Three barred owls look alert while resting in a mossy tree.
Hemlock Trees A stand of hemlock trees at the Woodbourne Forest Preserve © Kelly Donaldson

Places We Protect

Woodbourne Forest Preserve


Woodbourne's ancient trees—a mixture of white pine, hemlocks, ash, maples, oaks and other hardwoods—blanketed the region prior to human settlement.

At the Woodbourne Forest Preserve, open fields, wildflower meadows, winding creeks, mossy bogs and historic stone walls complete a scene that invites and inspires artists from far and wide. However, most visitors seek out the preserve to witness its ancient trees—a mixture of white pine, hemlocks, ash, maples, oaks and other hardwoods that blanketed the region prior to European settlement. In fact, a portion of the preserve contains the largest remaining old-growth forest in northeast Pennsylvania.

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


Overbrowsing by deer, and pathogens such as hemlock wooly adelgid and emerald ash borer, as well as non-native invasive plants.


In 2006, the Keystone Trails Association restored existing trails and created new trails to mark the preserve’s 50th anniversary. TNC manages the preserve and its trails with help from a committed volunteer stewardship committee. The committee and volunteers also assist with implementing environmental education programs for local schools, scout troops, surrounding communities and other visitors.

Throughout the year, the preserve hosts guided tours, educational workshops and other events that include “Nature Classes for Young Naturalists.” Call in advance to arrange a guided walk for groups of more than eight people.

Wildlife at Woodbourne Forest

Recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s 100 best birding locations by the PA State Game Commission, Woodbourne Forest serves as a hotspot for more than 180 species of birds, including pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls and winter wrens. Additional wildlife includes white-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bear, coyote, mink, chipmunk, jumping mice, southern bog lemming, snowshoe hare, beaver, river otter, lilypad clubtail dragonfly and northern flying squirrel. Scattered wetlands host frogs, snakes and nine salamander species that hide among leather leaf and pitcher plants. Other plants include Robbins pondweed, carnivorous sundew, Painted trillium, wood sorrel, gold thread and other wildflowers.


Stand of Hemlocks at Woodbourne Preserve
Woodbourne Forest Preserve
Donated in 1956, Woodbourne is The Nature Conservancy’s first preserve in Pennsylvania.