Climbers Run Nature Preserve


This is a recreation managed preserve

Size: approximately 82.808 acres


The old stone farmhouse and bank barn were built in the 1860’s.The Snyder family donated the farm to the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster in the early 1960’s, calling the property Camp Snyder. The Boys & Girls Club used Camp Snyder as a youth summer camp. For several years the camp was left unoccupied. In 2012, the Conservancy purchased the 75.95 acre property and received an adjacent 6.877 acre tract donated by the Schneider family and Mount Airy Lumber, to the preserve bringing the total acreage to 82.827. Thanks to our many wonderful partners, the Conservancy was able to acquire the Boys & Girls Club property, renaming it Climbers Run Nature Preserve. A $640,800 Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant was received. The match was satisfied by a 40 acre land gift donated by Andy Appel, now designated Appel Preserve.

The Conservancy renamed the preserve “Climbers Run” to recognize the native brook trout stream on the preserve. This site is also the location of the Conservancy’s Climbers Run Education Center. The center continues to undergo renovations to accommodate research and educational opportunities and conduct workshops, environmental events and programming for public benefit as a result of support from private donors, foundations and, grants.

Planning Your Hike

This preserve is a great place to walk, hike, or simply observe wildlife. This preserve hosts diverse habitats including a pond, wetland, forest, meadows, and native brook trout stream that support a healthy ecological landscape. There is an array of spots along the stream offering opportunities to reflect in nature and provide an outdoor classroom experience.

The property contains two miles of hiking trails. There are three main trails:

Climbers Run Trail (blue trail): Start the trail at the upper or lower parking area and cruise the loop to see the various types of habitat Climbers Run has to offer. Crossing the stream may mean getting your feet wet–except for the dry season (July and August)–so come prepared.

Climbers Hollow Trail (white trail): This trail to the east provides a scenic view of cascading waterfalls tumbling over rock through forested terrain.

Camp Trail (yellow trail): Visitors leave from the Center and follow the pathway to the pond and over the existing old footbridge to the meadow area by the lower cabins. From the meadow there are two ways to access the Climbers Run Trail (blue trail). Enjoy a picnic lunch by the stream.

There are several old logging roads or trails not included on the map that are under review for improvements.

Of Special Note: The Education Center at Climbers Run Nature Preserve is proud to be certified as a Penn State Pollinator Friendly Garden. During your visit observe the Conservancy’s efforts to use local native plants in projects including the rain garden, meadows, and the wildlife habitat and stream restoration project to support pollinator diversity and abundance. Certify your garden or landscape via the Penn State College of Agriculture Sciences, Center for Pollinator Research at Let’s join together to support a more pollinator-friendly landscape.

Printable Map

Flora IMG_9957

This Preserve is dominated by tree species such as oaks, hickory, dogwood, ash, tulip poplar, some hemlock and white pine, and sycamores. Below the canopy you can find various shrub species such as smooth hydrangea, spicebush, mountain laurel, and rosebay rhododendron. An abundance of ferns, violets, mayapple, Solomon’s seal, and other wildflowers can also be found. Woodland edges and dry to wet meadows showcase skunk cabbage, turk’s cap lily, swamp milkweed, asters, goldenrods and native grasses throughout the season. The Conservancy is actively managing invasive species including garlic mustard, tree of heaven, exotic honeysuckles, multiflora rose, and Norway maple that are competing with desirable native vegetation.

Seasonal Information

Spring: Native woodland wildflowers including trout lily, spring beauty, false hellebore, and trees / shrubs like swamp azalea, dogwoods, redbuds, and more.

Summer: Joe pye weed, phlox, cardinal flower, and elderberry highlight this season.

Autumn: Colorful fall foliage of native deciduous trees like oaks, black gum, shrubs including winterberry, shrub dogwoods, and herbaceous plants including asters and goldenrods.


Over 90 bird species have been observed at Climbers Run including ruby-throated hummingbirds, northern cardinals, turkey vultures, bluebirds, wood ducks, pileated woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, and Carolina wrens. Twenty-four species of amphibians and reptiles including numerous frogs, toads, and snakes have been documented. There is a diverse population of native plants that provide essential nectar and pollen sources for pollinators like bees, butterflies, and moths. The Preserve is a critical habitat to thousands of species of plants that support fungi and aquatic species such as fish and macroinvertebrates like stoneflies and water pennies.

Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles are prohibited off of roads on Climbers Run Nature Preserve. Violators are aggressively prosecuted. Please review Rules and Regulations posted at the preserve.

Hunting Regulations

Climbers Run is not open for hunting. 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)


 The pond and stream are designated as “Catch and Release Only, Artificial Lure & Barbless Hook.” Please remember to wear your fishing license as per the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Rules and Regulations.

Please Note: Visitors may be asked to refrain from visiting the preserve during Summer Camp activities June through October between 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. A schedule of open/closed dates and times will be posted.

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:


Address: 226 Frogtown Road, Pequea, PA 17565

Parking area coordinates (decimal degrees): 39.92217, -76.29704

From Lancaster, take S Prince Street PA-272 S/US-222 S/. Turn slight right onto PA-324 S. Turn left at the traffic light for New Danville PA-324 S/PA-741 E. At the next light, continue straight on PA-324 S. At Marticville, turn left onto Frogtown Road and the Climbers Run preserve entrance will be on your right.


Susquehanna Riverlands Research & Education Center 

For more information about the Susquehanna Riverlands Research & Education Center and the Climbers Run Nature Preserve please contact Lydia Martin, Director of Education,, 717-392-7891 Ext. 215.

About the Education Center

The Climbers  Run Education Center is housed in a converted historic barn. The Education Center is located within the Susquehanna Riverlands, a DCNR conservation landscape. The property is located within walking distance of a middle school and is less than 30 minutes from Lancaster City, offering numerous opportunities in nature for all ages especially youth.

In 2010 the Conservancy completed an extensive environmental education needs assessment in Lancaster County. This effort uncovered a void in environmental education for all age groups. As a result of these findings the Conservancy has been working to increase nature awareness and build a stronger environmental connection through outreach activities within schools, outdoor classroom initiatives, and hands-on environmental education programming at the Center and throughout the region on other Conservancy preserves.

The Climbers Run Education Center is a unique opportunity for the Conservancy to offer programming within the Susquehanna Riverlands. The Conservancy actively engages with environmental education and research partners including NorthBay, Scouts, Lancaster County Parks, the Lancaster County Conservation District, North Museum, and local colleges and universities to support education and research programming and outreach at the center and on this preserve.IMG_0853 Horizons

We work with our partners in support of education programs and field trips with school districts and urban youth programs like Horizons, Milagro House, The Mix at Arbor Place, Lancaster Rec, and others by investing in the lives of our children.

If you are a school, church or other conservation group interested in a Field Trip from September through June please contact our NorthBay Education partner Daniel Burke at 443-674-9025 or via email to arrange a visit to the Climbers Run Nature Preserve & Education Center. For all other inquiries related to education and research programs please contact Lydia Martin, Director of Education,  

Watershed Facts

Picnic on the Preserve-33Nestled in the deep ravines of the River Hills, Climbers Run cascades through pristine forests to lowlands and meanders to the Pequea Creek.  A stroll along the rushing water tempts the senses of visitors, evoking a feeling of Lancaster County long before development and deforestation. Climbers Run holds a rare treasure, wild brook trout — found only where forested buffers provide clean, cold water essential to this species survival. This stream flows into the Pequea Creek which eventually flows into the Susquehanna River. In addition, a pond fed by natural springs is located near the historic house.

More than 50% of Conservancy preserves reside in the Susquehanna Riverlands tallying more than 2,700 acres of natural lands, many protecting streams and creeks that feed the Susquehanna River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Projected population growth and pressure from proposed pipelines and other infrastructure within the county will mean further impact to air, water, and land resources. The Conservancy is working with the Water Quality Volunteer Coalition (WQVC), a watershed education program sponsored by the Lancaster County Conservation District, to monitor water quality.



In case of emergency, call 911

Nearest Hospital: Lancaster General Hospital – 9.3 miles away

 555 N Duke St, Lancaster, PA 17602

Additional Resources:

Rawlinsville Fire Company: (717) 284-3023

PA State Police, non-emergency number: (717) 299-7650

  • Fishing
  • Trails
  • Wildflowers
39.924403, -76.298011
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