Your Guide to the Main Line Area’s Parks, Gardens and Preserves

Riverbend Environmental Education Center turns 40.

Photo by Adobe Stock / Ted

The Main Line region is home to an abundance of natural destinations, from gardens and arboretums to national parks and trails.

OUR PICKS

FRENCH CREEK STATE PARK

Among the largest state parks in the area, French Creek boasts over 7,500 acres for visitors to explore. Hikers love the more than 35 miles of trails.

843 Park Road, Elverson

HAVERFORD COLLEGE ARBORETUM

The school’s arboretum honors William Carvill’s 1834 landscape design, preserving its many trees.

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370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, (610) 896-1000

OKEHOCKING PRESERVE

Once part of a land grant from William Penn to the Okehocking band of Lenni Lenape Indians, this 180-acre preserve has seven miles of trails.

5315 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square

PARKS, GARDENS & PRESERVES

AIRDRIE FOREST PRESERVE

With 3.25 miles of trails, this wooded preserve boasts over 75 acres.

140 Fennerton Road, Paoli

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ANSON B. NIXON PARK

This is a popular spot for families thanks to its picnic area, playground and dog park. It also hosts summer concerts and offers fishing.

405 N Walnut Road, Kennett Square

BARNES ARBORETUM AT SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

Located on the St. Joe’s campus, this 12-acre arboretum houses an impressive collection of specimen trees and herbaceous plants.

50 Lapsey Lane, Merion Station, (610) 660-2802

BINKY LEE PRESERVE

Natural woodlands and meadows are home to over 10,000 native trees, various wildlife species and a robust trail system.

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1445 Pikeland Road, Chester Springs

BLACK ROCK SANCTUARY

black rock sanctuary
Photo courtesy of Chesco.org

With almost 120 acres of meadows, wetlands and woodlands, the highlight here is an .8-mile ADA-accessible interpretive trail.

953 Black Rock Road, Phoenixville

BONDSVILLE MILL PARK

This 47-acre park has mill ruins that date back to the 1800s. There’s also a .25-mile trail around the old mill and a .75-mile nature trail.

1647 Bondsville Road, Downingtown

BRANDYWINE BATTLEFIELD PARK

The largest land battle in the American Revolution took place at this site. Today, visitors can explore the 50-plus acre park and its two historic houses on select days.

1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford

BRYN COED PRESERVE

This 520-acre preserve has a Pennsylvania champion white oak, eagles’ nests, the ruins of a 19th-century farmhouse, trails and more.

1869 Flint Road, Chester Springs

CEDAR HOLLOW PRESERVE

This 67-acre natural flood plain with trails leads through woods and meadows.

1635 Church Road, Malvern

CHESLEN PRESERVE

The largest privately owned nature preserve open to the public in Chester County is a 1,282-acre swath with miles of hiking trails, canoeing and kayaking, woodlands and more.

1199 Cannery Road, Coatesville

CHANTICLEER

Chanticleer park
Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia

Once the Rosengarten estate, Chanticleer is a colorful contemporary garden enhanced by its historic setting.

786 Church Road, Wayne, (610) 687-4163

CHESTER VALLEY TRAIL

This 13-mile paved trail follows an old railroad track from Exton to King of Prussia.

1055 Westlakes Drive, Berwyn 

COOL VALLEY PRESERVE

More than 33 acres of meadows and forest are accessible via trails that are also used for cross-country skiing in the winter.

11 Cool Valley Road, Malvern

CROW’S NEST PRESERVE

Located next to Hopewell Big Woods, French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, this 621-acre preserve has a playground, plenty of wildlife and four main trails.

201 Piersol Road, Elverson

CRUM WOODS

Part of Swarthmore College and open to the public, this 220-acre parcel has 3.5 miles of trails.

500 College Ave, Swarthmore

DIAMOND ROCK PRESERVE

Located off the Horse-Shoe Trail, this 66-acre woodland preserve contains a wealth of trees, wildlife and several interconnecting and looping trails.

Chautauqua Trail, Malvern

EVANSBURG STATE PARK

Some of the area’s earliest settlers were farmers who used the nearby Skippack Creek for energy. Today, visitors can see remains from some of the mills, hike, mountain bike, ride horses and more.

851 Mayhall Road, Collegeville

EXTON PARK

At this 727-acre park, you’ll find a pond, picnic tables, a two-mile walking trail and a multiuse field.

800 Swedesford Road, Exton

GEORGE LORIMER PRESERVE

Situated on an 88-acre preserve, 3.25 miles of trails meander through meadows and woods.

