Stone Hills Preserve

Stone Hills Preserve isn’t a big place. But it packs a lot into a little space.

Natural Lands Trust, owner of Stone Hills Preserve, describes it as “a wooded, rocky ridge-top that is part of one of the largest contiguous woodlands in Montgomery County.”  The 13 acre preserve is tucked into a residential area outside Schwensksville, a pocket of forest amid development. But in that 13 acres is nearly a mile of trails looping around a stream and through pines and hardwoods. On this Sunday afternoon I had Stone Hills to myself. As I stood in the center of the preserve traffic sounds seemed to disappear and I was left with the crunch of leaves and snow under my shoes.

One of two bridges over the stream.

Stand of pines

With backtracking, I got in a mile of hiking. Despite its name, the trails at Stone Hills didn’t strike me as especially rocky. The gentle trails and variety of views at Stone Hills make it a good “starter” park for children or people unused to the outdoors. You could make a morning or afternoon at Stone Hills and nearby Limerick Community Park, hiking the trails at Stone Hills followed by a stroll and lunch at the picnic area at Limerick. And in fact, minus the food, that is just what I did, walking nearly an additional mile on Limerick’s paved path.

While Limerick Community Park is pretty,and much larger than Stone Hills,  the former is a playground and athletic field experience and the latter is a woods. It should be clear which I prefer. Congratulations to Natural Lands Trust for their continued work keeping the woods in Penn’s Woodlands.