William Penn State Forest
Don't Move Firewood
To help protect the forest from invasive insects that can kill trees and devastate the ecosystem, please do not transport firewood over long distances. Firewood can harbor insects such as emerald ash borer. Cut or purchase your firewood where you intend to burn it.
The first purchase of land for the
It was almost 48 years before the next purchase. In November, 1982, Little Tinicum Island, 200 acres in the
The very next month, December, 1982, another unique ecological site was acquired. The Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens, 602 acres of the approximately 1,000 acre barrens, was purchased for $239,500 with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy.
In August, 2007, the forest district was named the
DCNR Bureau of Forestry manages our state forests for their long-term health and productivity while conserving native wild plants. These forests are “working forests” and provide a whole suite of uses and values to Pennsylvania citizens, all while maintaining the forest’s wild character. Our state forests are managed for pure water, recreation, scenic beauty, plant and animal habitat, sustainable timber and natural gas, and many other uses and values. The management of our state forests is guided by the State Forest Resource Management Plan.
The Bureau of Forestry has adopted “ecosystem management” as its principal strategy for managing state forests. This approach seeks to conserve the natural patterns and processes of the forest while advancing long-term sustainability. Ecosystem management promotes the conservation of plant and animal communities and the landscapes and habitats that support them. It also accounts for needs and values of people and communities. This results in a holistic, integrated approach to managing forest resources.
A Working Forest
As you travel throughout the state forest, you’ll see examples of our forests “at work.” Some of these management practices are more noticeable than others, such as active timber harvests, deer exclosure fences, natural gas drilling sites, prescribed fires and gypsy moth spraying. Others are more subtle, such as the protection of a vernal pool, the buffering of a stream from timber harvesting, or the setting aside of a special area to conserve its wild character or protect a rare plant community. Each of these management practices and activities play a vital role in the management and conservation of our state forest system.
Certified “Well Managed”
Pennsylvania’s 2.2-million-acre state forest system is one the largest certified forests in North America. The forest is certified (FSC-C017154) under the Forest Stewardship Council™ standards. The FSC® is an independent organization supporting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.
Hunting for deer, grouse, and squirrels can be found at the Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens. Waterfowl hunting and fur trapping opportunities exist around Little Tinicum Island. All Pennsylvania Game Commission seasons, rules, and regulations apply.
Warm water fishing can be found in both the Octoraro creek and Delaware River. The Delaware provides shad fishing opportunities in the spring.
Octararo Creek was classified as a scenic and pastoral stream in 1983. This stream abuts state forest land at the Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens, being a portion of its western boundary.
Pennsylvania’s state forest system includes dozens of special wild and natural areas set aside to protect unique or unusual biologic, geologic, scenic and historical features or to showcase outstanding examples of the state’s major forest communities. Natural areas are “managed” by nature and direct human intervention is limited. They provide places for scenic observation, protect special plant and animal communities and conserve outstanding examples of natural beauty. Wild areas are generally extensive tracts managed to protect the forest’s wild character and to provide back country recreational opportunities.
Goat Hill Public Wild Plant Sanctuary
The Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens, located in the extreme southwest corner of Chester County, is a truly unique natural area. Serpentine barrens are not a common geologic feature in Pennsylvania. The particular soils which develop from the serpentine rock greatly influence the plant life growing on the site. Therefore these barrens are home to many unusual and possibly threatened or endangered species.
Little Tinicum Island Natural Area
Little Tinicum Island in the Delaware River is the site of one of the few tidal mud flats in Pennsylvania. This is also the site of several wetland species of plants and animals not commonly found in Pennsylvania. The island is a good place to observe waterfowl as well as some uncommon plants.
David R. Johnson Natural Area
This fifty-six acre wooded tract is located near New Hope in Eastern Bucks County. It is named after its former owner and its rich soils feature a wide variety of trees more frequently found in northern Pennsylvania than in the southeastern corner of the state.
Ruth Zimmerman Natural Area
This thirty-three acre tract is located in Berks County south of Breezy Corners. It is primarily a forested wetland that features many pin oaks and various upland oak species.
For more information and maps to these and other State Parks visit the "Find a Park" page.
Neshaminy State Park-located in Bucks County along the Delaware River and consisting of 339 acres.
Tyler State Park-located in Bucks County and consisting of 1,711 acres.
Delaware Canal State Park-located in Bucks County.
Ralph Stover State Park-located in eastern Bucks County and consisting of 45 acres.
French Creek State Park-located in Berks and Chester counties.
Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center-located in Berks County and consisting of 665 acres.
Marsh Creek State Park-located in northcentral Chester County and consisting of 1,705 acres.
Evansburg State Park-located in southcentral Montgomery County.
Fort Washington State Park-located in eastern Montgomery County and consisting of 493 acre.
Ridley Creek State Park-located in Delaware County and consisting of 2,606 acres.
Norristown Farm Park-located in Montgomery County and consisting of 690 acres.
Benjamin Rush State Park-this undeveloped state park is located in Philadelphia County.
White Clay Creek State Park-located in southern Chester County and consisting of 1,341 acres.
Nockamixon State Park-located in Bucks County and consisting of 5,283 acres.