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Okehocking Preserve

The 180 acre Okehocking Preserve contains meadows, uplands, wetlands, Ridley Creek riparian areas, and mature woods, and provides passive recreation and about 7 miles of mown and wooded natural surface trails. The development of future active recreation, such as ball fields, is permitted in the Powwow Field adjacent to Garrett Mill Park, and a nature/education center may be constructed in the barn ruins by the Garrett Farmhouse. The Preserve is protected from residential and commercial development by conservation easement held by the Willistown Conservation Trust.

Okehocking Preserve Named after Native Americans

Okehocking Preserve constitutes 155 acres of the 500-acre land grant from William Penn to the Okehocking band of the Lenni Lenape Indians, the first Native American land grant in the American colonies. Because of the constant fear of being removed from their grounds, the Okehockings petitioned the Provincial Council for a secure tract of land where they would no longer be mistreated. They probably chose the Willistown land because of a symbolic turtle-headed rock outcropping located within the Okehocking tract, but on private lands. Read more about the Okehocking from the book Acres of Quakers.


The Okehocking people were part of the Unami Clan, or Down River People, of the Lenni Lenape Tribe. View the book, The Down River People, written about the the Okehocking and Lenni Lenape life in this area.

Preserve Acquisition
Okehocking Preserve was purchased through funding from the Willistown Township Open Space Fund, the Chester County Preservation Partnership and Municipal Grant Programs, and the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnership Program. The Willistown Conservation Trust received grant funding to acquire 26 acres of the property and subsequently signed the land over to the Township, retaining ownership of 4.4 acres and the stone bank barn in the middle of the property.

Park Programming Permits
Park Programming permits are required for groups of 25 or more people, or groups charging fees (regardless of number of people) for activities or events at Township parks. Please contact Mary Hundt to inquire about a permit, and see the applications below for further information.
Applications
Okehocking Preserve Management Plan
This document provides the Township with natural resource management guidelines while providing for passive recreation opportunities. The document may be altered in an ongoing effort to enhance and interpret the needs of both the Township's residents for access, education, and recreation, as well as to provide for the unique flora and fauna and ecosystems found at Okehocking. View the Management Plan

Okehocking Trail System
Find out more about Okehocking's trails and trail programs through the following links: 
Okehocking Trail Assessment & Interactive Mapping
The Parks & Recreation Department commissioned Penn Trails, a distinguished trail assessment, planning, construction, design, training, and management firm, to deliver a trail assessment and prescriptions report for the existing 5.75 mile multi-use trail system at Okehocking Preserve. Find out more.
Okehocking Trail Corps 
The Parks and Recreation Department is establishing the Okehocking Trail Corps to implement the Penn Trails Assessment maintenance prescriptions. We’d like to have the different user groups of the Preserve presented in the Corps. Cross-pollinating these groups will build camaraderie and a sense of community within the Trail Corps and during the user experience. Find out more.
Okehocking Trail System Map
View the map.
Okehocking Trail Workshop
This two-day trail workshop focuses on bed and tread planning, layout, and construction of natural surface trails like those throughout Okehocking! Find out more.

Okehocking Preserve Maps
Okehocking Preserve Recreation Map
Okehocking Preserve Trail System Map
Okehocking Preserve Self-Guided Tour

Willistown Park Land & Open Space Fund Map
See the Map!

Photos

Okehocking Nature Center
The Okehocking Nature Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization with the mission to connect people to nature. The Center is building a hawk watch stand above the pole barn at Okehocking. The Nature Center evolved out of a Township environmental center feasibility study and schematic design for Okehocking Preserve. Learn about the project's evolution here.

Parking

Parking lots are located at 996 Delchester Road, north of Route 3, and at 5316 West Chester Pike (Route 3), between Delchester and Garrett Mill Roads.

Hours
Dawn to dusk

Willistown Parks & Recreation ~ Celebrating our community and enriching life through people, parks, and programs.