The 1,025-acre Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area is one of the newest Pennsylvania state parks. The park straddles Blue Mountain and is the habitat of large trees of numerous species, which are homes for deep forests birds, especially warblers. In the summer and fall, the old field is filled with blooming wildflowers like butterfly weed. In late-July and early-August, the flowers attract field birds and many varieties of butterflies.
The conservation area’s many trails offer good opportunities for seeing white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, grouse, black bears and a variety of songbirds depending on the season. Eastern bluebird boxes are around the main parking lot. The field and the ridge top of the conservation area can be great places to watch the annual hawk migration as these magnificent birds of prey ride the thermals along Blue Mountain. Their migration begins in mid-October and runs through early December with the peak in early November. American Chestnuts were planted in the field near the entrance as part of a program to create blight resistant trees.
Dawn to dusk.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
About 800 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are black bear, deer, turkey, grouse, rabbit and squirrel. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply.
The Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the Little Buffalo State Park Complex office. Programs are offered year-round.
Mr. Alexander Boyd donated the conservation area to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in September of 1999. Mr. Boyd is president of the Union Deposit Corporation.
The stated purpose of this donation is to set aside the area for the perpetual management and protection of big trees. He received a Conservation Landowner of the Year award for 2001 from the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation and Audubon Pennsylvania for his donation of the conservation area.