Places We Protect

Brush Mountain Preserve

Pennsylvania

The bare tops of leafless trees in the foreground of a view that looks out over the top of a mountain to another mountain ridge in the far distance along the horizon.
Brush Mountain The view from The Nature Conservancy's Brush Mountain Preserve in Pennsylvania. © George C. Gress/TNC

TNC staff and scientists from six states are working to save one of the world’s healthiest and most diverse deciduous temperate broadleaf forests.

Overview

Description

Overlooking the town of Altoona, TNC's Brush Mountain Preserve is part of a large, intact mix of oak and hickory woodlands considered to be a high priority within the Central Appalachian landscape. In fact, TNC staff and scientists from six states are working throughout this region to save one of the world's healthiest, most biologically diverse deciduous temperate broadleaf forests. The site is also noted in the Blair County Natural Heritage Inventory as a County Natural Heritage Area and a Landscape Conservation Area.

In 2016, TNC and partners from the Pennsylvania Game Commission conducted the first prescribed burn at the preserve as part of a forest management plan.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Hours

Daily, from dawn to dusk

Highlights

Hiking, hunting (in cooperation with Pennsylvania Game Commission regulations) and birding.

Size

640 acres

Explore our work in Pennsylvania

Visit

  • What to See

    Brush Mountain serves as part of a nightly foraging area for federally endangered Indiana bats and as the largest maternity colony of little brown bats in Pennsylvania. 

    The bat colony spends its days in Canoe Creek State Park, three miles east of Brush Mountain, earning its designation as part of the Canoe Creek Important Mammal Area. 

    The preserve’s large, intact forest also serves as southern terminus of the Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area, a significant migratory route for raptors and neotropical migrants.

    Other species that can be found here include wild turkey, black bear, state-endangered Allegheny woodrat and timber rattlesnakes, a species of conservation concern in Pennsylvania.

  • Citizen Science: iNaturalist

    We are creating a citizen science database of all kinds of life—from lichens to ants, mushrooms to plants, birds to mammals and everything in between for our preserves in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

    TNC's roots began with local citizens and scientists concerned about special places and species. That legacy continues today. Across our lands, we are utilizing iNaturalist—a digital platform that gives users an opportunity to share and discuss their findings.

    Of the 14 preserve projects in iNaturalist, nine have observations recorded; help us increase that number and our understanding of the species—good and bad, native as well as invasive—that can be found on TNC lands across the state. This information can also help guide and inform our conservation staff's management and monitoring decisions.

  • Preserve Guidelines

    When visiting Brush Mountain Preserve please DO:

    • Take precautions against ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and sunburn
    • Wear sturdy footwear
    • Pants are recommended, even during warmer months, when ticks are active and poison ivy is present
    • Apply insect repellant and sun protection
    • Bring drinking water
    • Stay on marked trails
    • Remove all litter. 
    • Enjoy nature!

    Please DO NOT:

    • Feed or disturb wildlife
    • No trapping or removing any other artifacts from the preserve
    • Bring motorized vehicles, ATVs, bikes or horses
    • Bring alcohol or firearms
    • Camp (NO fires allowed!)

Explore Nature

Need more nature? Visit some of TNC's other preserves.

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Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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