Conservation Atlas Spotlight – Welsh Mountain

Pennsylvania Highlands Conservation Atlas Story Map Spotlight – Welsh Mountain

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:  Welsh Mountain (

Our next conservation area spotlight contains a large contiguous forest that provides scenic vistas of highly productive

Welsh Mountain Conservation Area within the PA Highlands
Welsh Mountain Conservation Area within the PA Highlands

Amish farms in Lancaster County. Rising over 1,000 feet in eastern Lancaster County and western Chester County, Welsch Mountain’s contiguous forest is only surpassed by Furnace Hills in the Pennsylvania Highlands region.

Natural Resources: Welsh Mountain supports a diverse range of plants and animals on its wooded slopes and rock outcroppings – with Black birch, mountain laurel, lichen, mosses, and ferns providing necessary habitat. Money Rocks County Park, a 340-acre park between New Holland and Honey Brook boroughs, is home to Pennsylvania’s state bird, the ruffed grouse, as well as raccoon, red-eyed vireo, and white oak along the “Cockscomb” ridgeline area.

The waterways found in Welsh Mountain feed the Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary. Some of these waterways include Pequea Creek and tributaries of the Conestoga River. The eastern park of this conservation area also forms the headwaters of the Brandywine River’s west branch and are designated as High-Quality streams.

Historical/Cultural Resources: Money Rocks County Park, located near the Narvon Clay Mine, is full of history – being named for the Pequea Valley farmers who hid cash in the boulder fields.

Recreational Resources: The Welsh Mountain conservation area has many ways for people to get out and enjoy nature such as hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, paddling, and boating activities. The Conestoga River Water Trail, a designated Pennsylvania Water Trail, is located just north of Welsh Mountain, within the Susquehanna River Basin. This trail, which is over 60-miles long, extends from Caernarvon Township west to the Susquehanna River, providing many recreation opportunities.

Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve, managed by Lancaster Conservancy, has over 900-acres of protected wooded slopes, maintained trails, and rock outcroppings. This Nature Preserve it yet another outlet for passive recreation in this conservation area.

Interactive Map (screenshot): Follow this link to explore the Hopewell Big Woods 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! Welsh Mountain (


Local Organizations:

Brandywine Conservancy 

Lancaster Conservancy 

Lancaster County Planning Commission