Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary

77 acres | 2.6 miles of hiking | 7 trails

Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary’s Trails>>

Floodplain trail .4 miles

This shady boardwalk trail runs through the wetland riparian zone along the Little Lehigh Creek, passing ponds and stream overlooks. This trail is ADA accessible, with dedicated parking located nearby.

Pheasant Run trail .45 miles

This flat trail runs through a mix of hardwood and evergreen groves, with thick understory shrubs. The trail then loops through a sunny wildflower meadow where red-tailed hawks and foxes are occasionally spotted. ADA parking is available in the grassy area near Pheasant Run’s entrance and provides easy access to the pavilion and Floodplain trail.

Sensory trail .68 miles

The Sensory trail provides rope-guided hiking and environmental educational opportunities for the visually impaired.  Braille signs and tactile sensory displays provide an interactive experience. This region of the preserve is open meadow with lots of sun and wildflowers. Access to the sensory trail is available off Farr Rd, with a dedicated parking lot and pavilion.

PA Tree ID trail .1 miles

The PA Tree ID trail is a great example of native tree species- each labeled for easy identification. Deer frequent this area, if one is quiet, they will often stay nearby. This short, flat trail forks to connect to Pheasant Run at both ends.

Backyard Conservation trail .36 miles

The Backyard Conservation trail is a hilly steep trail that runs on a ridge above the Little Lehigh. The trail passes through dense upland habitat before connecting to the Woodlands Trail and Sensory trail. Spurs from this trail lead to the Bird Blind, and a small pond.

Switchback trail .27 miles

This trail switchbacks up the hill from its beginnings near the Bird Blind and Wildflower Meadow. This trail provides an easier, less steep, route for accessing the Woodlands trail than the Backyard Conservation trail. Forest and grassy areas are interspersed along this route and dense stands of yellow-blooming Wingstem create a unique corridor.

Woodlands trail .4 miles

The Woodlands trail is the longest and most remote of the trails on the preserve. This area contains some of the most mature woodlands on the property and as the quietest trail, often exhibits the largest number of interior woodland bird species.

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    Don’t have a smartphone? Download a trail map PDF here.

  • Activities Trails are accessible for hikers, responsible pet owners, trail runners, birdwatchers and other passive recreation. Grounds are open day to dusk.

  • Before you visit Please plan ahead. Pool Wildlife Sanctuary is a pack-out site. Please do not litter; carry out all trash, as receptacles are not provided.

  • Getting Here

    Main entrance

    3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus PA 18049

    Follow Cedar Crest Boulevard south to Riverbend Rd. Turn left onto Riverbend. At the stop sign turn right onto Orchid Place, the main entrance will be on your right, at the white bridge.

  • Wildlife

    Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary provides habitat for 136 bird species including Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, Canada Warbler, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Great Horned Owl. Other species including, White-tailed Deer, Red Fox, Canada Geese, Great Horned Owl, and Red-tailed Hawk regularly raise young on the preserve. Several ponds provide the opportunity for frogs, salamanders, dragonflies and damselflies to thrive. Large butterfly species such as Common Clearwings, Monarchs and Imperial Moths are common to the preserve.

  • Plantlife
    The wildflower meadows blaze with milkweed, bee balm, flowering trees, native sunflowers and other pollinator friendly native wildflowers.
  • History

    The 77.5-acre Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary headquarters Wildlands’ main office and the Air Products Environmental Education Center. Its place in our history is thanks to the vision of Air Products founder, Leonard Parker Pool, who bequeathed the sanctuary to Wildlands in 1975.

    Parker Pool was a founding member of the Lehigh Valley Conservancy – now known as Wildlands Conservancy. Leonard purchased this property with the intent of converting it from a cattle farm into a wildlife preserve and donated the property to the conservancy in his will for that purpose. Remnants of the previous use still exist, including the 1800s farm house, which today holds Wildlands’ main office,  and the 1869 Pennsylvania German bank barn.

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Questions or feedback about this preserve?

Contact Preserve Manager Michael Hock

(610) 965-4397 ext 132 –