Lands We Own

The work of the North Branch Land Trust (NBLT) focuses on the watersheds and other lands that frame the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, hence our name. Since 1995, there have been 48 properties for which landowners have donated development rights or where North Branch Land Trust has been given ownership.

From time-to-time a landowner will donate land to the Trust as a gift or bequeath a piece of land to us through their Estate. Depending on the landowner’s wishes, we will do one of three things with the bequest or gift of property. We will hold it as a preserve, place a conservation easement on the property (protecting it in perpetuity) and sell it, or sell the property outright. Usually we will use the proceeds from properties sold to fund other land protection projects. The Land Trust will also fundraise to purchase and protect an aesthetically or environmentally sensitive piece of property.

NBLT Owned Properties:

The 667-acre Howland Preserve on the Vosburg Neck, Washington Township, Wyoming County; a bequest of Ernest Howland to NBLT upon his death in 2003. The Preserve is located on a beautiful oxbow along the Susquehanna River and open to the public from dawn to dusk.

The Historic Noxen Depot, Noxen PA: One of three remaining railroad depots of this style in Pennsylvania. NBLT is working on renovating the historic structure.

Harvey’s Harveyville Woodlot: The Harveyville Woodlot was a 2007 gift to the North Branch Land Trust from John Harvey. Although only four acres in size, this property packs a punch with wildlife diversity. This preserve is not open to the public. NBLT will lead scheduled nature walks on this site.

The Montage Mountain Wildflower Sanctuary: The 18-acre native wildflower sanctuary located on Montage Mountain along the Lackawanna County line in Pittston Township hosts the Pennsylvania endangered Appalachian Sandwort. This preserve is not open to the public. NBLT will lead scheduled nature walks on this site.

The George and Lillian Picton Wildlife Sanctuary: George and Lillian Picton had great appreciation for the peace and tranquility offered by their special parcel of land and a passion for the wildlife who call it home. Unsure of what might happen when they no longer owned their wonderful 483 acres located in Forster Township, Luzerne County, they created a wildlife sanctuary in the hopes that the property would remain wild forever.

In 2011 NBLT took ownership of the sanctuary. All of us at NBLT are grateful to George and Lillian Picton’s conservation vision and to friend George Daru who executed the plan that made this vision a reality. All of us at NBLT are proud and honored to be part of this legacy and will do what is necessary to uphold the conservation values of this wonderful wildlife sanctuary.

Please click on our individual properties below to learn more.

Noxen Depot

Noxen Township • 0.59 Acres

The Noxen railroad depot is a wood-frame structure constructed in 1893 by the Lehigh Valley Railroad, which stands along S.R.3002 and Bowman’s Creek in the village of Noxen, Wyoming County. Entrepreneurs harnessing the forests and streams of the Bowman’s Creek region created both the railroad and the community served by the Noxen depot.

The Howland Preserve

Washington Township • 669 Acres

The Howland Preserve is the result of a gift from the estate of Ernest E. Howland. Mr. Howland bequeathed his family’s Riverside Farm to the North Branch Land Trust, and the Land Trust took possession of the property on June 29, 2007. The Preserve is 667.127 acres situated on a natural oxbow in the Susquehanna River, which is known by Wyoming County residents as “The Vosburg Neck.”

Harvey's Harveyville Woodlot

Huntington Township • (Fee Ownership) 4 Acres

John Harvey can trace his family’s roots back to the 1600s. The Harvey family is featured in the popular 1873 book Historical Sketches of Plymouth, by Hendrick B. Wright. Some of John Harvey’s ancestors died at Valley Forge and at the Battle of Wyoming.

George and Lillian Picton Wildlife Sanctuary (South)

Foster Township • 349 Acres

Two very scenic ponds occur on the property that host fish, salamanders, turtles, frogs, freshwater mussels, rare damselflies and dragonflies, and an endangered freshwater sponge.

George and Lillian Picton Wildlife Sanctuary (North)

Foster Township • 134 Acres

The spring seeps cast vivid displays of spring wildflowers such as Jack-in-the-pulpit and red trillium but also easily overlooked species including the rare early coral-root orchid.

Bear Creek Lake View Preserve

Bear Creek Village • 139 Acres

The Bear Creek Lake View Preserve located in Bear Creek Village, Luzerne County, lies along the southern edge of Wyoming Mountain and forms the northwestern edge of the borough of Bear Creek Village. The Preserve has over 1000 feet of frontage on State Route 115 (Bear Creek Boulevard). The property adjoins the 3,017-acre New Pocono Trust Property and the 230-acre Faber Property, both conserved by North Branch Land Trust, and is near State Game Land # 91 and a conserved 3,500-acre property owned by Natural Lands Trust—collectively a magnificent tract of wildlife habitat for forest-dwelling species of flora and fauna.

Hanover Crossings Marsh

Hanover Twp • 39.97 Acres

The 40 acre Hanover Crossings Marsh located in Hanover Township was once part of the Hanover Industrial Park Complex but was transferred to the Luzerne County Conservation District many years ago as part of wetlands mitigation project. The Conservation District deeded the property to NBLT in 2010.

Montage Mountain Wildflower Sanctuary

Pittston Twp • 18.27 Acres

In June 2010 North Branch Land Trust accepted fee title to approximately 18.27 acres of land located on Montage Mountain in Glenmaura, along the Lackawanna boundary in Pittston Township, Luzerne County. By owning the property, North Branch Land Trust will protect critical habitat for a wildflower considered endangered in Pennsylvania called Appalachian sandwort.

Valmont Bog Sanctuary

West Hazleton Borough & Hazle Township • 59 Acres

The 59 acre Valmont Bog and uplands is located in West Hazleton Borough and Hazle Township. This unique property boasts a variety of exceptional flora and fauna, interesting topographical features, and even remnants of our industrial past in the form of old rail beds.

Butler Preserve

Hazle Township • 118 Acres

This 118-acre preserve located in Hazle Twp, Luzerne Co. hosts globally rare scrub oak barrens and its obligate flora and fauna, in addition to wetlands and a riparian forest along the Dreck Creek Reservoir. The established Greater Hazleton Rails-to-Trail intersects the property for nearly 1/2 mile and is embraced and used by over 30,000 outdoor enthusiasts on a yearly basis.

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11 Carverton Rd., Trucksville, PA 18708
Phone: (570) 696-5545 | Fax: (570) 696-5546