Get out and explore!
There’s plenty of adventure to go around and in the Susquehanna Riverlands, there are endless miles of trails to choose from.
On a scale from easy, moderate, to difficult, we are highlighting 1 trail from each for you to try on your next visit to the Susquehanna Riverlands. Get your hiking shoes ready. ????
Northwest Lancaster County River Trail -Easy
The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail is a multi-purpose, public recreation trail approximately 14 miles long, spanning five municipalities at the northwestern edge of Lancaster County.
The trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal and uses some of the original towpath that remains along the corridor. This provides ample opportunities to interpret the numerous industrial archaeological remains such as abandoned canal locks; the iron furnaces at Chickies Rock; and the old quarry operation at Billmeyer.
The trail also connects the historic river towns and villages of Columbia, Marietta, Bainbridge, and Falmouth. The current condition of the trail varies throughout the corridor, but there are several miles of developed trail that’s paved and the remaining section of trail is gravel.
Check out the new GoogleMap from the Susquehanna National Heritage Area that reveals all of the Features and Heritage Sites on the NW Lancaster Co. River Trail!
Enola Low Grade Rail Trail-Moderate
The Enola Low Grade Rail Trail follows the Atglen and Susquehanna Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad is open for nearly 29 miles in partially finished segments. This hiking and biking trail runs through several townships and each manages its own section, so trail conditions may vary among them.
It follows an abandoned right-of-way of the old Atglen and Susquehanna Branch, one of several branch lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad that linked Atglen with the Harrisburg area. There are many sites to explore along the trail. You will find old railroad tunnels and bridges, interesting rock formations and beautiful views of the Susquehanna River along the way.
In some places there is heavy ballast where wide tires are recommended if you’re biking. In other places the trail has been improved with gravel. A beautiful riverfront section in Manor Township is complete for 5.25 miles. Scenic hiking can be found in the Conestoga Township section then gravel begins again in Providence Township near the little town of Quarryville.
The Mason-Dixon Trail connects the Appalachian Trail to the Brandywine Trail. This 193-mile long trail starts at Whiskey Springs, on the Appalachian Trail, in Cumberland County, PA and heads east towards the Susquehanna River, passing through Pinchot State Park. The trail then follows the west bank of the Susquehanna south to Havre de Grace in Maryland.
The 30-mile section of the 193-mile Mason-Dixon Trail is a hiking trail that follows the lower Susquehanna River in York County, PA. This section of trail designated as a National Recreation Trail, the hiking path follows the western slopes of the Susquehanna River Gorge between Wrightsville and Norman Wood Bridge (Pa route 372) is blue blazed.
There are beautiful views, deep ravines with waterfalls, and several big climbs and descents to where streams have carved out canyons in the river hills. Along river hillsides you will find rock formations, stream crossings and scenic overlooks add to the beautiful setting of the Susquehanna River valley.