- Parks & Facilities
The 180 acre Okehocking Preserve contains meadows, uplands, wetlands, Ridley Creek riparian areas, and mature woods, and provides passive recreation and over 7 miles of mown and wooded natural surface trails.
Protected in Perpetuity
The property is owned by Willistown Township and protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held by Willistown Conservation Trust, a 501c3 nonprofit land trust based in Willistown Township. The easement permits the development of future active recreation, such as ball fields, in the Powwow Field adjacent to Garrett Mill Park, a nature/education center may be constructed in the barn ruins by the Garrett Farmhouse, and a dog park in the field on the northeast corner of Toure 3 and Delchester Road. The conservation easement protects the preserve from residential and commercial development.
Named after Native Americans
Okehocking Preserve constitutes 180 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.
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 any entity including but not limited to groups, individuals, organizations, and businesses charging fees (regardless of number of people) for activities or events at Willistown Township parks, preserves, and trails. Please contact Mary Hundt to inquire about a permit, and see the applications on the Park Permits page for further information.
Penn Trails has developed a KML file of all line, point, and area data of the Okehocking Trail System for viewing in Google Earth.
A KML is a file format used to display geographic data in an Earth browser such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for mobile. KML uses a tag-based structure with nested elements and attributes and is based on the XML standard.
Depending on your computer operating system, you can either click on the KML file and it will automatically open in Google Earth or you can open Google Earth and import the KML file through the file tab. Once the KML is loaded in your “My Places” you are able to zoom in on the line, point, and area data. To see the attributes associated with line, point, and area data, simply click on your chosen selection and a box will appear with the associated attributes.
Google Earth does not share your KML file unless you allow it. If you chose to share through Google Earth it will share it with all users. You can keep your KML file in “My Places” in Google Earth without sharing it with all users. To allow others to view the KML file they will need to perform the same process through their own Google Earth software.
If you would like to view the KML files of the Okehocking Trail Assessment & Prescriptions Report, please contact Mary Hundt, Willistown Township Parks & Recreation Director.
If you would like to track your hike at Okehocking on a pdf map of the trails, you can download Avenza Systems, Inc. PDF Maps Mobile App on your Apple, Android, or Windows device. Avenza's PDF Maps allows you to interact with spatially referenced maps to view your location, record GPS tracks, add placemarks, and find places. Download and use instructions can be found at the Avenza Systems, Inc. web page here.
You may use the Okehocking Trail System Map with the Avenza Maps Mobile App.
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
Upper Ridley Crum Important Bird Area #72The entirety of Willistown Township, including Okehocking Preserve, is located in the Audubon designated Important Bird Area #72.
Valley Forge Audubon conducted a bird census over a decade that identified almost 140 different species of birds at Okehocking. View the VFA census list here.
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 System 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!
Okehocking Nature Center
The Okehocking Nature Center was a 501c3 non-profit organization that disbanded in 2016. The group made many contributions to Okehocking including building the hawk watch stand above the pole barn and working with Willistown Parks & Recreation to create the self-guided tour. 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 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.