Fishing Creek South Nature Preserve

This is a recreation managed preserve

Size: Approximately 170.776 acres 


Hostas, mock oranges, and huge colonies of daylilies are testimony to former habitation in the valley. A nearby farm was a station on the underground railway, and ruins of a school built by African-Americans can still be seen. The Historical Atlas of Lancaster County notes an African School House located where Fern Creek Road joins Fishing Creek Road. J.W.W. Loose has uncovered evidence of a number of mills along Fishing Creek, most notably Long’s sickle and scythe mills, which in 1825 produced tools so superior they drove English products off the market. Local residents anchored boats at the small marina at the mouth of Fishing Creek. First parcel donated by John and Sally Gibson in 1995.

Fishing Creek

Planning Your Walk

A gravel public road bisects the 167 acre preserve, closely following the stream. In three spots one must ford the creek. Hikers may encounter horseback riders at Fishing Creek. Please share the trails. Numerous trails run through various sections of the preserve.  The total trail length is estimated at 2.1 miles round trip.

Printable Hiking Map

Land Management

Motorized vehicles are prohibited off Fishing Creek Road. Violators are aggressively prosecuted.

What to See & Do
Watershed Facts

Fishing Creek is a direct tributary of the Susquehanna River, draining to the Chesapeake Bay.


Hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis), Pennsylvania’s state tree, are the dominant flora of the steep-sided valley, with little understory.

Wildflowers and shrubs are more abundant where deciduous trees predominate. Near the stream margins and road shoulders are numerous and varied plants, including over 22 tree species and four common shrub species. The empress tree (Pawlonia tomentosa) with its flamboyant purple blossoms is a special non-native tree.

An array of ferns including Christmas fern, hay-scented fern, New York fern, interrupted fern, sensitive fern, silvery spleenwort, horsetail, marginal wood fern, fancy fern, lady fern, maidenhair fern, and ebony spleenwort abound.

Fishing Creek 2

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Designated a high-quality cold-water fishery, Fishing Creek has a rare natural wild trout population. The uninterrupted forest canopy is large enough for interior forest bird species.

Hunting Information

This nature preserve is open to hunting and has designated hunting and no-hunting zones. All Pennsylvania Game Commission Rules and Regulations apply.

Printable Fishing Creek South Hunting Map


Fishing Creek Rd parking area coordinates (decimal degrees): 39.8105100, -76.2445500

Fishing Creek Road, Drumore Twp.

From Lancaster, follow PA 272 south through The Buck. Continue south three miles, bear right off 272 onto Chestnut Level Road at Valley View Restaurant. At River Road, turn left, then next right onto Slate Hill Road. Take second right onto Harmony Ridge Drive. At Fishing Creek Road this southern-most Conservancy parcel is on your 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:

Emergency Information

In case of emergency, call 911

Nearest Hospital: Lancaster General Hospital – 19 miles away

555 N Duke St, Lancaster, PA 17602

Additional Resources:

Rawlinsville Fire Company, non-emergency number: (717) 284-3023

Robert Fulton Fire Company, non-emergency number: (717) 548-8995

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

  • Fishing
  • Horses
  • Hunting
  • Trails
  • Wildflowers
39.79509, -76.259361
Preserve Map
Points of Interest map:
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