Pool Wildlife Sanctuary
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus, PA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free

wildlandspa.org; 610-965-4397

Bathrooms: Composting toilets near parking area
Water/Snacks: Water fountain near bathroom

Trail map painted on kiosk at parking area

Kid-friendly trails welcome even the youngest children to explore nature.

Pool Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo by: Susan Charkes

Pool Wildlife Sanctuary welcomes children to explore upland woods, meadows, and floodplain forest with easy trails along the Little Lehigh Creek. For young kids or families not experienced with the outdoors, the preserve is a great place to get out and get comfortable in nature.

The 77.5-acre sanctuary is headquarters for Wildlands Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve natural areas and educate
the community on environmental protection in the Lehigh Valley. The conservancy runs family programs such as guided wildlife walks, instructional paddling trips, and stargazing evenings throughout the year at Pool and other locales.

Although the only trail map is painted on the parking lot kiosk, the trails are not hard to follow. All the trails are loops and are level or gently sloped. Floodplain Trail, an elevated boardwalk, is easy enough even for toddlers to follow. Starting near the covered bridge, it goes along the creek, through the woods, and over a natural footbridge crossing a pond. A short tree-identification trail branches off from it; designed to teach kids how to tell common trees apart by their leaves and bark, it’s a fun way to engage them in their surroundings. On the opposite side of the parking area, younger children will enjoy the Woodland Loop and Urban Forest trails that wind through a young forest. On these short trails, it’s easy to see into the woods and test your new tree knowledge, or just try to spot the chipmunk that’s making such loud noises.

A small pond where very young kids can look for frogs and fish (and butterflies and dragonflies in summer) is at the parking area. Just the right size for them, they may want to stay there all day.

Remember: The Little Lehigh Creek can be reached from the trails, but depending on water conditions, it may not be open for access for splashing or fishing.

Plan B:

The Lehigh Parkway, including the Lil-Le-Hi Trout Nursery, is nearby in Allentown.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Travel south on South Cedar Crest Boulevard to Main Street in Emmaus to find a commercial area.


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