White Clay Creek Preserve - Pennsylvania

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Description

The 2,072-acre White Clay Creek Preserve is in southern Chester County, three miles north of Newark, Delaware. The White Clay Creek Valley, which forms the core of the Preserve, varies from steep to gradually falling terrain with some flat bottomlands, all drained by the creek. White Clay Creek Preserve shares boundary with White Clay Creek State Park of Delaware.

Because White Clay Creek posses outstanding scenic, wildlife, recreational and cultural value, it has been designated by Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River, and shall be preserved in free-flowing condition for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Recreation

White Clay Creek Preserve is managed for low intensity recreational day use activities throughout the year. Day use areas are open daily from dawn to sunset.

Fishing:

White Clay Creek is stocked several times a season and is considered one of the best trout streams in the area. Special delayed harvest and artificial lures only regulations apply to the Middle Branch of White Clay Creek from Good Hope Road south to its confluence with the East Branch. Any bait may be used on the East Branch. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Hiking:

Hiking trails explore the habitats of the park and tie in with trails in the White Clay Creek Preserve in Delaware.

Biking:

Bicyclists may use portions of Edwin Leid Trail. Bicyclists also use the roads in and along the borders of the Preserve.

Horseback Riding: 8 miles of trails

An 8-mile equestrian trail traverses the entire length of the northern portion of the Preserve.

Winter Activities

Cross-country Skiing:

Cross-country skiers may use the hiking and bridle trails when snow cover permits.

History

White Clay Creek Preserve is part of a larger tract of land sold to William Penn in 1683 by Lenni Lenape Chief Kekelappen. It is thought that Kekelappen lived in Opasiskunk, an “Indian Town” which appears on a survey map of 1699 at the confluence of the Middle and East branches of White Clay Creek. This area is now part of the Preserve.

Opasiskunk was a large settlement, covering several acres. Archeological evidence points to habitation in the area from the early Archaic Period up through the early 18th Century. Frequent flooding over the past two centuries obliterated all surface evidence of this once important settlement.

There are several points of historical interest in the Preserve. The Yeatman Mill House is probably the oldest dwelling in the area. It was the hub of a very prosperous milling and agricultural complex in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Built in 1729, the London Tract Baptist Meetinghouse is at the intersection of Sharpless and London Tract roads. In its stone-walled cemetery rest many of the area’s earliest settlers including Dr. David Eaton, whose home across the street in the Preserve, is a classic example of a double door Pennsylvania stone farmhouse. Two further points of interest are the tri-state Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Arc Corner monuments marking historical points along the Mason-Dixon Line.

In 1984, the DuPont Company donated land to Pennsylvania and Delaware for the purpose of preserving the diverse and unique plant and animal species, and the rich cultural heritage of the area. Today, these lands form the bi-state White Clay Creek Preserve, the only land designated as a preserve in the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks.

Because White Clay Creek posses outstanding scenic, wildlife, recreational and cultural value, it has been designated by Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River, and shall be preserved in free-flowing condition for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Contact

PO Box 172, Landenberg, PA 19350-0172

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