The weather’s warming up, and kids can’t wait to get outside. Local wildlife preserves are the perfect spots to burn energy, learn about plants and animals and explore the natural world.
Activity Key: Birding Hiking Fishing
Bowman’s Hill Wildlife Preserve, New Hope
Families spot hummingbirds and woodpeckers in the bird observatory, search the pond for frogs, toads and dragonflies, follow a butterfly trail and get lost in the spiral-shaped labyrinth among the trees.
Five Mile Woods Preserve, Yardley
With a tree canopy providing ample shade, clearly marked trails that make it tough to get lost and mostly flat terrain, this is a great option for beginner hikers or those who just want some fresh air.
Bucktoe Creek Preserve, Avondale
This preserve’s mix of programming is as busy as its meadows, woodlands, wetlands and ponds. Kids can embark on bird walks, a drop-in playgroup and hikes themed to owls, living history and tree and grass identification.
ChesLen Preserve, Coatesville
The preserve’s massive agricultural fields and meandering meadows immerse visitors in lush landscapes. Follow paved trails that wind through flower patches, shaded woodlands and sprouting corn and soybeans. Be sure to visit the all-natural playground, designed to encourage creative play.
Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Schwenksville
Environmental education is the focus here; kids are introduced to nature via preschool programs, guided walks and workshops.
Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, Ambler
Home to several preserves featuring an array of wildlife, native plants and rarely seen birds, families can make the most of their visit with scavenger hunts, a few rounds of “I-Spy,” educational programming and special events.
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Phila.
Among its 1,000 acres, the refuge features the largest freshwater tidal marsh in the state, as well as 10 miles of trails, wildlife observation platforms and opportunities to canoe and kayak, go fishing and bird-watch. Head to the visitor center to view exhibits and displays