftwood.
Wildlife Spotting Snowy egrets are among the many diverse species that call Milton, Delaware home. © Tyler Smiley

Fall is one of the best times to visit southern Delaware as the beach crowds, traffic jams and summer heat begin to ease. Drop your kayak or paddleboard into the Broadkill River in the historic town of Milton and enjoy a two-mile paddle eastward to the dock at the McCabe Preserve, where you can stop to enjoy a waterfront picnic in an area known to provide habitat for more than 100 native and migratory bird species.

A picnic table sits on grass in front of a body of water.
Enjoy a Picnic Sit back and take in nature while you enjoy a picnic along the Broadkill River. © John Hinkson/TNC

As you travel east, you’ll float through a peaceful oasis of egrets, herons, osprey and eagles. Catch glimpses of colorful warblers and other migratory songbirds fueling up and resting as they pass through the area on their way south for the winter, and impress your traveling companions by spotting the prehistoric-looking glasswort (also known as pickleweed, sea asparagus or sea bean)a salt-tolerant succulent that lives in marshes and turns bright red in autumn.

At the McCabe Preserve’s floating dock two miles downstream, visitors are invited to step ashore, enjoy a lunch break at the picnic table and then walk the trails or explore the forested trails on foot before beginning the journey back.

Explore Rare Flora at Tannersville Cranberry Bog

An extreme closeup of a small ant floating in a pool of water inside a pitcher plant.
Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) thrives in Tannersville's acidic, nutrient-poor bog habitat. © Matt Kane / TNC

Join one of our guided hikes at the Tannersville Cranberry Bog this fall (registration details below) and experience one of the most outstanding examples of a boreal bog in Pennsylvania, which has been designated as a national natural landmark.

A group of people stand on a wooden boardwalk through a forested area.
Floating boardwalk The floating boardwalk at Tannersville Cranberry Bog offers a unique experience to explore nature. © Matt Kane/TNC

Located five miles northwest of Stroudsburg and 900 feet above sea level, your first steps will feel like going back in time to prehistoric days in the upper Adirondack Mountains or the Canadian wilderness. Take note of the rare plants and animals along the boardwalk, which may include the famous carnivorous pitcher plants that turn a deep shade of red in the fall or dozens of juvenile newts. Guests are encouraged to wear sturdy footwear.

Due to its fragile nature, the bog may only be visited during regularly scheduled walks conducted by the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center.

Exploring the Bog (3:03) Discover the unique species that inhabit the special ecosystem at the Tannersville Cranberry Bog.

Register for a Guided Walk

A limited number of spaces are available for our guided walks to the bog on September 10, 2023, and October 14, 2023. Reservations are required. Call 570-629-3061 or email for details.

A group of people walk through a cleared path in a forest.
Hiking Cove Mountain Several trails of varying lengths and elevations await you at The Hamer Woodlands at Cove Mountain. © John Hinkson/TNC
A vista view overlooking a body of water with a small mountain in the center.
Stunning Views Beautiful views of nature and Harrisburg await you as you hike through The Hamer Woodlands at Cove Mountain. © Kevin Yoder/TNC

The slopes of Cove Mountain will welcome you as you traverse a key Kittatinny Ridge stopover for migratory birds including hawks, eagles and falcons. The ridge is one of the most important landscapes in the Appalachians, and protecting it will help safeguard biodiversity now and in the future.

Thanks to our partnership with the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club, we have been able to expand the trail system at Cove Mountain Preserve in recent years, with new trails being created and enhanced year-round. 

A cluster of three large green oval shaped fruits grow off of a tree branch.
Native Wildlife Keep an eye out for Pawpaw trees, bearing Pensylvania's largest native fruit, Pawpaws as you hike The Hamer Woodlands at Cove Mountain. © Elizabeth Hanson/TNC

For a shorter hike, take the green or yellow trail (each approximately 0.5 mile) to the observation area, where you can see the Statue of Liberty replica towering above the Susquehanna River below. Looking for something longer or more challenging? Take the blue trail or the pink trail to the top of the ridge for an even greater elevation gain.

Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife! During your hike, you may notice trees bearing Pennsylvania’s largest native fruit: the pawpaw, which ripens for a brief period in mid- to late September. With an unusual, hard-to-classify taste, the pawpaws provide critical calories for local and migratory wildlife.

A person runs on a trail in a forest.
Trail Running at Ponders Tract The flat, sandy trails at Ponders Tract are perfect for trail running or walking with your family. © Greg Rosenke via Upsplash

The flat, sandy trails at Ponders Tract are enjoyed by trail runners and families year-round. You’ll see the results of in-progress forest restoration and catch rare plants and lizards basking in the sun. Close to the beaches—but without the crowds—this is a hidden gem.

A cleared sandy path cuts through a forest of tall green pine trees.
The Perfect Trail Trail runners and families can enjoy the flat, sandy trails at Ponders Tract year-round. © John Hinkson/TNC

When TNC purchased the Ponders Tract at Pemberton Forest Preserve in 2004 from a pulpwood company, the 900+-acre property was covered almost exclusively with loblolly pine trees. Now, nearly 20 years later, this preserve is becoming a shining example of what a successful mixed-hardwood forest restoration can look like in Delaware thanks to many years of forest thinning and prescribed fire. No matter your speed—walk, jog or run—be sure to take in the stunning wildflowers along the edges of the trails in hues of yellows and whites. Use our birding guide and trail map to plan your adventure.