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Warning: The spotted lanternfly has invaded our area. This invasive insect could cause serious harm to Pennsylvania’s resources, businesses, and economy. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAVE! Help us stop the spread of these unwelcome hitchhikers. Inspect your vehicle, camper, tent, gear, etc. before you leave the park and destroy any lanternflies you find. For more information, visit the Penn State Extension’s Spotted Lanternfly website.


Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area

Straddling Peters Mountain, the 803-acre Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area is dominated by large hardwood trees.

This large block of nearly unbroken forest is a haven for wildlife like forest warblers and other deep woods animals.

A main attraction to the conservation area is the elaborate trail system which connects to the Appalachian Trail on the northern slope of Peters Mountain.

Seasons and Hours

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk.

Contact the Little Buffalo State Park office for facility seasons and hours.

A Pennsylvania map that shows the location of Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area 


From PA 322/22, take PA 225 north for 4.5 miles. Just before entering the village of Matamoras, turn right on Camp Hebron Road and follow it for 4.5 miles. The conservation area is on the right.

GPS DD: Lat. 40.44246  Long. -76.85918

A circular map that shows the roads surrounding Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area 

What is a Conservation Area?

This designation is for land donated to DCNR's Bureau of State Parks and managed for the purposes of preserving open space, conserving natural resources, and providing opportunities for passive, non-motorized, low-density outdoor recreation and environmental education activities.

A conservation area is characterized as a large area with few improvements and no through roads.

Recreational facilities and development are minimal. Conservation areas serve as examples of proper stewardship and resource management. The donation of land can be covered by a restrictive covenant.

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

A restrictive covenant is a condition that is written into a deed, either by the seller or person donating the property, that must be adhered to by the person or organization that assumes possession of the property.

Some of the restrictive covenants placed on the transfer of this property include:

  • The land is intended for the use, enjoyment, and education of all citizens of the commonwealth. Environmental, outdoor, and forest resources management education will be emphasized.
  • Only passive recreational activities will be allowed. Horseback riding, biking, and motorized equipment, with the exception of official use equipment and accommodations for disabled people, are prohibited.
  • Acceptable forestry practices will govern resource management. Generally, only dead and downed trees should be harvested, except on forest demonstration areas.

Learn, Experience, Connect

Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area offers a wide variety of environmental education and recreation programs. 

Participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources through:

  • Hands-on activities
  • Guided walks
  • Evening programs

Programs are offered year round. Many programs feature the abundant wildlife and forest management practices that can be seen in the conservation area.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the Little Buffalo State Park office.

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

In an Emergency

Call 911 and contact a park employee.

Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards.

Nearest Hospital

111 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101


​Explore Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area

Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area