Pennsylvania Highlands Conservation Atlas Story Map Spotlight – Unami Hills
To access the full Story Map, click HERE.
The AMC Mid-Atlantic office has updated and expanded the 2006 PA Highlands Conservation Atlas into 12 interactive Story Maps which include updated conserved lands, conservation areas, and historic and recreational resources, such as the PA Highlands Trail.
This atlas was developed to build awareness about the importance of the Pennsylvania Highlands region by portraying the special places and resources found there. It is also a call for action to help protect this incredible and threatened region.
Conservation Area: Unami Hills
Home to vast forests and the Green Lane Reservoir, the Unami Hills Conservation Area is this week’s PA Highlands spotlight. The woodlands of Unami Hills help to for the largest forest block in northeastern Montgomery and northwestern Bucks counties. These 15,000-acres of upland forest help maintain high water quality in the surrounding stream valleys.
Natural Resources: The streams in the Unami Hills are one of it’s most impressive natural resources. Thirty-one miles of perennial streams weave their way through this conservation area, supporting aquatic life such as redbelly turtle, northern red salamander, and pineland pimpernel.
Green Lane Reservoir, which provides clean drinking water to Green Lane, Perkiomenville, and Schwenksville, is fed by the Perkiomen Creek’s tributaries – the Deep, Macoby, Molasses, and West Branch of the Perkiomen Creeks.
Aside from streams, the Unami Hills also contains an important mix of deciduous interior forest, providing a home for scarlet tanagers, Louisiana waterthrush, American redstart, and the prothonotary warbler, which is a Pennsylvania Game Commission Species of Special Concern. The Unami forest has also been designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Pennsylvania for forest interior birds.
Historical/Cultural Resources: Originally inhabited by the Unami band or sub-tribe of the Lenni Lenape, this region boasts an array of historical and cultural resources.
Jumping ahead, the Unami Hills was settled in the early 18th century by German immigrant farmers, who called the area Goschenhoppen. Today, Goschenhoppen is one of the oldest continuously occupied German communities in America. The Henry Antes House, a National Historic Landmark found within Unami Hills, is an outstanding example of Pennsylvania German architecture from the mid-18th century.
Current day, the Unami Hills is part of the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, which focuses on the preservation and interpretation of the Schuylkill River’s industrial artifacts. The Unami Hills area’s historical resources are plentiful, with several listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Recreational Resources: There are many recreational opportunities within the Unami Creek Valley landscape such as hiking, camping, and bicycling along the Perkiomen Trail and others. There are also many waterways, mentioned earlier, that provide access for fishing, paddling, and boating activities.
Interactive Map: Follow this link to explore the Oley Hills conservation area through an interactive map that shows climbing sites, critical treasures, fishing and boating access, park and recreation areas, cultural resources, Audubon Important Bird Areas, and more! Unami Hills (arcgis.com)
Local Organizations: Be sure to check out some local organizations who work in the Unami Hills!