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Chester County Press

The Peaceful Preserve: Landenberg's short and peaceful walk

09/14/2022 01:15PM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Photos by Jim Coarse
Text by Richard L. Gaw

To him whom contemplates a trait of natural beauty, no harm nor despair can come. The doctrines of despair, spiritual or political servitude, were never taught by those who shared the serenity of Nature. For each phase of Nature, though not invisible, is yet not too distinct or obtrusive. It is there to be found when we look for it, but not too demanding of our attention. Henry David Thoreau

To behold Nature is to often be overwhelmed by its majesty.

In witness to the expanse of rust-colored canyons, the density of a forest fertile with forever green, and the chorus rush of mighty rivers, we are stilled into a momentary place where just to stand there and watch is enough.

At 222 acres, the Peacedale Preserve in Landenberg – lovingly owned and maintained by Natural Lands – does not overwhelm its visitors, but rather soothes them along the short distance of its distinct trails.

From its vast expanses of woodlands, wheat fields, and native grass meadows to its two streams that flow into Big Elk Creek, the Peacedale Preserve reveals an entire breadth of Nature along its 1.1-mile loop trail. For those who have traversed the land, it is a short hike into the nearly silent crevices and pockets where the best moments of serenity lay.

Peacedale Preserve is just one of 42 nature preserves owned by Natural Lands across 13 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and since its founding more than seven decades ago, the agency has helped to preserve more than 23,000 acres. In fact, nearly five million people live within a five-mile walk of lands under the agency’s permanent protection.

In 1973, Natural Lands received a donation of land from the estate of Charles Foote, a southern Chester County farmer, and while his farm remained in the care of Natural Lands, limited access to funding at the time, the property remained an isolated parcel

with no trail system in place. In 2009, Natural Lands purchased an adjoining 133-acre property from a developer that had received approval for subdivision, but due to the economic downturn, decided to sell the land instead. Later that same year, and again in 2011, Natural Lands acquired additional neighboring properties, bringing the preserve to its present size.

Today, it serves as a testament to the importance of land conservation, whether it is a magnificent canyon or a short and peaceful walk through a Landenberg treasure.

Peacedale Preserve is located at 157 Peacedale Road in Landenberg. To learn more, visit or call 610-353-5587.