Bear Run Nature Reserve (BRNR), the largest property owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, is located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania.
BRNR is managed to protect, conserve and restore land and water for the diversity of the region’s native plants, animals, and their ecosystems. Streams and watersheds, forests, and common and rare native species are the focus of management. BRNR is integral to biodiversity conservation in the Laurel Highlands and the mid-Appalachian region.
Second-growth hardwood and hemlock forests, characteristic of this region, are the primary land cover in the reserve. Four high-gradient clear water streams flow through BRNR land. The reserve protects almost all of the Bear Run and Laurel Run drainages, as well as portions of seven other drainages, including the Youghiogheny River. The Bear Run and upper Lick Run drainages in BRNR are designated Biological Diversity Areas (BDA) due to the presence of species of state and federal concern.
BRNR, with a network of trails (download map) and campsites offers year-round outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. A number of historic sites are located in the reserve, and indicate past land uses including farming, mining and logging.
Fallingwater, the house designed for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is located in the reserve. The Kaufmann family donated Fallingwater and core parcels of BRNR to the WPC in 1963.