The Susquehannock Indians historically lived in the mountains and their burial grounds can still be found at the top. Many archaeological sites were identified within two miles to the northwest and southwest, and a greater distance to the northeast, east, and north. Welsh Mountains were named in the 1700s when they were settled by Webb immigrants, who purchased huge tracts of land from William Penn because they reminded them of their homeland. By 1940, it appears that there were three areas which contain structures that includes an area in the northwestern portion of the preserve along Mill Stream (in the approximate area of the stone ruins), an area in the north-central portion of the preserve just off of Gault Road (up to four structures, likely a house and support structures) and an area in the southeastern portion of the preserve (up to three structures including a house and two additional support structures). One area associated with the southeastern portion of the preserve was farmed in the past and now appears to be an overgrown orchard.
Things to See & Do
Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve is one of Lancaster County’s few remaining natural areas. An area of wooded slopes and rock outcroppings, this land supports a diversity of plant and animal life. Public trails along the rugged ridgeline provide scenic vistas of Amish farms in the valleys below. The preserve also protects the views from the Conestoga Water Trail, as well as hiking trails through the woodlands. An extensive network of trails already exists on the preserve north of Gault Road.
Biological inventory surveys show that there are at least 158 plant species found at Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve. There is a large variety of deciduous hardwoods, and much of the vegetation is of uniform height and species with a sparse understory. There is also an abundance of rare ferns and wildflowers found on the preserve, including carrion flower, pink lady slipper, striped wintergreen, white Campion, and many more.
Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve has species that are very common to Pennsylvania, including white tailed deer and wild turkey. Hunting is allowed at this preserve due to the substantial populations of these animals. Different species of songbirds and woodpeckers are a common sight for hikers of Welsh Mountain as well. A thorough biological inventory would be beneficial to the site to identify further species of concern known to be in the surrounding region and to study species within threatened areas to protect and improve fauna habitat.
Hunting is allowed at Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve.
From Lancaster City, PA: Take PA-23 E/E Chestnut Street to US 30 W. Take the exit onto US-222 W toward Ephrata/Reading. Take the US-322 exit toward Ephrata and turn right onto US-322 E/Division Highway for approximately 7.5 miles. Turn right onto PA-897 S/Springville Rd and then turn left onto Gault Road. Drive 1 mile to the Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve parking area located on the north side of Gault Road. Look for the Lancaster County Conservancy Welsh Mountain Preserve Sign.