The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania

Moosic Mountains Slideshow

Moosic Mountain is a '1,500-acre playground' amidst Pennsylvania’s best example of ridge-top heath barrens, a mosaic of stunted pine and oak forest dominated by huckleberry, blueberry and other low-lying shrubs.

The dedication of a new trail system was a banner event for the 65 volunteers, who had contributed 775 hours to cut the trails through thick brush and remove more than 500 abandoned tires from the site.

As volunteers carved eight miles of new hiking and biking trail across the Dick and Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain, even Conservancy stewardship staff made new discoveries about the site.

Moosic Mountain is a windswept, wild and rugged corner of Pennsylvania, packed with outdoor opportunities, just a couple hours from Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York City.

The Conservancy saved the landmark, which overlooks Scranton from a peak of 2,200 feet, from becoming a business park in 2001, and has worked with volunteers to build a wild retreat there.

Moosic Mountain is one of the largest intact scrub oak/heath communities in North America. It also is home to three rare natural communities and at least 18 rare species, and a great birding spot for more common species.

The preserve is home to prairie warbler, black-and-white warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, hermit thrush and broad-winged hawk as well as the globally rare sallow moth and barrens buckmoth.

Although Moosic Mountain harbors rare species, it’s also a hardy, rugged place with austere winter beauty, summer blueberries and wildflowers, and stunning year-round views of the Lackawanna Valley.