Varden Conservation Area
A gift from veterinarian Dr. Mead Shaffer, the 444-acre Varden Conservation Area is in Wayne County. This magnanimous gift is in an area that was once a remote section of the state, which is now beginning to feel the pressure of development. The land will be protected and used for future generations as a respite from daily life. Varden is a place to learn about Pennsylvania’s wonderful natural history. The property is managed by Promised Land State Park, which is in Pike County.
"Environmental education always has been a primary concern of mine. I trust this land will allow present and future generations to observe and study the diverse ecology found in the Varden Conservation Area." - Dr. Shaffer
Visit www.vardenconservationarea.com for more information.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. Contact the Promised Land State Park office for facility seasons and hours.
Fishing: The pond in the Tannery Tract has largemouth and smallmouth bass, sunfish, and catfish. Middle Creek provides trout fishing.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: The Tannery Tract is open to hunting, trapping, and dog-training during established seasons. Common game species are deer, bear, and turkey.
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 Promised Land State 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: Varden Conservation Area offers a variety of short hiking trails through farm fields, forests, and wetlands. Please stay on the trails and respect private property.
Tannery Tract Trails: 4.4 miles of trails
Bluebird Trail: 0.71 mile
Middle Creek Trail: 0.45 mile
Pond Loop Trail: 0.73 mile
Shortcut Trail: 0.1 mile
Steel Tower Trail: 0.27 mile
Tall Timber Trail: 0.35 mile
Tannery Trail: 0.63 mile
Wildcat Trail: 0.37 mile
Wood Tower Trail: 0.79 mile
Mid Valley Tract Trails: 3.32 miles of trails
Bear Paw Trail: 0.62 miles
Beechwood Trail: 0.15 mile
Critters Run: 0.08 mile
Deer Run: 0.12 mile
Holster Creek Trail: 0.55 mile
Overlook Ridge Trail: 1.14 miles
Pond View Trail: 0.43 mile
Shaffers Way: 0.23 mile
Cross-country-Skiing: All trails are recommended for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when conditions permit.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Varden Conservation Area offers a wide variety of environmental education programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and special events, participants gain appreciation and understanding, as well as develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.
Standards-based environmental education programs are available to school and youth groups. Programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by contacting the environmental education specialist at the Promised Land State Park office.
Programs are offered from April through October. 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 Promised Land State Park.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.