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wild and natural areas

Pennsylvania’s state forest system includes dozens of special wild and natural areas set aside to protect unique or unusual biologic, geologic, scenic and historical features or to showcase outstanding examples of the state’s major forest communities. Natural areas are “managed” by nature and direct human intervention is limited. They provide places for scenic observation, protect special plant and animal communities and conserve outstanding examples of natural beauty. Wild areas are generally extensive tracts managed to protect the forest’s wild character and to provide back country recreational opportunities.

Spruce Swamp Natural Area 

This 87-acre site located on the Thornhurst tract is noted for its glacial bog where native spruce, balsam fir, and tamarack are found. Labrador Tea and Bog Roseary, not commonly found in Pennsylvania, also grow here. Surrounding the bog and acting as a buffer is a typical hardwood forest interspersed with hemlock and assorted pines.