June 13, 2021

Providing direction throughout the Forest Reserve at Smallwood

The Forest Reserve at Smallwood offers a dog park, walking loop, and five intersecting hiking trails throughout 134 acres of mixed hardwoods and conifers on hills, flats, and wetlands. Sightings and evidence of bear, beaver, coyote, deer, muskrat, turtles, heron, and array of other birds and wildlife can be witnessed.

One third of the tree truck missing but it still remain erect

Opened 365 days a year. Rain, Shine, Sleet or Snow to enjoy.

W Design worked with the Town of Bethel, Bethel Local Development Corporation, and the Forest Reserve Committee to develop a family of signs to provide direction to amenities and trails throughout the property. The directional signs provide color designated symbols to help guide users of all ages to their desired destination.

Once your deep into the acreage on Round Top mountain its easy to get disoriented, even for the regular trail user. These signs are helpful for a newcomer and the weekly trail runner.

The Town of Bethel and Bethel Local Development Corporation worked with the Delaware Highlands Conservancy to protect this community treasure.

“The Smallwood Forest Reserve permanently protects the source of clean drinking water for the community of Smallwood. This public park will also feature hiking trails and excellent opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation such as kayaking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing,” explains Melinda Meddaugh, former Land Protection Coordinator for the Conservancy. “We’re excited about our ongoing partnership with the Smallwood community, and look forward to hosting programs and educational events on the Forest Reserve.”

two brooks run through the reserve

Two streams, White Lake Brook and Lybott Brook—tributaries to the Swinging Bridge Reservoir—join together on the property, which also features numerous wetlands. Scenic vistas can be viewed from Ballard Road, Mohican Trail, Tomahawk Trail, and Golf Park Road. Healthy forests filter water that eventually reaches the Delaware River, the clean water source for millions of people in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

The benefits of protecting natural areas like the Forest Reserve at Smallwood are numerous, both for current and future generations. Communities with open spaces are great places to live, work, and play, with a high quality of life and healthier residents who spend time outdoors. Protected forests provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, and attract visitors which generates tourism revenue and strengthens the local economy. Scenic views and protected areas enhance property values, and intact landscapes can also provide a buffer from disturbance events such as floods.

While the Delaware Highlands Conservancy performed their monitoring process of the Reserve, Kate highlighted some of the features that W Design and the Forest Reserve Committee has pointed out to include in future education signage along the trails.

Check out this Wildlife Walk video.