The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has been buying and saving land in western Pennsylvania for more than seventy-five years. Most of the time, it secures unique and special natural places, then turns them over to agencies like the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Pennsylvania Game Commission to maintain. The organization has kept the 5,189-acre Bear Run Nature Reserve to conserve the region’s native plants, animals, and their ecosystems. Although the reserve also serves as a monitoring station for biodiversity in the region, it remains open to the public.
Located on the western slope of Laurel Ridge, Bear Run Nature Reserve faces the Youghiogheny (Yough) River Gorge and Ohiopyle State Park on its northwestern edge, so spectacular scenery is a given here.
There’s a lot more to this 5,000-plus acres than just scenery, however. Old-growth hemlocks, rock outcrops, thick patches of rhododendron, even primitive campsites in case you want to turn your hike into a multiple-day affair, make any time spent here interesting.
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