Places We Protect

Tannersville Cranberry Bog Preserve

Pennsylvania

A wide stream of water flows between heavily vegetated banks of tall, woody bushes. The still surface of the water reflects the heavy, low clouds above.
Tannersville Cranberry Bog The bog soaks up rain and runoff like a giant sponge—cleansing water and controlling pollution throughout the Pocono Creek watershed. © Matt Kane / TNC

Known locally as “The Cranberry,” this geological remnant of a long-ago ice age was one of TNC’s first preserves in Pennsylvania.

Overview

Description

Standing out in vivid contrast to the surrounding Pocono Mountains landscape, Tannersville Cranberry Bog provides a snapshot of colder times. Thousands of years ago, a large glacial lake occupied the space of what has since become a thick soup of peat moss.

Affectionately known locally as “The Cranberry,” Tannersville Cranberry Bog is ingrained in the local community and culture, inspiring wonder among students, educators, scientists, nature lovers and photographers who visit each year. Of special interest are some of North America’s most beautiful native orchids, including rose pogonia and the state-endangered heart-leaved twayblade.

While the ice and lake have long receded, the unique ecosystem that remains today serves as the southernmost low elevation boreal bog along the eastern seaboard. It represents an intricate transformation that took place over the millennia and would be impossible to replace if destroyed.

The Tannersville Cranberry Bog Preserve is one of TNC's first nature preserves in Pennsylvania. The preserve in managed in partnership with the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center who provide educational opportunities for the local community.

Over the years, careful stewardship by TNC and partners including Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, Pocono Township, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and a local volunteer stewardship committee has yielded great returns as the bog soaks up rain and runoff like a giant sponge—cleansing water and controlling pollution throughout the Pocono Creek watershed.

Access

Limited Access

North Woods and Fern Ridge Trails are open to public access.

Highlights

The Boardwalk trail remains accessible by guided tour only; dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk trail. Learn more about regularly scheduled hikes by contacting the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center at 570-629-3061. Archery hunting in designated areas (in cooperation with Pennsylvania Game Commission regulations).

Size

1,000 acres

Explore our work in Pennsylvania

Tannersville Cranberry Bog Restoration Project

March 28 - April 6, 2022

The same view of the wooden boardwalk two days later. The brushy vegetation has been cut and removed, leaving open space between the tall trees.
A low wooden boardwalk splits into a vee. The two trails disappear into a forested bog that is thick with woody vegetation.
Before and After Growth of shrubby vegetation and forest succession leaves the Tannersville bog ecosystem smaller each year. By removing vegetation, TNC aims to restore the diversity and vitality of the leatherleaf-cranberry bog community and keep this ecosystem thriving.
A group of volunteers standing on a boardwalk.
Conservation Community TNC staff, trustees and volunteers came together at Tannersville Cranberry Bog for two weeks of workdays aimed at restoring the bog's diversity and vitality. Mar-Apr 2022. © Matt Kane / TNC

Conservation Community

Bog Restoration

Restoring the diversity and vitality of Tannersville’s leatherleaf-cranberry bog community is necessary to keep this ecosystem thriving. Although the infilling and growth of shrubby vegetation and forest succession is a natural process, it may be happening more rapidly due to nutrient input from nearby roads and from residential development in the watershed.

In 2012, Dr. Ray Milewski and students from East Stroudsburg University established several small study plots at the preserve. Their research suggests that removing woody, shade producing vegetation allows rare bog plants to reestablish themselves.

In an effort to engage our conservation community and encourage the return of certain species not seen at Tannersville in decades (like the grass pink orchid Calopogon tuberosus), PA/DE staff, trustees and volunteers came together in late March and early April 2022 for a series of grueling but rewarding workdays.

Weather was the biggest wild card—the temperature at the first day’s morning meeting location was a bracing 20 degrees. Regular changes in weather occured during the two weeks, with rain, snow and sleet showers experienced during the first week.

The work involved removing trees with chainsaws, lopping smaller brush and limbs and dragging the cut material to the boardwalk and out of the bog to a chipping area. The resulting mulch will be used on upland trails.

TNC staff and volunteers were able to complete six of the planned ten days of restoration work, giving us a great start to our ongoing plan for opening up areas of the bog. The total area where vegetation has been removed to date comes to approximately 0.37 acres—about 0.25 acres were cleared this year. The target restoration area inside the boardwalk loop is approximately 1.3 acres. 

Our restoration efforts are focused along and around the bog boardwalk to allow us to continue building on past restoration success and provide the greatest opportunity to showcase that success to preserve visitors. There is still much work to be done and we’ll be reviewing and assessing those changes through our partnership with Monroe County Conservation District – Kettle Creek Environmental staff through their public walks in the bog scheduled throughout the year.

Expand to see more Collapse to see less

Keeping an Ecosystem Thriving

TNC staff, trustees and volunteers came together at Tannersville Cranberry Bog for two weeks of workdays aimed at restoring the bog's diversity and vitality.

