Walking Opportunities in Lancaster County
Updated July 17, 2011
This page attempts to document all current and future walking trails in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Concentration is on trails longer than the "0.5 mile" type trails found in parks, particularly in rail trails and trails
along former canals.
Many of the updates come from newspaper articles. I have a number I have not yet incorporated into this document. Some updates come from personal visits, which can be distilled into short comments quicker. Also check my
blog site which is often updated within hours of visiting one of these walking opportunities.
Due to many other opportunities in adjacent York and Lebanon Counties, I am considering expaning this page to include these counties.
Outside of parks
A November 7, 2008 New Era
article briefly mentions the line in conjunction with the controversial demolition of the Route 222 overpass in Quarryville.
- Atglen (also Enola) Low Grade Rail Line
- A 2005 Bull Sheet Monthly news article discusses the entire 33.9 mile stretch and includes a map. It also notes that in 1996, then-owner Conrail sold a portion, from milepost 1.5 and 4.0.
- A September 24, 2008 New Era article announced that Providence, Bart, Conestoga, Martic, Eden and Sadsbury townships became the owners of this 23-mile abandoned rail line, formerly part of Pennsylvania Railroad's Atglen & Susquehanna Branch, from Norfolk Southern. Some of the townships are discussing using the property for trails. The abandoned line extends from Atglen in Chester County to Safe Harbor.
- The September 28, 2008
Sunday News had an article where a reporter biked/walked the length of this line. The Web version includes color photos that were black-and-white in print. Also in the same edition is an article on the Manor Township stretch of the rail, still owned by Norfolk Southern, and the township's plans once ownership of the property is sold. (No freely accessible on-line text of this article was found.)
A January 28, 2010 Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era article discusses Amtrak backing out of its plans to build a trail along the line.
- Cocalico Creek Trail (added 10/16/2009)
- Found mention of this trail in an old Ephrata Township planning document (1995) but was unknown before. Documents a decade later indicated that funding for this proposed trail was dropped, although the 2008 Cocalico Creek Watershed Restoration Plan still mentions this seven-mile trail as "proposed". Committee agendas for 2009 indicate it to be a topic of discussion and other documents indicate construction may begin in 2013. Item for research: mention of linking this trail with a rail-to-trail path (Ephrata Railroad Linear Park?) to form a circular walking route around the town.
- Conoy Canal Trail (updated 7/17/2011)
- A 3.75-mile trail in Conoy Township that follows the Conewago Canal from Bainbridge to Falmouth.
Based on a project plan from the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area, this trail will be the northernmost section of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, and will, perhaps by 2012, be connected to the existing trail starting at Riverfront Park in East Donegal via a trail built in partnership between Conoy Township and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. The Community Facilities Plan in the township's
Comprehensive Plan has a map including this trail on page 63.
- Conestoga Greenway Trail [Map] (updated 7/17/2011)
A 1.3 mile trail following a loop of the Conestoga River from Conestoga Creek Park to a point near the intersection of Betz Road and S. Conestoga Drive, passing through both Lancaster Township and the City of Lancaster.
- Conestoga Trail System
- Runs from Pumping Station Road in northern Lancaster County where it intersects with the Horse-Shoe Trail to Lock 12 in York County where it intersects with the Mason-Dixon Trail, and is 63 miles in length. The
PPL Web site
describes a portion from Lock 12 to Martic Forge, and a map on the
York Hiking Club's site
shows the trail running past Millersville, through Lancaster, and toward Lebanon County. The trail connects with the Mason-Dixon Trail near Lake Aldred. The
Lancaster Hiking Club's site has a guide to the system and maps of the entire length. This trail is indicated as appropriate for experienced hikers, although the section in Lancaster's Central Park is rated as easy to moderate.
- Conewago Recreation Trail
[Map] (updated 7/17/2011)
- Formerly the Cornwall-Lebanon Rail Line, this trail runs 5 miles following the Conewago Creek from Route 230 in West Donegal Township to the border with Lebanon County in Mount Joy Township. The trail continues as the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail until it ends at 8th Street in the city of Lebanon. There is a youtube video of a meeting where the feasibility of extending the trail to Swatara State Park in Schuylkill County was discussed.
Personal note: on October 21, 2010 I started walking this trail in Elizabethtown and on November 28 I stood at the end of the trail at 8th Street in Lebanon.
- Conewago Trail - Ebserole farm connector trail
- The Lancaster County Conservancy has purchased 112 acres of former farmland near Elizabethtown. As noted in the October 2008 edition of Susquehanna Outdoors, the county will give the conservancy an easement to build a trail connecting the farmland and the Conewago Rail Trail.