435 N Valley Road, Malvern

GLEN PROVIDENCE PARK

This 25-acre park offers 1.6 miles of trails.

550 W State St, Media

GOOSE CREEK PARK

Try your hand at geocaching at this 12-acre park, which also has a half-mile walking trail, a playground and a pavilion.

840 E Street Road, West Chester

HARMONY HILL NATURE AREA

East Bradford Township’s 240-acre park offers seven miles of hiking and biking trails, plus a picnic area. For a forested hike, try the 4.2-mile loop.

1200 Skelp Level Road, Downingtown

HIBERNIA COUNTY PARK

Visit the historic Hibernia Mansion or explore 900 acres, which offer camping, hiking, fishing and more.

1 Park Road, Coatesville

HILDACY PRESERVE

Native grasses thrive in the meadows of this 55-acre preserve along Crum Creek, which also offers trails.

1031 Palmers Mill Road, Media

ITHAN VALLEY PARK

Remnants of an old mill can be found at this 19-acre park, which has a stream and 22 species of identified trees.

542 S Ithan Ave, Bryn Mawr

JENKINS ARBORETUM & GARDENS

Wander the woodland trails and see rare species of plants on this 48-acre property.

631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon, (610) 647-8870

KIRKWOOD PRESERVE

Birders love this 83-acre preserve, which also has hiking and horseback riding trails.

Grubbs Mill Road, Newtown Square

LONGWOOD GARDENS

longwood gardens park
Photo by Adobe Stock / jonbilous

With over 1,000 acres to explore, plus the conservatory and assorted eating and drinking options, Kennett Square’s world-renowned Longwood Gardens is a great place to experience any season in all its glory.

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000

LOWER PERKIOMEN VALLEY PARK

Situated along Perkiomen Creek, this 107-acre park has picnic pavilions, a playground, a basketball court, volleyball, fishing and more. It connects to the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River trails.

101 New Mill Road, Oaks

M. JOHN JOHNSON NATURE CENTER

Bikes are permitted on the paved portion of this multiuse trail that connects to Sugar’s Bridge Nature Area.

810 Skelp Level Road, West Chester

MARSH CREEK STATE PARK

Explore Chester County’s expansive 1,705-acre state park on a paddleboard or ride a horse at Hope Springs Farm, hike forest trails, rent a sailboat, go fishing or picnic with family and friends at one of the many grills.

675 Park Road, Downingtown

MARSHALL MILL HOUSE PRESERVE

Situated on 40 acres and offering 1.5 miles of trails, the preserve is also home to the old Marshall Mill House.

932 Creek Road, Kennett Square

MCKAIG NATURE EDUCATION CENTER

Find an array of outdoor and educational activities on this 93-acre preserve.

889 Croton Road, Wayne

MT. BRADFORD PRESERVE

This 40-acre preserve features nature trails and a nine-hole disc golf course.

921 Sconnelltown Road, West Chester

NEWLIN GRIST MILL PARK

Home to a working grist mill built in 1704, this 160-acre park offers educational programs and a 2.9-mile walking loop. Trout fishing is popular in season.

219 Cheyney Road, Glen Mills

NORRISTOWN FARM PARK

A working farm that’s been in use since colonization, hiking trails lead to forested areas and wetlands. Fifteen historic buildings date back to the 1700s, and there’s also a trout nursery.

2500 Upper Farm Road, Norristown

PAOLI BATTLEFIELD HISTORICAL PARK

This 20-acre park is home to a parade ground and a memorial to Continental Army soldiers killed in the Revolutionary War battle.

Monument and Wayne Aves, Malvern

PEACEDALE PRESERVE

Explore woodlands, hayfields and two streams via several connecting hiking loops on this 222-acre preserve.

126 Peacedale Road, Landenberg

POCOPSON TOWNSHIP TRAILS

This system of trails includes parks and green space.

Various locations

RADNOR TRAIL

This 2.4-mile paved biking and walking trail extends from Radnor-Chester Road to Sugartown Road.

520 Conestoga Road, Wayne

RIDLEY CREEK STATE PARK

Wander more than 2,600 acres via a 13-mile trail system, with five miles of designated trails for biking and cross-country skiing. Horseback riding is available, and you can tour the historic Hunting Hill Mansion.

1023 Sycamore Mills Road, Media

ROLLING HILL PARK

This 103-acre park is anchored by an 1896 caretaker’s cottage. It also has a native rain garden, meadows, woodlands, historic stone ruins and plenty of trails.

1301 Rose Glen Road, Gladwyne

SADSBURY WOODS PRESERVE

Part of the largest unfragmented woodlands in Chester County, this 508-acre preserve has two main trails.

