The Hopewell Big Woods is the largest contiguous deciduous forest in southeastern Pennsylvania. Hopewell Big Woods is an important section of the Schuylkill Valley Highlands, an important region of natural and cultural resources in Pennsylvania. Spanning northern Chester County and southern Berks County, the Hopewell Big Woods is approximately 71,000 acres or 110 square miles, of which 60 square miles is forested. Most of the forest is located in the Schuylkill River watershed. Most of the streams in Hopewell Big Woods are classified by Pennsylvania as high quality and of ecological importance.
Hopewell Big Woods
The Friends of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Just beyond the eastern seaboard where large cities and suburbs merge into the nation’s most densely populated region, over three million acres of forested ridges, fertile farmland, streams, lakes and reservoirs form the regional landscape called the Mid-Atlantic Highlands.
Hopewell Furnace is located in the center of the Hopewell Big Woods. The Hopewell Big Woods is a key section of the Schuylkill Valley Highlands, with is within the Pennsylvania Highlands. The Pennsylvania Higlands is a part of the four-state (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennylvania) Mid-Atlantic Highlands Region designated by the U.S. Congress as a conservation landscape. The Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources provides assistance to non-profit groups seeking to conserve and manage portions of the Pennsylvania Highlands.
The Pennsylvania Highlandshttps://pahighlands.org/ is a 13-county, 1.4 million acre region that includes the populations of the Lehigh Valley, Reading, and Pottstown, and is in close proximity to the populations of the cities of Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Information on the iportant recreational, ecological and cultural resources of the Pennsylvania Highlands region may be found at the following link:
It includes French Creek State Park, State Game Lands 43 and numerous protected areas such as Crows Foot Nature Preserve and the Periglacial Swamp. In addition to deciduous forest, the habitat includes grasslands, swamps, streams, and marshes. Although not “old growth,” some tree stands are approximately 100 years old.
A storyboard, an interactive map, and video of Hopewell Big Woods are available on the link below.
Scroll down on this website to see this 18 minute video that is narrated by Jim Thorne as he flies in a helicopter over Hopewell Big Woods. This video gives an excellant overview of Hopewell Big Woods.
PA Outdoor Lighting Council designated Hopewell Big Woods as Pennsylvania’s first “Night Skies Conservation Area.” Utilizing the designated title, the council plans to inform homeowners, businesses and municipal officers about the negative effects of light pollution and to provide solutions on how to reduce or prevent it.
Version 4 2024 Jan 16 Big Woods video
Version 3 Uploaded 2023 Nov 3 Appearance Improvments