Five Mile Woods Nature Preserve
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:1305 Big Oak Road, Yardley, PA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:

lmt.org; 215-493-6652
 

Bathrooms: At main building
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

These woods are made for walking, with easy, interesting trails in a quiet location off US Route 1.

Five Mile Woods Nature Preserve
Photo by: Susan Charkes

Five Mile Woods is a delightful nature preserve, easily reached from major highways, with easy but interesting walking trails for young families or those new to the outdoors.

The 300-acre forest, owned by Lower Makefield Township, is open only to pedestrians. The trails close to the main building are all level, winding through open woods, around ponds, and along small streams where kids can look for tadpoles and salamanders. Many of the trails follow along a boardwalk, since the woods can be somewhat muddy in wet seasons. The abundant sweet gum trees litter the forest floor with their spiky seed balls.

The woods feature a distinctive half-flat/half-rocky geography. They straddle the fall line—the border between the level, gravelly coastal plain (which underlies South Jersey) and the more rocky Piedmont (which is what most of southeastern Pennsylvania looks like). So, as you walk farther from the main building along Creek Trail or Five Mile Trail, you’ll start to come across large boulders strewn in the woods. Here the trees are taller and the trails no longer flat as beach sand. Fall Line Trail itself goes up and over the literal fall line, a rocky ridge that is no problem for older kids to traverse.

Although US 1 forms the southern boundary of the preserve, its noise is not intrusive except for a short stretch of trails adjacent to the highway. The woods are rich in bird life and spring wildflowers.

The trails are exceptionally well marked, with beautiful wooden signs at all crossings, and easy-to-follow maps are usually available at the kiosk outside the main building. Signs indicate “HQ” when a trail leads back to the main building. The network of trails makes this a place you can go with kids often yet never take the same route twice.

Remember: The preserve hosts nature programs for families throughout the year, and a summer camp.

Plan B:

Core Creek Park has playgrounds, bike and hike trails, and boating and fishing, and is dog-friendly and stroller-friendly.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Plenty of shops and restaurants are in the vicinity of the intersection of Oxford Valley Road and US 1.



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