443 Old Wilmington Road, Coatesville

SAUNDERS WOODS PRESERVE

Explore the forest and an open meadow at this 25-acre preserve.

1020 Waverly Road, Gladwyne

SAW MILL PARK

Once home to the region’s earliest settlers, this 4.2-acre park has fishing, trails and access to the Willows and Skunk Hollow.

666 Earles Lane, Newtown Square

SCHUYLKILL RIVER TRAIL

This multiuse trail covers nearly 130 miles from Philadelphia to Pottsville.

Various locations

SCOTT ARBORETUM OF SWARTHMORE COLLEGE

Educational and horticultural programs are plentiful at this 425-acre arboretum.

500 College Ave, Swarthmore, (610) 328-8025

SHARP’S WOODS PRESERVE

Surrounded by development, this 27-acre preserve gives residents the space to escape into meadows and marshlands.

1415 Byrd Drive, Berwyn

SHAW’S BRIDGE PARK

Explore gravel trails across this 37-acre park.

274 S Creek Road, West Chester

SKUNK HOLLOW PARK

Ninety acres of conserved land are great for hiking and fishing.

600 Darby Paoli Road, Villanova

SMEDLEY PARK

This 141-acre park features two ball fields, picnic tables and a 2.2-mile trail.

20 Papermill Road, Springfield

SPRINGTON MANOR FARM

Situated on 300 acres, this park includes a manor and carriage house, a barn and a slew of animals.

860 Springton Road, Glenmoore

SQUIRE CHEYNEY PARK

Once used for crop farming, this park’s 52 acres now offer walking trails, a springhouse and interpretive signs.

Freedom Rider Trail, West Chester

STATELINE WOODS PRESERVE

This 82-acre preserve features four miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and winter cross-country skiing.

814 Merrybell Lane, Kennett Square

STONE HILLS PRESERVE

Part of the larger Unami Forest, this 13-acre preserve comes alive with wildflowers in the spring.

124 Laver Road, Schwenksville

STONELEIGH

Once a family home, Stoneleigh is a public garden that celebrates the beauty of native plants and the importance of biodiversity.

1829 E County Line Road, Villanova, (610) 353-5587, ext. 200

STROUD PRESERVE

This 571-acre preserve is a mix of grasslands woodlands and repurposed farmland. There are four main hiking trails, and horseback riding is available in select locations. It’s also used for scientific research by the Stroud Water Research Center.

454 N Creek Road, West Chester

STRUBLE TRAIL

Hike or bike on a 2.6-mile trail along the east branch of Brandywine Creek.

Dorlan Mill Road, Downingtown

TIMBER TOP TRAILS

Here you’ll find more than two miles of walking and horseback riding trails.

832 Downingtown Pike, West Chester

TYLER ARBORETUM

This 650-acre arboretum boasts an impressive collection of heritage and champion trees, 17 miles of hiking trails and fun kid-friendly structures.

515 Painter Road, Media, (610) 566-9134

VALLEY CREEK PARK

The 35-acre park offers tennis courts, a pavilion, a playground, trails and an amphitheater for summer concerts.

361 Morehall Road, Frazer

VALLEY CREEK PRESERVE

This 46-acre parcel features trails, meadows and access to trout fishing.

Hayfield Road, Malvern

VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

The former site of the Continental Army’s 1777-78 winter encampment is now a nature lover’s paradise, with 28 miles of trails—some open to biking.

1400 N Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia

WAWA PRESERVE

Part of this preserve’s 98 acres was once used for cattle grazing by the Wawa convenience store chain. Today, there are several trails.

127 Valley Road, Media

WHITE CLAY CREEK PRESERVE

Hike, bike and more on 2,072 acres.

405 Sharpless Road, Landenberg

WILLISBROOK PRESERVE

This 126-acre plot boasts a unique ecosystem known as the Sugartown Serpentine Barrens.

110 Township Line Road, Malvern

THE WILLOWS

Aside from a wealth of willow trees, this park has a restored mansion built in the early 1900s, plus trails and picnic areas.

490 Darby Paoli Road, Villanova

WILSON FARM PARK

This popular gathering place in the Chesterbrook planned community includes an amphitheater, picnic areas, a playground and athletic facilities.

500 Lee Road, Chesterbrook

WOLF’S HOLLOW COUNTY PARK

The bluffs at this 569-acre park overlook Octoraro Creek. It has about 10 miles of trails.

1399 Schoff Road, Atglen

Related: 8 Dog Parks to Have Fun With Your Pup in the Main Line Area

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!