- Ephrata Railroad Linear Park Trail (updated 10/16/2009)
- In 2007, approximately 4800 linear feet from East Fulton Street to Sycamore Road at Pointview Avenue were available. In 2008 the section from Fulton Street to Main Street were completed. (Ephrata Borough web site.)
- Farmingdale Trail (added 10/16/2009)
- This trail was opened to public use on September 18, 2009. Built on the site of an old county dump in East Hempfield which was purchased by the county to avoid liability issues, this trail has three miles of looping trails. The September 17, 2009
Intelligencer Journal article suggests future connection with F&M's Baker Campus and Long's Park. The parking area is on Good Drive, north of Marietta Avenue, just after the railroad tracks.
- Franklin & Marshall Urban Conservancy (added 12/15/2010)
The September 229, 2010
Intelligencer Journal/New Era article discusses F&M's intention to convert a 44-acre plot of woods and wetlands off Harrisburg Pike into an urban conservancy. Just across the Little Conestoga Creek is the Farmingdale Trail.
- Horse-Shoe Trail
- Crosses the northern part of the county for 24.2 miles, passing through SGL 15 and 46 in the western part of the county and comes near Denver and Adamstown in the eastern part.
- Kelly's Run - Pinnacle Trail System
- Seven miles of trails between the Holtwood Environmental Preserve and Pinnacle Overlook:
There is also a connection to the Conestoga Trail.
- Kelly's Run Trail, 4 miles in length
- Pine Tree Trail, 1.5 miles in length
- Pinnacle Trail, 1 mile in length
- Oliver Patton Trail, .75 miles in length
- Fire Line Trail, .75 miles in length
- Lancaster Junction Recreation Trail
[Map] (typos fixed 10/16/2009)
- Formerly part of the Reading-Columbia rail line, this trail runs 2.3 miles from the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center just of 283 to Auction Road in Lancaster Junction.
- Lititz/Warwick Trailway and Newport Square Public Trail (updated 11/15/2009)
Lititz/Warwick Trailway, on a section of the former Reading Railroad, runs from Clay Road (Warwick Township, across the street from the township building) to Oak Street (Lititz Borough) for 0.67 miles and includes some sites of historic interest. Newport Square Public Trail breaks off of the Trailway about 1/3 the way from Clay Road and after .83 miles ends at East Newport Rd.
- Northwest Lancaster County River Trail (rewritten 07/17/2011)
This is a proposed 14.5 mile trail, well documented by this project plan on the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area's Web site. It is a trail from Falmouth to Columbia, passing through Conoy, East Donegal, and West Helpfield townships and Marietta and Columbia boroughs, following the path of the Pennylvania Canal towpath. This document is undated (although it does mention the section of trail in East Donegal) so until I read the whole thing I can't be sure if it is more recent than the following news items:
Based on the map in the SGHA project plan, what is now known as the "Conoy Canal Trail" will be the upper portion of this trail.
- The New Era reported on September 19, 2008 that the Lancaster County Solid Waste management Authority purchased property in Conoy Township to be used as a trailhead.
- A October 27, 2009, the Intel Journal/New Era article announced the opening of a 2.3-mile section of this trail (part of which, at least, is known as the Charles Greenway) from Riverfront Park in East Donegal to Decatur Street in Marietta. I visited this section a few days later and blogged about it. On July 17, 2011, I returned and found some mile markers I don't remember being there. I also found the trail continues in an unpaved manner below Decatur Street until the boat club.
- An article I might have missed indicates county commissioners awarded a contract for the design of a bridge across Chiques Creek; its completion is described as a crticial link for the trail.
- Warwick Township Linear Park
- Park spanning Warwick Township and Lititz Borough has 4,500 feet of trail. Unclear if this is the same as the Lititz to Warwick Bikeway noted above.
- Warwick Township to Ephrata Borough Rail to Trail
- Central Park [Map]
- The Conestoga Trail passes through the park, which has several trails itself.
These trails are documented in a county brochure.
- East Petersburg Community Park
- Listed in Lancaster ON THE MOVE! as having 2-3/4 miles of walking paths. See my
blog entries for details of my visits.
- Long's Park
- Located in Lancaster City just across Route 30 from Park City Center.
Added one Enola Low Grade article on February 1, 2010.
- Villages of Springton Valley Community Park
- Listed as Jacob's Creek Park in Lancaster ON THE MOVE! but renamed recently, this
park is in East Hempfield Township at the end of Sylvan Road near the intersection of Route 30 and Rohrerstown Road.
Added article on F&M "Urban parkway" on December 14, 2010.
Updated or rewrote several entries on July 17, 2011.
Check out Lancaster ON THE MOVE!