Bear Run Nature Reserve
Fallingwater is surrounded by the natural beauty of dense forests, rare plants and flowing streams of Bear Run Nature Reserve, a 5,100-acre natural area featuring a mature hemlock forest and rare native species.
Owned, protected and stewarded by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Bear Run Nature Reserve is located in Fayette and Somerset counties, offers year-round outdoor recreation opportunities and open for free to the public.
Before or after experiencing Fallingwater, visitors can hike 28 miles of trails, spend the night at a camp site or explore hundreds of different plants and animal species at the nature reserve. It hosts more than 500 plant and 53 bird species, and provides habitat for a variety of forest dwelling and aquatic wildlife. Nature lovers can also watch wildlife, fish and hunt on the reserve. As you plan your visit, please remember to first reserve a campsite online. And to stay safe and healthy as you explore Bear Run, please maintain social-distancing standards, step off-trail to let others pass and continue to follow leave-no-trace principles.
Bear Run Nature Reserve is integral to biodiversity conservation in the Laurel Highlands and the mid-Appalachian region. The Conservancy manages this natural area to protect, conserve and restore land and water for the diversity of the region’s native plants, animals and their ecosystems. The reserve also protects the watershed of Bear Run, which through the Conservancy’s efforts, has become an exceptional value stream, with the highest water quality designation available in Pennsylvania. A number of historic sites are located in the reserve, and indicate past land uses including farming, mining and logging.