The Delaware Highlands Conservancy has announced that the 144-acre Van Scott Nature Reserve in Beach Lake, Berlin Township, PA is open to the public.

Generously donated to the Conservancy by the Van Scott family in May 2020, the Van Scott Nature Reserve is the new headquarters of the Conservancy and a welcoming, accessible place for people of all ages to learn about, explore, and enjoy nature.

The Reserve features more than three miles of publicly accessible walking trails through the forest, wildflower meadows, and wetlands and will be home to the Conservancy’s year-round educational programming including nature walks, forestry and land management workshops, demonstration projects, and winter Eagle Watch. The property features scenic views to the southern Catskill Mountains in New York State and to High Point State Park in New Jersey.

Centrally located within the Upper Delaware River region, the Van Scott Nature Reserve is a destination for residents and visitors that reflects our unique rural character and the needs of the local community.

A former dairy farm, the property incorporates diverse habitats with abundant opportunities for conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation on self-guided trails, including large open meadows, forested areas, two ponds, a tributary to Beach Lake Creek, and wetlands. Other farm structures will be adapted over time for new and enhanced educational programming.

As the stewards of this historic dairy farm, the Conservancy will honor the land and the families who farmed it for generations while welcoming the public to visit, learn about the natural world and our shared local history, and explore nature. The Conservancy has launched a $5 million capital campaign to support the future of the Reserve.

“We are inspired by the Van Scott family’s commitment to conservation, environmental education, and sustainability,” stated Executive Director Diane Rosencrance. “We look forward to fully realizing their vision for this property and to welcoming the public to experience this beautiful natural area.”

The Reserve will be open from sunrise to sunset every day, unless otherwise noted. To help protect sensitive wildlife habitat, dogs are not allowed on the Reserve. More information about the property, including the complete Reserve Rules and a downloadable trail map, is available at Trail maps may also be picked up at the trailhead kiosks.