A selfie shot of eight members of PA/DE staff posing together at the edge of the woods at Tannersville Cranberry Bog Preserve.
A man uses a chain saw to cut a thin tree that is growing at the edge of a low wooden boardwalk. He is bent over cutting the tree as close to the ground as he can.
Two people clear logs from a preserve. In the foreground, a woman smiles as she walks along with a log balanced on her shoulder. The man behind her is crouching as he lifts another log.
A group of people work to clear brush and tree limbs from a preserve. They are seen from a distance and appear to be dwarfed by the tall conifers growing around them. Heavy white clouds fill the sky.
Two people stand together talking. The woman is standing on a low boardwalk that curves away between tall trees. The man is standing on a small patch of dry ground in a marshy bog.
An ant swims in the clear liquid contained in a carnivorous pitcher plant. The wide fluted leaf of the plant is studded with tiny white hairs that help prevent the ant from escaping.
View looking down on a purple orchid growing up through dense green foliage.
A man walks along a low boardwalk while carrying an armful of brush and tree limbs cleared from the now open bog habitat.
A man feeds a long, thin tree branch into a large wood chipper.
Four people stand in water above their ankles on a flooded boardwalk that runs through the forested bog of Tannersville Preserve.

In the News

  • Two people clear brush and small tree branches during a restoration workday at Tannersville Cranberry Bog.

    Bog Restoration Lets Rare Species Bloom

    Get an inside look at the restoration workdays held at Tannersville Cranberry Bog aimed at encouraging the return of certain species not seen at the preserve in decades. Read the Article

Visit

  • Access

    Because of its fragile nature, the bog itself can be visited only during regularly scheduled walks conducted by the Monroe County Conservation District's Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center. Private walks are available for groups upon request; dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk trail.

    Public access is always permitted on the North Wood and the Fern Ridge trails. 

    PLEASE NOTE: when traveling to the preserve, please do not turn into the home at 107 Lavender Lane (at the corner of Lavender Lane and Cherry Lane Road). This is a private residence; please respect our neighbor's privacy.

  • Public Trails

    North Wood Trail

    This flat loop trail system passes along the edge of the wetland and through a mature hardwood forest dominated by oak trees.

    The shorter loop along the edge of the ridge offers a better view of the area and the longer loop passes through several areas of ever- green trees and through excellent wildlife habitat. In winter, these trails are good for cross-country skiing.

    Fern Ridge Trail

    This single loop trail rises slowly in the beginning through an oak hardwood forest. Then it follows an old road and eventually proceeds down a slight hill to run along the very edge of the bog with lots of wetland trees, shrubs and ferns including blueberry bushes, yellow birch and red maple trees.

    The Boardwalk Trail remains accessible by guided tour only; dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk trail. Learn more about regularly scheduled hikes by contacting the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center at 570-629-3061.

  • What to See

    Plants: visitors will find plants such as calla lilies, gold thread and carnivorous sundew and pitcher plants, as well as native orchids such as rose pogonia and the state endangered heart-leaved twayblade. Other endangered plants include bog rosemary and Labrador tea. Shrubs such as leather leaf, sheep laurel and swamp azalea can also be found here.

    Animals: black bear, river otter, bobcat, beaver, porcupines, mink, wild turkey and snowshoe hare can be found here. Canada warbler, wood thrush, scarlet tanager, golden-winged warbler, eastern towhee and whip-poor-will have also been spoted at the preserve.

  • Community Science: iNaturalist

    We are creating a community 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

    Please follow all rules and guidelines of the Monroe County Conservation District/Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center.

    WHEN VISITING THE TANNERSVILLE CRANBERRY BOG, PLEASE DO:

    • Take precautions against ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and sunburn
    • Wear sturdy footwear
    • Bring drinking water
    • Stay on marked trails
    • Remove all litter, including dog waste. This is a “carry-in, carry-out” preserve. 
    • Dogs must be kept under control and are permitted on the Fern Ridge & North Wood Trails only. No pets are allowed on the Boardwalk Trail.
    • 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 
    • Camp (No fires allowed!)

Explore Tannersville: 2022 Bog Walks

2022 Bog Walk Brochure

Download

The Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center invites visitors to join a guided public walk. Explore the floating boardwalk and the surrounding area. Along the way, environmental educators will explain the bog’s formation, its interesting plant and animal life and the role the local preserve committee and TNC play in its continued protection.

Weekly Wednesday Walks

  • 10:00 a.m. - June 8 through September 7
  • 1:00 p.m. - September 14 through November 9

Weekend Walks

  • Sunday, May 15 - 1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 11 - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 10 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 13 - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 11 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, Octoboer 15 - 2:00 p.m.

The cost is $5 per person. Walks are held rain or shine—raincoats are preferred instead of umbrellas. Visitors should wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes. Your may get wet feet!

Tours last 2 1/2 hours. Space is limited and pre-registration is required; walk-ups will not be accepted.

All walks will follow current CDC and state requirements for COVID-19 safety.

  • All participants must wear a mask
  • Anyone who is feeling ill is asked not to attend

For more information or to register, call the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center (570) 629-3061.

Watch: Enjoy a Virtual Tour of Tannersville Cranberry Bog Preserve

Walk Through the Tannersville Bog (14:58) Enjoy a virtual tour of the Tannersville Cranberry Bog led by Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center.

Stay in Touch

Subscribe to Nature News, our monthly e-newsletter. Get the latest news and updates about our conservation efforts locally and around the world, delivered straight to your inbox.

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.

See the Complete Map