If you are interested in learning more about wildlife local to the Eastern Pennsylvania region, you will want to check out the Churchville Nature Center, located right outside of Philadelphia. It is north of the city, and you can expect about a 45 minute drive from there. Their address is 501 Churchville Lane, Churchville, PA 18966. The Visitor Center hours are Tuesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nature trails on the property are open from sunrise to sunset daily.
Every year, as soon as it gets fairly warm outside, my husband and I really enjoy exploring nature and going on hikes. Usually, in late April, early May, you can start to expect more temperate days in Pennsylvania, and it is so beautiful with all of the flowers in bloom everywhere you look! We knew that the Churchville Nature Center would be an amazing place to explore on a nice spring day.
When we arrived at the Center, we were quite happy to discover that there was a very large parking lot attached to it, and this made traveling there really easy. (Sometimes in different areas in and around Philadelphia, you will have to street park, so we are always happy to find lots on our adventures!)
The first building that you will see is the Visitor Center. Before you go on their hiking trails, I highly recommend checking it out, because within it, you will find a naturalist room with displays, live animals, interpretive exhibits, an indoor view of their bird blind, and a nice gift shop.
We really loved this educational area, and were amazed at the variety of turtles and tortoises on the site. The one even greeted us, and said hello!
After checking out the immersive naturalist room, we made our way out to their delightful Wildlife Garden area, and this is situated to the left of the building. As you walk through you will find areas for butterflies, places for snakes to enjoy, and even frog ponds. For safety reasons, it is crucial that you stay on the paths as you meander about the gardens, and are respectful of the nature around you.
After visiting the Wildlife Garden, I highly recommend that you check out the walking paths located on the right side of the building. As you begin your hike, you will encounter a Lenape Village. The Lenape Village is an educational area provided by the Churchville Nature Center that has a hands-on outdoor history exhibit that allows students and members of the community to learn about the history and skills used by pre-European contact Native Americans. They have programs available for schools, scouts, and private groups to learn more about the Lenape People that first lived in the area. If you are interested in booking for your class or group, make sure that you contact the Nature Center directly to schedule this ahead of time.
As you travel more into the wooded area on the trail, you will find a boardwalk path, which I recommend, and this will take you right next to the beautiful Churchville Reservoir (also known as Springfield Lake). This was created in 1942 by damming up a section of the Ironworks Creek, which provided the main flow of water into the lake. It is a shallow reservoir that was created as a backup water supply for the community if the Neshaminy Creek and the Delaware River get too low. Currently, it is a crucial wildlife resource that is preserved by Essential Utilities and assists in its preservation needs by the center.
As my husband and I hiked along the boardwalk path, we were greeted by a very cool visitor! Right in front of us, we encountered a very large and beautiful frog! Since we did see other hikers out, we stayed with the frog until he managed to safely hop off the path, and back into the wooded area. You can tell how much the creatures really do enjoy this environment and how much they are thriving at the Nature Center!
After you explore the 2 miles of nature trails (3.2 km) I highly recommend visiting the outdoor bird blind, which allows you to see various local birds up close without interrupting their natural environment. If you have a family, you can also find a natural playground and picnic grove that is located in front of the main building.
There really is a lot to do at the the Churchville Nature Center, and I would plan at a minimum of 2 to 3 hours to explore it because there are so many interesting areas in it, and places to truly discover the wildlife specific to this region. It is a wonderful place for people of all ages to really enjoy, and appreciate the environment around them. Let me know in the comments if you have ever traveled here before, and what you thought about it as well! I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click the like and subscribe button!
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