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Nature Awaits : The Ultimate Guide to the Midstate's Parks, Preserves and Forests, Part 2

Lancaster & York Counties

A       Appalachian Trail
ATV  All-Terrain Vehicle Trails
B       Boating
BC    Bicycling
C       Camping/Cottages
DG    Disc Golfing
E       Educational Programs
F       Fishing
H      Hunting
HR   Horseback Riding Trails
HT    Hiking Trails
MB   Mountain Biking
O      Orienteering
RC   Rock Climbing
S      Swimming
SC   Scuba Diving

Photo gallery here.

Lancaster County

Chickies Rock County Park
881 Chickies Hill Road, Columbia
Spanning more than 422 acres, this park features Chiques Creek, Donegal Creek and parts of the Susquehanna River as well as a massive 100-foot outcropping of quartzite rock, hiking trails and impressive scenic views.
B, F, HT, RC

Conewago Recreation Trail

2385 N. Market St., Elizabethtown
Formerly the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail, this five-mile trail follows the Conewago Creek and is ideal for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Ferncliff Wildflower and Wildlife Preserve

Wildlife Preserve Road, Drumore
Recognized as a National Natural Landmark due to the old-growth forest, Ferncliff provides abundant flora and fauna (including bald eagles) to see as well as a 1.4-mile hiking trail down to the Susquehanna River.

Fishing Creek Nature Preserve

Fishing Creek Road, Drumore
A 2.1-mile trail runs through this 167-acre preserve, which offers a rare natural wild trout population in Fishing Creek.

Lake Grubb Nature Park

671 Hempfield Hill Road, Columbia
The site of a former iron-ore mine now filled with water to form Lake Grubb, this heavily wooded, 54-acre park has a one-mile hiking trail and numerous fishing areas.

Lancaster County Central Park

In West Lampeter Township, Central Park covers 544 acres and offers hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails as well as camping, swimming and the Garden of Five Senses.
C, E, HR, HT, S

Lancaster Junction Recreation Trail

101 Champ Blvd., Manheim
Traversing scenic farmland and bordering Chiques Creek, this 2.3-mile trail is a popular place for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Money Rocks County Park
936 Narvon Road, Narvon
In the Welsh Mountains of eastern Lancaster County, located near the Narvon Clay Mine, Money Rocks encompasses more than 300 acres of forest and rock outcroppings.

Muddy Run Park

172 Bethesda Church Road, Holtwood
On 700 acres in southern Lancaster County, camping and fishing on the 100-acre Muddy Run Lake and lots of hiking trails can all be found at this park.
B, C, F, HT

Silver Mine Park

Silver Mine Road, Pequea Township
Divided by Silver Mine Road, the over 150-acre park boasts hiking and biking trails, canoe launch and a catch-and-release fishing pond.
B, BC, F, HT, MB

Steinman Run Nature Preserve

Stump Road, Martic Township
Spanning 245 acres, this preserve features a 2.5-mile hiking trail as well as brook trout in Steinman Run.
F, H, HT

Susquehannock State Park

1880 Park Drive, Drumore
Situated on a wooded plateau overlooking the Susquehanna River, this 224-acre state park offers scenic views at Hawk Point Overlook and Wisslers Run Overlook as wells 5.6 miles of hiking trails.

Theodore A. Parker III Natural Area

Wesley Road, Quarryville
Hiking trails and a pristine stream (Stewart Run) flow through this 100-acre park named after the late, internationally known, Lancaster County ornithologist.

Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve

River Road, Martic Township
A 2.4-mile hiking trail, fishing and archery hunting can all be found at this 336-acre preserve in Martic Township.
F, H, HT

Turkey Hill Trail

River Road, Manor Township
This Manor Township trail features scenic vistas and secluded paths through a deciduous forest.  It is also home to the largest paw paw (a native, temperate fruit tree) patch north of the 39th parallel.
F, H, HT

York County

Apollo County Park
PA-425, Airville
Located in southeast York County, this 340-acre park boasts two streams (Wilson Run and Boyd Run) and close proximity to the Susquehanna River, and a portion of the 196-mile Mason-Dixon Trail runs through it.
B, C, F, H, HR, HT, MB

Codorus State Park
2600 Smith Station Road, Hanover

With 26 miles of shoreline around the 1,275-acre Lake Marburg, Codorus State Park occupies 3,490 acres within the rolling hills of southern York County.  Popular for fishing and boating, Codorus boasts 19 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
B, C, DG, E, F, H, HR, HT, MB, S, SC

Gifford Pinchot State Park

2200 Rosstown Road, Lewisberry
At 2,338 acres, Gifford Pinchot State Park is a full-service park with 18 miles of hiking trails and is a boating and angling paradise with the 340-acre Pinchot Lake.
B, BC, C, DG, E, F, H, HR, HT, S

High Point Scenic Vista and Recreation Area

1199 Hilts Road, Wrightsville
Overlooking the Susquehanna River, High Point Scenic Vista is just that – a serene location with breathtaking views surrounded by 79 acres of meadowlands.  The Mason-Dixon Trail also runs through the recreation area.

Native Lands Park

1664 Long Level Road, Wrightsville
Home to three different trail heads, which includes the Mason-Dixon Trail, this 160.5-acre park provides opportunity for hiking, kite-flying and bird-watching.

Richard M. Nixon County Park

5922 Nixon Drive, York
Six miles of hiking trails, 187 acres of meadow and a popular 14,000-square-foot nature center make up this Springfield Township park named for the 37th U.S. President.

Rocky Ridge County Park

400 Deininger Road, York
Gifted with scenic views of the Susquehanna Valley, a large oak forest and 12 miles of trails, the 750-acre Rocky Ridge Park is aptly named after the rock-strewn hilltop it occupies northwest of Hellam.

Samuel S. Lewis State Park

6000 Mt. Pisgah Road, York
Mt. Pisgah, an 885-foot-high ridge that separates Kreutz Creek and East Prospect valleys, this 85-acre park – perfect for flying kites – offers mowed grass fields, a pine plantation and mature woods.

Spring Valley County Park
Crest Road, Glen Rock
Made up of 868 acres of old agricultural fields and an aged forest, Spring Valley offers five miles of trails, horse show and practice rings, trout-stocked fishing and a dog-training area.
F, H, HR, HT, MB

William H. Kain County Park

274 Hess Farm Road, York
Encompassing two lakes (Lake Williams and Lake Redman), this 1,637-acre park offers ample fishing and boating opportunities as well as 12 miles of marked trails.
B, F, H, HR, HT, MB


A       Appalachian Trail
ATV  All-Terrain Vehicle Trails
B       Boating
BC    Bicycling
C       Camping/Cottages
DG    Disc Golfing
E       Educational Programs
F       Fishing
H       Hunting
HR    Horseback Riding Trails
HT     Hiking Trails
MB    Mountain Biking
O       Orienteering
RC    Rock Climbing
S       Swimming
SC    Scuba Diving

It is important to note that these parks, forests and nature preserves encompass hundreds, if not thousands, of acres of land. Many parks have multiple points of entry with no nearby landmarks or notable towns – some even cross county lines. The addresses included can accurately get visitors to within a few miles of the park, but at times are not the precise address for the park. Follow signs when possible, and please be aware of your surroundings.  Most of all, enjoy the natural beauty and grandness our area has to offer.

Compiling this guide was challenging for a number of reasons. Not every local park, ball field or recreational area could be added to the list. Our staff compiled the list with the idea of presenting parks and outdoor areas that offer the most to outdoorsmen and nature lovers.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation’s website at

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