Trexler Nature Preserve

Park Overview:

Established as a game preserve, bison, elk and white-tail deer still roam its pastoral fields and mountainsides. Hikers can select short, easy trails or a challenging perimeter trail of 8.5 miles with spectular views.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path, X-C skiing, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:20 miles
Park Acreage:1108 acres
City/County/
State:
Schnecksville/Lehigh/PA
Park Description:

More than a hundred years ago General Harry C. Trexler purchased numerous small farms creating a game preserve to help protect American bison and elk from extinction.   In the 1930s the property was bequeathed to Lehigh County and in 2004 the game preserve became the Trexler Nature Preserve.  The grounds were opened to the public to enjoy the animals in their natural habitat.  Its three ranges -- North, South, and Central -- feature unique landscapes from meadows and hills to hemlock forests and deep ravines.  The Jordon Creek flows through each of the ranges, while passing under two covered bridges.

In contrast to freely roaming herds, a zoo is situated in the Preserve’s Central Range.  Also in the same Range is the Trexler Environment Center, Leigh County’s first "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED) certified building. 

Be aware that archery hunting is permitted on the North Range according to PA Game Commission rules and regulations and during the appropriate hunting seasons. Call the Commission 610- 871-1444 for more information or their Southeast Regional office at 610-926-3136.

No on-line trail map exists as yet (December 2011), but one is promised in the future.  Informative, printed brochures in full color with a trail map are available on the kiosks at the parking areas at the Trexler Environmental Center, at the parking area of the Lehigh Valley Zoo, at the Zoo overlook and at the parking area of the North Range off Mill Creek Rd.

A note about Contact Information below:  at the time of publication the Preserve’s home page returned a blank screen.  The interior pages work and the relatively new site is still under development.

Trails Overview:

The Preserve has 20 miles of trails. Of the 12 blazed trails, all but one are 2 miles or less, are “easy” or “moderate” in difficulty and in the North or Central Ranges.  There are plenty of opportunities to combine the trails into various loop hikes.  

The “Covered Bridge Trail” (double red triangles) is ADA accessible, with a hard surface over its 1.2 miles.  A parking area is located on Old Packhouse Road where it crosses Geiger’s Covered Bridge.  (Note: several double-colored blazed trails exist in the Preserve, they are displayed on the map with a black line down the middle of the pathway.)

The “Observation Trail” is an 0.3 mile loop around the Environmental Center (double teal blaze).

The most challenging is Trexler Border Trail  (red blaze) at 8.5 miles which goes around the periphery of the Preserve.  This multi-use (bikes, horses, hiking) border loop includes one stream crossing, several very steep hills, long switch backs, and open fields, where buffalo, elk and deer animals can be seen off in the distance.  This is the only trail in the Preserve with a difficulty rating of “Hard.”

Click to find a detailed hike description, scroll down the “Park” column to “Trexler Nature Preserve.”

Directions:

From the I-78 West Delaware River toll bridge entering Pennsylvania, drive 22 miles then take exit 53 for Route 309 North.  Follow Route 309 North for 6.5 miles then turn left on Old Packhouse Road at the traffic light with Rita’s, Wayback Burgers and Sam’s Bagels in a strip mall on the right.  Follow Old Packhouse Road for 0.9 mile then turn right on Orchard Road.  The Nature Preserve entrance will be 0.3 mile ahead on the left near the Trexler Environmental Center (Street address:  4935 Orchard Rd., Schnecksville, Pa., 18078.)

There are more than a half-dozen parking areas in the Preserve.  Stop in at the Environmental Center to pick up a user brochure with trail map that also locates these other areas.

Contact Information:Trexler Nature Preserve, County of Lehigh Park System
6108711444
Region:Pocono Mountains (PA)
Fees:None