Bellaire Woods Nature Preserve

This is a recreation managed preserve


The Seiders family donated this property to the Conservancy in 1999. An additional 14 acres were added in 2006.

Planning Your Walk

A well-worn cobbly path strewn with emerging trout lilies in early spring leads directly into the woods from the parking lot.  Once in the woods, the trail splits, creating a figure eight looping out to the newer trail.  The total trail length is estimated at 1.4 miles.

Printable Map

What to See & Do

Gently sloping, relatively open 52.4 acre third-growth woods. Huge boulders cover the lower end, creating picturesque vistas, microclimates for plants, and animal refuges. A slightly depressed trough with seepages provides habitat for moisture and bog-loving plants.  These seepages create two slow moving rivulets which converge into a small stream deep enough for small fish.

Skunk cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

Watershed Facts

Unnamed stream on preserve drains north to Conewago Creek, to Susquehanna River, to Chesapeake Bay.


Excellent for spring native wildflowers. About three dozen wildflowers typical of Lancaster County bloom during late April, early May. Three plants are relatively uncommon elsewhere:  dog violet (Viola conspersa), sand violet (V. adunca), and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), an unusual apetalous member of the buttercup family. In early spring the forest floor is a carpet of every common wildflower of our area except trillium and Virginia bluebells.

Spring Wildflowers

Spring Wildflowers

Common fern species number nine or ten, but there are unusually large numbers of rattlesnake fern and an occasional uncommon leathery grape fern (Botrychium multifidum).

Relatively tall, straight specimens of beech, tulip poplar, sycamore, and several oak and hickory species. About a dozen additional species of potentially very tall trees plus an almost equal number of understory varieties like redbud (Cercis canadensis), ironwood (Ostrya virginiana), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), and spice bush (Lindera benzoin).

Seasonal Info

Spring: Native woodland wildflowers

Summer: Cool stream microclimates

Autumn: Colorful fall foliage


The small stream is home to caddis flies and water stridders, plus chubs and dace, indicative of good water quality. Look for footprints of deer and raccoons in the soft streamside earth.

Hunting Regulations

Bellaire Woods is a designated “Archery Only” hunting spot.
It is unlawful to discharge a rifle or single projectile firearm at this preserve.
Violators will be charged as defiant trespassers. PA. C.S. 18 SS 3503(b)
Hunters attempting to recover wildlife are not permitted to enter private property without permission.

Hunting Map


Prospect Rd. parking area coordinates (decimal degrees): 40.18993, -76.56353

Prospect Road, Mount Joy Twp.

From Lancaster, follow PA 283 west to Elizabethtown/Rheems exit. North on Cloverleaf Rd, which becomes Green-tree Rd, for 2.2 miles to “T” intersection with Elizabethtown Rd. Right on Elizabethtown Rd. Right on Elizabethtown Rd, then first left onto Prospect Rd, one mile to parking area on right.

Prevent Tick Borne Illness!

  • Wear repellent
  • Check for ticks after your visit
  • Shower soon after being outdoors
  • Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash

For more information:

In case of emergency, call 911

Nearest Hospital: UPMC Pinnacle Lititz, 1500 Highlands Dr, Lititz, PA 17543


Additional Resources:

Fire Department Mount Joy (FDMJ), non-emergency number: (717) 653-1600

Mount Joy Borough Police Department, non-emergency number: (717) 653-1650



  • Hunting
  • Wildflowers
40.18989, -76.563612
Preserve Map
Points of Interest map:
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