The City of Reading is fortunate to be surrounded by several natural treasures including: Neversink Mountain, Mount Penn, and the Schuylkill River. Hikes on Neversink Mountain provide breathtaking vistas for enjoyment by all Berks County residents and visitors, most popular are the City Overlook and the Witches Hat (McIlvain Pavilion). Neversink Mountain is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Berks Nature manages the 900-acre mountain for both people and wildlife. During your visit you may encounter deer, turkeys, a variety of birds, small mammals, amphibians – and Neversink Mountain is known for a diverse population of butterflies and moths.
Neversink Mountain Preserve
In light of the growing appearance of unsanctioned trails, Berks Nature enlisted the assistance of Trails Solutions (of the International Mountain Biking Association) at the end of 2021 to prepare a comprehensive trail assessment for the Neversink Mountain Preserve. Through a series community meetings and trail surveys, Trails Solutions produced a report of recommendations to improve Neversink Mountain’s existing trail network in the spring of 2022. Berks Nature will take these recommendations into consideration as we continue to redesign and implement a sustainable trails system for Neversink Mountain over the next several years.
This report and the completion of Neversink Mountain’s trail assessment represents the first step towards our shared vision for the Neversink Mountain Preserve and Community Forest – one with trails the meet the entire community’s needs while prioritizing the health and resiliency of this precious ecosystem.
The Gravity Trail connects the Neversink Mountain Preserve to the county-owned Antietam Lake Park. Traveling through City of Reading owned Pendora Park, Mineral Spring Park and Egelman’s Park, there are many opportunities to picnic and rest in the public parks and pavilions. This linear trail can be hiked in one direction if you shuttle cars or you can pick a section to create an out-and-back hike.
Click here to download a new trail map.
Bob’s Woods at Earl Poole Sanctuary
This 30+ acre Berks Nature-owned property is the result of a generous land donation in the late 1970s. The site is managed for wildlife and includes a barn, trails, wooded areas, a stream, picnic areas, and is a popular birding site. We look forward to sharing this special place with you and introducing you to the native wildflowers, birds, and insects that call our property “home”. This property is perfect for quiet nature walks.
*PLEASE NOTE – During Winter months, Berks Nature does not plow the Bob’s Woods parking lot or entrance so it may be covered and icy. Please be careful if you choose to use this preserve during the Winter season!
Click here to download a new trail map.
Angelica Creek Trail
Angelica Creek Trail connects to Kenhorst Borough, Angelica Creek Park, and the Schuylkill River Trail. Users can walk, bike, and enjoy the wonderful 1 mile pathway to the city-owned 90-acre Angelica Creek Park, educational wetlands and future Environmental Exploration Center. Be on the look out for wildlife along the trail.
Click here to download a trail map.
Ontelaunee Wetlands Preserve
The 31-acre Ontelaunee Wetlands Preserve is bordered by the Schuylkill River in the west and features a relaxing, half-mile trail that loops through a recently restored riparian forest. Buried beneath the preserve lies a section of the once bustling Schuylkill Navigation system (often known as the Schuylkill Canal). New public access in the way of walking trails and a small boat launch for non-motorized watercraft now provide opportunities for people to reconnect with the Schuylkill River. Explore and enjoy watching the restored forests and meadows take root!
Ephraim Malickson Wildlife Sanctuary (Tekene 2)
Encompassing nearly 200 acres, the wildlife habitat and water resources sheltered by this special property were protected in perpetuity by the preserve’s namesake: Ephraim Malickson. These woodlands are part of the Schuylkill Highlands of Berks County, an area rich in cultural and natural heritage valued by local residents and environmental organizations alike. Not only does the Sanctuary provide critical habitat for native plants and animals, it also shelters much of the headwater streams and springs of the Indian Corn Creek.