Conestoga Trail


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The Conestoga Trail System (CTS) developed, maintained and protected by the Lancaster Hiking Club has its northern terminus at the old Lebanon Pumping station just off route 322. The CTS offers scenes of the many different land uses and natural terrain that exist in Lancaster County. It crosses rich farmland, passes pleasant residential areas, glimpses of highly industrialized sites, meanders through the Lancaster County Central Park, and climbs about in the River Hills. In tracing creeks and rivers the CTS crosses and recrosses them by a variety of means. There are covered bridges, a cable bridge, the more modern bridges as the Norman Wood Bridge and inevitable rock hopping, which is necessary at times. In July 2010, work was completed on the Conestoga Greenway, a 1.3 mile multi-use, paved, riverside trail at the heart of the CTS from Conestoga Drive near Bridgeport to Lancaster County Central Park at the Duke Street bridge in Lancaster Township and the city.

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south duke st. bridge reopened  
By trailkeeper on Jan 08, 2012 trail review rating icon - 3 stars

The South duke st. bridge was reopened at the end of December 2011, so you can now access Central park from the Conestoga Greenway. Also, the link on the left side of the page for more info on the Conestoga Trail is now correct. The Section of the Conestoga Trail between Holtwood Arboreteum and the Norman Wood Bridge is still closed due to the ongoing construction for the expansion of the Holtwood Power Plant. Use Crystal Road as a detour route.  
South Duke St bridge closed, wrong url.  
By trailkeeper on Jul 23, 2011 trail review rating icon - 3 stars

Two Items- The South Duke street bridge over the Conestoga River is closed for redecking until the end of 2011. Thru trail users should use Millport Rd to Lampeter road going northbound to reconnect with the trail at Pitney rd at Bridgeport. The Link on the left side of the page is incorrect. Maps for the Conestoga Trail are available at Ken Fillo -Lancaster hiking club trail maintenance coordinator and webmaster. Click on "trail conditions and updates" for a map of the detour.  
Path across Lancaster  
By jmcginnis11 on Jul 04, 2011 trail review rating icon - 2 stars

Like the Mason Dixon Trail, its counterpart across the Susquehanna, the Conestoga Trail consists primarily of a series of hiking paths connected by long, onroad sections. The longest continuous offroad section, in northern Lancaster County, is a primitive footpath that meanders through a mix of dense forests and picturesque farmland that will be a memorable experience for any avid hiker. However, much of the next section, from Akron southwest to Lancaster, is mainly onroad. While these roads are intially rural and lightly used, traffic increases as you enter the suburbs near the city, requiring caution. The most developed section of the Conestoga Trail consists of a mile-long greenway that runs along the west shore of the Conestoga River on the southeast side of Lancaster, from Belz Road to Duke Street. Technically a separate trail, this paved, relatively level portion was constructed in 2010 and differs radically from the primitive footpaths to the north and south. Although some hardcore hikers may be disappointed by the "civilized" nature of this section, it passes primarily through wooded land along the banks of the river, and retains much of the serenity of the more "wild" sections despite being so close to a city. The multi-use portion of the Conestoga Trail ends at the Duke Street trailhead. From here, users are directed onto a sidewalk that runs along Duke Street on a bridge across the Conestoga River, then take an immediate right onto a road that takes them into Lancaster County Central Park. After passing through the park via a network of footpaths, the trail follows busy Route 222 for a small section, before taking numerous suburban and rural roads into southern Lancaster County. Aside from a small section between Conestoga Blvd. and Main Street in Conestoga Township, the trail is almost entirely onroad from here to Martic Forge, where it passes beneath the abandoned trestle on the now-defunct Enola Low-Grade Railroad Line (soon to be rehabilitated for use by a rail trail), then follows an abandoned trolley line along Pequea Creek, to the Susquehanna River. South from Pequea, the trail is almost entirely offroad to Holtwood. This section, which passes along the bluffs lining the Susquehanna River, is easily the "wildest" part of the Conestoga Trail. Though the rugged terrain and steep slopes make it best suited for experienced hikers, the trail offers some breathtaking scenery for those willing to make the effort. The southernmost section of the Conestoga Trail officially crosses the Norman Wood Bridge, ending at the Mason Dixon Trail at the York County border. However, due to the high speeds of many vehicles on Route 372, and the complete absence of any accomodations for foot traffic on the bridge, I do not recommend doing this. In short, while the Conestoga Trail literally provides a cross-section of Lancaster County landscapes to users, and passes several covered bridges and other historical and natural sites on its route, the long distances along some potentially dangerous roads and the absance of any accomodations for fott traffic on these onroad portions gives it a lower roating than it would otherwide deserve.  

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Trail Counter - Total Trail Count: 650 * Total Mileage: 12,000
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