Green Valleys Association at Welkinweir
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:1368 Prizer Road, Pottstown, PA
Hours:9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (to 4 p.m. in winter)
Fee: Free (donations accepted)
Contact:, 610-469-4900

Bathrooms: Portable toilet near Education Building
Water/Snacks: None

At entrance kiosk (for hiking, be sure to get the Wild Areas Guide);

Beautiful woodlands surrounding a country estate and arboretum offer outstanding walks and hikes.

Green Valleys Association at Welkinweir
Photo by: Susan Charkes

At Welkinweir, a 197-acre historical country estate and arboretum that is the headquarters of the nonprofit watershed conservation organization the Green Valleys Association (GVA), beautiful hillside forests surround a large pond and landscaped grounds. The property features excellent short hiking trails, as well as easy paths through the interesting gardens.

Welkinweir spreads over two ridges and a valley in between. The near ridge, with the entrance, is landscaped. This is the site of the arboretum, the Estate House and Education Building, and a four-square Children’s Garden that has flowers and plants with plenty of sensory appeal.

For kids a highlight of the 55-acre arboretum is the aptly named Great Pond, at the base of the hill below the eighteenth-century Estate House. All of the arboretum paths are wide, gently sloped, grassy or mowed surfaces. The path that leads down to the pond, through the Barn Ruins, passes under a weeping beech tree that’s as big as a cottage, if not a house. Twisty, humanlike trees guard the pond’s banks. At the pond, look for herons, dragonflies, and frogs. Following the mowed path around the pond leads to a bridge over a stepped waterfall; the view from the bridge back to the landscaped gardens and natural meadows is lovely.

Behind the pond is a second, forested ridge. Trails through the woods are more challenging than the arboretum paths, with steeper hills and narrow, natural footpaths, but they are easy to follow and rewarding. Here are towering trees and a dense understory full of birds and wildlife. In the valley, trails cross a small stream before climbing the ridge to return to the parking area. 

GVA hosts nature education programs for families at Welkinweir and other locations. See the website for details.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed; discourage barking. No tree climbing is permitted. Picnic in the pavilion only. Trails are pedestrian-only except the Horse-Shoe Trail, which crosses the site and is open to equestrians.

Plan B:

Warwick County Park has playgrounds and fishing as well as more hiking trails.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Head back to PA 100 where shops and restaurants are in either direction.


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