A morning landscape of rolling hills and meadows borded by trees.

Stroud Preserve

571 acres

Stroud Preserve is a mosaic of once-pastured grasslands, working farmlands, and woodlands that serves as a unique site for recreation, education, and scientific research. Here, you can see the needs of people and nature in balance as careful stewardship of both cultivated and “wild” areas restores vital wildlife habitat while also protecting watersheds that provide drinking water for tens-of-thousands of people.


454 North Creek Road, West Chester, PA

Visitor Hours

Thurs – Tues, dawn to dusk. Closed Wednesdays.

Trail Map

Before you go


3/10 mile south of Route 162 on North Creek Road


Dr. Morris Stroud bequeathed his 332-acre Georgia Farm to Natural Lands in 1990, establishing Stroud Preserve. Since then, the preserve has grown in size through donations and purchases of neighboring properties.

Prior to Dr. Stroud’s ownership, the land was part of the Laird farm, a massive cattle farm that stretched from the city of West Chester west to Wawaset Road. But the preserve’s history stretches as far back as the founding of the colony. The stone farmhouse, built by Thomas Worth in 1740, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Please respect the privacy of residents and appreciate the buildings from a distance only.)

Dr. Stroud’s will stipulated that Stroud Preserve be available as a long-term study site for the Stroud Water Research Center, internationally acclaimed for its pioneering research on streams and rivers. Scientists from the Center have set up experiments on the preserve to evaluate how to create riparian forest buffers and how they can filter out sediments, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other chemicals that threaten downstream waters. Because the Center has permanent access to the preserve, they are able to conduct studies that last decades instead of just a few years.

Stroud Preserve has been part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Monitoring Program, a network of sites established across the nation to evaluate how land use and human practices affect water quality. It is the only such site in Pennsylvania.


Small green fiddleheads of a fern, the plant's curled up fronds, are illuminated by bright light in the forest.

access to nature. more essential than ever.

Our preserves are open, thanks to member support.

Help us continue our work saving open space, caring for nature, and connecting people to the outdoors.


Places Nearby

ChesLen Preserve

Willisbrook Preserve