Explore miles of trail all year round at Willow Lake Farm.
Start your journey at the trailhead behind the CVS, near the instersection of Butler Pike and Skippack Pike in Broad Axe. As you walk, pastures turn into forest and woodland habitats. This trail lies adjacent to an active farm, so you might have a chance to see horses during your hike! Please remember to stay on the trail during your visit and be mindful of private property.
As you continue, you may spot the wide range of breeding birds that reside at Willow Lake Farm. The fields and meadows here have nesting common yellowthroats, yellow warblers, field sparrows and willow flycatchers. The young woods are home to wood thrushes, eastern towhees and red-eyed vireos. All year round, migratory songbirds stop in the preserve. eBird users can use the app to track their sightings at Willow Lake Farm.
Butterflies and moths, including the pipevine swallowtail and monarch butterfly, also call this preserve their home. You may see larger animals in the pastures and woodland here including fox, deer, and woodchucks.
With long, winding trails and an incredible diversity of wildlife, a trip to the Wissahickon isn’t complete without a visit to Willow Lake Farm.
The preservation of Willow Lake Farm is a great example of sharing private land for public conservation. In 1993, Jane O’Neill donated conservation easements on her landmark farm to Wissahickon Trails. Conservation easements are partnerships between a landowner and a land conservation organization to preserve private land. Through Ms. O’Neill’s generosity and that of her children, Jake Lea, Ellen Lea, Sydney Lea, and Jane Lea, the entire piece of land was preserved in 2002, with the exception of the horse farm and residence which are still in use today.