About a mile north of Dimock is the Woodbourne Forest, a sylvan gem owned by the Nature Conservancy, which received the property via a donation by Francis R. Cope, Jr. The sanctuary contains a variety of habitats, including open fields, wetlands, and old-growth forest.
Most visitors seek out the Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve to witness its ancient trees. Located in northeastern Pennsylvania, this 648-acre preserve boasts a mixture of white pine, hemlocks, ash, maples, oaks and other hardwoods that blanketed the region before European settlers arrived. In fact, nearly 200 acres of the preserve contain the largest remaining old-growth forest in northeast Pennsylvania.
Open fields, wildflower meadows, winding creeks, mossy bogs and historic stone walls complete a scene that invites and inspires artists from far and wide. The varied terrain makes the preserve a hotspot for more than 180 species of birds, including pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls and winter wrens, that nest within this forest that has endured more than three centuries. Scattered wetlands host frogs, snakes and nine species of salamander – including the purple, two-lined and four-toed salamanders – that hide among leather leaf, pitcher plants and other low-lying vegetation.
Donated by a conservation-minded family in 1956, the Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve represents The Nature Conservancy’s first preserve in the state of Pennsylvania. Over the years, the Conservancy has added to the original contribution of 500 acres through land acquisitions and the continued generosity of the previous owners. The Conservancy also works to build on their legacy of inspiring and educating others about this extraordinary landscape.