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The Great Outdoors in Lancaster and Surrounding Areas

There is no better way to spend the summer than appreciating the beauty of the earth, and we’ve got just the places to visit this summer. Whether you like hiking, biking, or just appreciate looking at some beautiful scenery, there are options for everyone. Lancaster has so many beautiful places to see and appreciate, and its nature is one of its many beauties. 

Conewago Recreation Trail is located in Elizabethtown and is open from dawn to dusk. The trail is five miles long, and goes along the Conewago Creek, weaving through farmlands and woodlands. The trail has six street crossings and is level throughout, making it easy for younger ones and for running and biking. The trail was formerly known as the Cornwall-Lebanon Railroad, built in 1883. The trail was abandoned in 1972 due to a hurricane and was left abandoned until it was restored in 1979 by the County of Lancaster. 

Lancaster County Central Park is a goldmine of activities for everyone. Alongside the trails that go through beautiful fields, woods, and creeks, there are many other things to do in the park as well. The swimming pool is open Fridays and weekends through September fifth, from noon to seven. There is also one of the only skate parks in the county. The skate park is free and open year-round, for both advanced and beginner skaters. The garden of five senses is blooming with color and beautiful scents, as well as the sounds of singing birds and a water fountain. Set with a gazebo as well, the garden is a beautiful place to relax. 

Climbers Run has 113 acres of land to explore, with two miles of trails to venture out on. There are three main trails, Climbers Run Trail, Climbers Hollow Trail, and Camp Trail. Climbers Run goes through beautiful forests and lowlands. It runs through the Pequea Creek and Susquehanna River. Climbers Run also has wild brook trout in its waters, The pond and stream are designated as catch and release only spaces. 

Ferncliff Wildlife and Wildflower Preserve is a 1.4-mile hike to the river and back. The trail is plentiful with wildflowers and beautiful sights. There is a great amount of biodiversity in the preserve, making for a beautiful hike. There is also an abundance of birds, including bald eagles! See if you can spot some while you’re there, and count the different bird species you can find. 

Kelly’s Run Nature Preserve is a bit more of an advanced hike, featuring some of the most difficult hiking in Lancaster. Are you up to it? The trail is a 3.5-mile loop trail that goes as low as 180 feet to over 700 feet at its highest point. This one is definitely worth the effort though, running through marshes and hillside seeps. 

Pinnacle Scenic Overlook Nature Preserve has one of the most scenic views in all of Lancaster, overlooking the Susquehanna River. It has 2.75 miles of trails and even has access to the aforementioned Kelly’s Run trail. The hike is moderate to difficult though, so you can always just skip the hike and spend time looking over the beautiful river from the overlook. The view, however, is worth the hike, whether you end up doing it or not.  

Reed Run Nature Preserve offers a beautiful 3.1-mile loop along the Susquehanna, with connections to the Conestoga Trail. There are two gorgeous streams that empty directly into the Susquehanna, and an array of wildlife to observe — both a mix of field and forest habitats. 

Texter Mountain Nature Preserve is the highest point in all of Lancaster, standing at 1,180 feet. It has over two miles of hiking trails that cross through beautiful streams and springs, as well as beautiful ash trees, and a selection of birch, beech, and hickory trees.

If you venture out on any of these trails, be sure to take a photo and share it with us by using #casalancaster on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!