May 13, 2021

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travel, Always a step ahead

Here are 13 great hiking trails in Lancaster County | Outdoors

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Temperatures in Lancaster County are starting to warm, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to visit one of the county’s several-hundred trails and parks.

Here are 13 great places to hike in Lancaster County, as determined by reviewers on Yelp and the Discover Lancaster website.

These trails offer something for everyone, from novice hikers to well-seasoned adventurers.


Chickies Rock County Park



Chickies Rock

A view of the Susquehanna River from Chickies Rock.




A short walk yields big rewards. The trails at Chickies Rock County Park lead to two overlooks, offering a view of the Susquehanna River. The park is part of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, which is a 14-mile trail.

More information: 881 Chickies Hill Road, Columbia | 717-299-8215 | Map


Climbers Run Nature Preserve



Waterfall

Marticville Middle School students release fingerling trout in Climbers Run after raising them from eggs in a program known as “Trout in the Classroom.” At far right in photo is social studies teacher Brad Aungst.




Two miles of hiking trails, a pollinator garden and several fishing locations are just a few things that make the Climbers Run Nature Preserve so special. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, or someone looking for a scenic escape, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for at Climbers Run.

More information: 226 Frogtown Road, Pequea | Website


Conestoga Greenway Trail



Lots of fans, little fanfare for Conestoga Greenway Trail

The Conestoga Greenway Trail is an urban trail through woods and neighborhoods along the Conestoga River. (Ad Crable / Staff)




Labeled as a “great starter trail” by a visitor on TrailLink, Conestoga Greenway Trail is known as a great place to ride bikes or take a walk. It’s also wheelchair accessible.

More information: 407 S Broad Street, Lancaster | 717-299-8000 | Map


Enola Low-Grade Trail



Weather March 11 2021

Debbie G walks along the Enola Low Grade trail near Rt. 222 in Providence Township Thursday, March 11, 2021.




The Enola Low Grade Trail features nearly 29 miles of hiking trails in disconnected sections. It goes from the Susquehanna to Atglen, Chester County.

More information: There are several entry points for this trail. Here are the parking directions and maps.


Northwest Lancaster County River Trail



White Cliffs.jpg

The long view of the Susquehanna River from the White Cliffs of Conoy on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail near Bainbridge.




This 13-mile trail stretches along the Susquehanna River. There are several different shorter paths to take in the trail, many of which featuring historical Lancaster County treasures, like abandoned canal locks and iron furnaces.

More information: 717-449-5607 | Website | Map


State-Line Serpentine Barrens



OUTDOOR TRAILS: Try Serpentine Barrens for a unique autumn hike

Fallen acorns in Chrome Serpentine Barrens. (Ad Crable/Lancaster Newspapers)


Serpentine grasslands are comprised of “thin soils covering light green bedrock, [containing] high levels of nickel, chromium, and other metals that prove toxic to most plants and animals.”

The animals that live here are often endangered, but have adapted to the harsh conditions.

In these barrens is a hiking trail that has eight miles of rare flowers, plants, rock formations and abandoned quarries.

More information: Park Road, Nottingham | 717-232-6001 | Map


Lake Grubb



Explore Lake Grubb Nature Park

This is the view overlooking Lake Grubb from the three-quarter-mile marker on the trail. (Lindsey Blest)


A smaller trail for beginners, Lake Grubb Nature Park was the former site of an iron ore mine. For those looking for a place to hike, fish and grill, this is the place! 

The trail is one mile long, as well as a quarter-mile ADA accessible trail.

More information: 671 Hempfield Road, Columbia | 717-285-5554 | Map


Conewago Recreation Trail



Conewago Trail 3

Bicycling on Lancaster County’s Conewago Trail.




This trail is one of Lancaster County’s only rail trails — it spans along the Cornwall-Lebanon rail line, eventually connecting to the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.

The trail is five miles long and offers scenic views of farmlands and the Coneqago Creek.

More information: 2385 N Market Street, Elizabethtown | 717-299-8220 | Map


Lancaster County Central Park



en plein air painter

A Pennsylvania College of Art & Design student works on an en plein air landscape painting along the Conestoga River in Lancaster County Central Park in this 2013 file photo. 




Lancaster County Central Park is a massive expanse of greenery and open space, apt for recreational sports and get-togethers. It also has 13 miles of hiking trails throughout the park.

More information: 1050 Rockford Road, Lancaster | Trail guide and map


Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area



Middle Creek features trails, tranquillity

Picnic tables offer seating overlooking the lake in a pavilion at the end of the Willow Point Trail at Middle Creek. (Blaine T. Shahan / Staff)


The outdoor haven known for the snow geese migration also has a great hiking trail. The Conservation Trail is about 1.5 miles long and offers scenic views of wildflowers, trees and wetlands. 

More information: 100 Museum Road, Stevens | 717-733-1512 | Map


Kellys Run Nature Preserve



Kelly's Run

Kelly’s Run Trail is Lancaster County’s only national trail.




A large environmental area in southern Lancaster County, Kelly’s Run Nature Preserve offers a several different rock climbing and walking experiences. Pollinator Park, located within the preserve, is an effort put forward to plant and sustain local flora and fauna.

Their trails range from easy to difficult, making it a great spot for experienced hikers and novices alike.

More information: 9 New Village Road, Holtwood | 800-354-8383 | Map/Directions


Shiprock Woods Nature Preserve



Ravine and stream highlight trail at Shiprock Woods Nature Preserve

A bridge passes over a stream at the end of the path near Shiprock Road at Shiprock Woods Nature Preserve.




This ~1 mile trail boasts two unnamed tributaries of the Pequea Creek, as well as a variety of different flora and fauna. You may see white-tailed deer, turkey, foxes and more. 

Fun fact: It’s thought that the preserve was named Shiprock because there was a rock in the Pequea Creek that was allegedly the size of a ship.

More information: 2414 Shiprock Rd, Willow Street | 717-392-7891 | Map


Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail Trail



WarmWeather002.jpg

People enjoy the warm weather as they walk on the Warwick-to-Ephrata-Trail near Winters Leadership Memorial in Ephrata Sunday March 7, 2021.




This eight-mile trail connects Lititz, Akron and Ephrata. There are a few covered bridges to see along the way.

More information: Start/end points: Hazel Alley and Acorn Alley in Ephrata; N. Oak St. between Front St. and SR 772/E. Main St. in Lititz | Map


The Lancaster Conservancy overlooks all Lancaster County preserves. Their mission is to “provide wild and forested lands and clean waterways for our community. Forever.” For more information, visit their website.


Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2019 and has been updated to add a few more hiking options.

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