Fall Hikes in Lancaster County, PA
Crisp air, beautiful foliage, breathtaking scenery- Lancaster is a great place to hike and explore the outdoors this fall. It offers everything from challenging trails to more moderate walks that can be utilized by all different ages and abilities. Check out our list below of great trails in and around Lancaster County. As always with hiking and outdoor activities, be sure to assess the weather and fitness level of everyone in your group before heading out. Plus, be sure to pack plenty of water. So hit the trails- maybe we will see you out there!
Hiking with Kids:
There are plenty of trail options around Lancaster that allow little ones to explore the wild world and ease into hiking.
The Farmingdale Trail offers a path along the Little Conestoga Creek through winding woods, a wildflower meadow, and wetlands. This path also has picnic tables and a dog play area, so Fido can come too! In total this hike is 1.7 miles.
If you are looking for something a bit longer, the Chestnut Grove Natural Area offers 5 different trails which go through wetlands, meadows, and woods of the River Hills area. Hikers, leashed dogs, and horseback riders are welcome throughout the park.
The Ferncliff Wildlife and Wildflower Nature Preserve allows hikers to take in natures beauty through all four seasons. In the spring this preserve is abounding with wildflowers as well as native trees like beeches, hemlocks, sycamores, and white oaks. In the fall, many tree groves provide great foliage. Being that this park is a wildlife preserve, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding are prohibited.
Located in the center of the County, Lancaster County Central Park is also the largest park in the County. Within the park are a number trails which can be combined based on the length of hike you wish to take. These trails pass through fields, woods, and across creeks. There are also a number of picnic areas and pavilions which guest can use to rest and refuel from the day’s activities.
The Susquehannock State Park is a 224-acre state park which has a number of hikes. Visitors can take in panoramic views of the Susquehanna River as a reward for their efforts. Several different overlook trails in the park such as Hawk Point Overlook, Pinnacle Overlook, Urey Overlook, and Wisslers Run Overlook provide great hikes and even better photo backdrops.
Spanning over 300-acres of woodland (no, this is not where Winnie the Pooh lives) Money Rocks County Park is a great place to hike in the Welsh Mountains of Lancaster, PA. The rocky spine of boulders are aptly named “Money Rocks” because it is alleged this is where Pequea Valley farmers hid their cash amongst the rocks. Be sure to take in the view from the Cockscomb outcropping.
The Trout Run Nature Preserve offers a trail system through heavily wooded areas and along the Pequea Creek. There are many fishing spots along the way with beautiful vistas through the ravine. In total this hike is approximately 2.2 miles.
Tucquan Glen provides a great hiking trail through the heart of a ravine. The trail- an old logging road- leads down to railroad tracks at the half way point, looping back to make a 2.6 mile hike round trip. This hike is rocky and steep in some spots so be sure to watch your footing.
Similar to Tucquan Glen, the hike through Kellys Run Nature Preserve switchbacks over the creek, offering many fun and challenging crossings and beautiful waterfalls. For an added challenge head up to Pinnacle Overlook- although it is steep the view is worth the work!
For the Avid Adventurers:
If you want to step your game (and your altitude) up there are rock climbing spots off of the Enola Low Grade Trail and Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. These challenging climbs are popular amongst locals and visitors alike. These climbs offer beautiful views of the Susquehanna River. If you need climbing equipment, Chiques Rock Outfitters offers gear and group rates.
Both of these rail trails are also perfect for walking, running, and cycling along the river. Dogs are also able to use the trails but must be kept on a leash. For information on other rail trails in Lancaster County please see here.
Wherever you adventure, be sure to snap a picture or two to share with us using #DiscoverLancaster.