Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area

Virginia Bluebells blossoms

What is a Conservation Area?

Conservation areas are donated to the PA Bureau of State Parks and therefore are governed by different rules.


The 1,025-acre Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area straddles Blue Mountain and is the habitat of large trees of numerous species, which are homes for deep forest birds, especially warblers. In the summer and fall, the old field is filled with blooming wildflowers like butterfly weed. In late-July and early-August, the flowers attract field birds and many varieties of butterflies.

Click here to see the NOAA weather for this park.
Click on the Map It! logo to go to an interative GIS map of this park.
Click on this Flickr logo to go to the Flickr page of Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area, Pennsylvania.

Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. Contact the Little Buffalo State Park office for facility seasons and hours.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Hunting and Firearms: About 800 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are black bear, deer, turkey, grouse, rabbit and squirrel.

Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.

Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.

Hiking: 12 miles of trails
The Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area boasts an extensive trail system, which will please almost any level of hiking enthusiast.

Sunlight dapples a tree lined trail at Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area, Pennsylvania.Pond Loop Trail: 1.2-miles, pink blazes, easiest hiking
This trail skirts the spring-fed pond. It is a haven for a number of amphibians during the early spring and summer months and is also a popular watering hole for wildlife.

Lower Spring Trail: 1.1-miles, lavender blazes, easiest hiking
This is a great trail for cross-country skiing and for seeing the heart of the conservation area.

East Loop Trail: 1.9-miles, lime green blazes, more difficult hiking
As its name implies, this trail runs toward the eastern end of the conservation area and follows the power line for about 0.3-mile.

Creek Trail: 0.9-mile, medium blue blazes, more difficult hiking
This trail winds down to the creek near an American beech grove and then angles up the slope near the western edge of the park.

Janie Trail: 2.8 miles, red blazes, most difficult hiking
This is the longest and most challenging trail in the conservation area. It follows the ridge top and comes down the mountain on a steep slope. A red-blazed spur leads to a parking lot on the Blue Mountain Parkway.

Upper Spring Trail: 2 miles, beige blazes, more difficult hiking
This trail provides the hiker with a nice cross-sectional view of the conservation area. This is an excellent trail to see some of the largest trees in the area. These large second growth oaks, hickories and beeches could be old growth stands in the future.

Coach Trail: 0.9- mile, yellow blazes, easiest hiking
This trail follows the base of the ridge and loops at the park’s western edge. It is a good cross-country skiing trail as well as a great trail to watch and listen for warblers in the spring and early summer.

Mockingbird Trail: 0.2 mile, green blazes, easiest hiking
This trail connects East Loop Trail to the park boundary.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country Skiing: All hiking trails in the conservation area are open for cross-country skiing.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

The Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the Little Buffalo State Park Complex office.

Programs are offered year-round. Many programs feature the abundant wildlife and forest management practices that can be seen in the conservation area. For more detailed information on programs, contact the Little Buffalo State Park Complex office.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.

Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.

Access for People with Disabilities

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.