This 1,300+ acre nature preserve is Wildland’s largest nature preserve. Located in the Pocono mountains, it is home to one of the state’s largest spruce forests. It is a testament to collaboration in conservation since parcels of it are owned by The Nature Conservancy and Tobyhanna Township but managed in part by Wildlands.

Whitetail Trail | White | .5 miles
This short trail takes users through Thomas Darling Preserve’s unique and varied landscape of wetland and uplands. From the parking lot, users connect to a gravel road, which can be used to access over 250 acres of Wildlands’ habitat management projects.

Flying Squirrel Trail | Green | .5 miles

Golden-Winged Trail | Yellow | 1.6 miles

Cerulean Trail | Blue | .7 miles

Prescribed Fire Trail | Orange | .7 miles

Parking on Burger Road will take you to The Nature Conservancy’s approximately 2-mile Blue Loop.

The preserve is home to an extensive habitat restoration project focusing on the migratory golden-winged warblers and cerulean warblers. The project’s support has brought in flocks of other species, with our avian studies showing an increase from 29 to 107 species including swamp sparrow, prairie warbler, eastern towhee, red-eyed vireo, trail’s flycatcher, chestnut-sided warbler and common yellowthroat.

nesting boxes on the property here are meant to attract populations of the endangered northern flying squirrel. other species on this preserve include American black bear, grey fox, white-tailed deer, gray and red squirrel, southern flying squirrel, red-bellied snake, dusky salamander as well as red-backed salamander.

The acreage is comprised primarily of hardwood forest, with species such as American beech, red maple, hawthorn, serviceberry, and others. It is lush and green all year thanks to rhododendrons, ferns, and sphagnum moss in its boggy environment. The acidic soil is the perfect environment for bog laurel and Rhodora, both of which have seasonal, purple blooms.

The Wildlands Conservancy side of Thomas Darling Preserve was acquired by us in 1995 with help from The Nature Conservancy and funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

This preserve was named after a naturalist and conservationist from Jim Thorpe, Thomas Darling Jr. The majority of his life was spent pioneering the research of plants in our region at the time.

The glacial wetlands are a part of this area’s history and shape the ecology within the nature preserve today. These wetlands and bogs are critical for clean drinking water downstream. Furthermore, the old growth red spruce forest is one of Pennsylvania’s largest.

Interested in getting involved at Thomas Darling Preserve?