Did You Know You Can Hike the Wawa Preserve? And More Secret Local Trails You Can Find in This Handy New App

ChesLen Preserve, Photo credit: Simone Collins Landscape Architecture

ChesLen Preserve, Photo credit: Simone Collins Landscape Architecture

Hold the phone: Did you guys know you can run, hike and, heck, just explore, the land surrounding Wawa’s corporate offices in Media? The 98-acre piece of land, located near the Wawa headquarters and aptly named Wawa Preserve, is owned and operated by the Natural Lands Trust.

It’s one of 39 lesser-known tree-, trail- and bird-filled preserves throughout eastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, 18 of which are open free of charge for public use seven days a week. And to make this news even better, the Natural Lands Trust just rolled out a free app called ExploreNLT that makes navigating the many miles of trails within their preserves super simple.

The app, which currently houses the information for most of the organization’s 18 publicly accessible preserves, makes hiking, trail running and bird watching so much easier. It includes detailed trail maps for each preserve; can’t-miss plants and wildlife to look for while you’re there (at the Wawa Preserve that includes orioles, kingfishers, red foxes, box turtles, brown bats and more); a list of upcoming events at each preserve; and even the current weather forecast. Um, most useful tool ever, right?

And if your greatest hiking fear is of losing cell-service, getting lost and having The Blair Witch Project come to life as soon as the sun sets, no worries: Most of the app’s features, including the trail maps, are accessible even when you don’t have cell reception. Hallelujah!

Other nearby preserves run by the organization include Saunders Woods Preserve in Gladwyne, Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve in Ambler and Hildacy Farm Preserve in Media. You can learn more about the app and download it here. Happy trails!

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