Rannels Kettle Run Nature Preserve

This is a recreation managed preserve

Size: approximately 91.947 acres


This preserve was donated by the Rannels Family in 1998 and 2003.

Planning Your Walk

From western trail head is a well-marked trail. Walk north, wade across Kettle Run. Continue north to a trail connecting to Horseshoe Trail to create a loop.

From eastern trail head, walk west from parking area uphill along Horseshoe trail past Conservancy sign at northeast corner of preserve to mountain top. Left on blue-blazed trail downhill to left turn at bottom to follow Kettle Run, then left again uphill back to Horseshoe Trail at Conservancy sign. The total trail length is estimated at 2.0 miles.

Printable Map

Land Management

To prevent erosion, horseback riding is not permitted on the preserve.

What to See & Do

This 90 acre property in Furnace Hills in underlain by Triassic sandstone. The soil has some shale.

Watershed Facts

Kettle Run is a tributary of Hammer Creek, flowing to Cocalico Creek, to Conestoga River, the Susquehanna River, to Chesapeake Bay. The preserve varies from a relatively flat, occasionally moist swale to a dry hillside with seepages, providing significant flow to Kettle Run.


There are oaks, maples, beeches, and birches on the lower, level areas. Forest species are white pine, red maple, red, white, and chestnut oak, hickory, beech, sweet birch, tulip poplar, cherry and some Canadian hemlock, plus a few American chestnuts. Sourwoods, flowering and alternate leafed dogwood, barberry, alder, laurel, sassafras, spice bush, tupelo, maple leaf viburnum, and arrowwood grow here, too.

Flowering dogwood is conspicuous in early May. There are some scattered blackberries, groundberries, and wineberries. About a dozen ferns are found here, including cinnamon fern, Christmas fern, along with rattlesnake, hay-scented, New York, spinulous wood, sensitive, and intermediate fern.

Rannels Kettle Run
Forty or more wildflowers can be seen in a casual mid-May stroll. Two or more are characteristic of the area’s acid soils, the showy orchid (Orchis spectabilis), and the starflower (Trientalis borealis).

Indian poke, and false hellebore (Veratrum viride), accompany skunk cabbage in wet spots, along with cucumber root (Medeola virginiana), in the moist woods.

The upper portion is a dry open wood with a lot of multiflora rose and spice bush.


Take your binoculars and look for resident and migrating warblers, scarlet tanagers, and wood and water thrushes. Other residents here include deer, and pileated, downy, hairy, and red-bellied woodpeckers, as well as great horned owls and great blue herons.

Seasonal Info

Spring: Wildflowers and ferns

Summer: Wine berries

Fiddlehead Fern

Fiddlehead Fern

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.

Hunting Map


Address: 64 Dead End Rd, Lititz, PA (parking is not available at the nature preserve).

Please park at State Game Lands No. 156 parking area coordinates (decimal degrees): 40.233907, -76.348965 or at

Upper Hopewell Forge Wildlife Sanctuary parking area at Pumping station rd., coordinates (decimal degrees): 40.238851, -76.336638 

Eastern trailhead – At Upper Hopewell Forge Wildlife Sanctuary. From Lancaster, follow PA 501 north through Lititz to Brickerville. Left on US 322 , left on Speedwell Rd, then right on Pumping Station Rd to parking area. To access Rannels Kettle Run Nature Preserve, walk west along yellow-blazed Horseshoe Trail to sign.
Western trailhead – Continue west on Speedwell Rd, then right onto Dead End Rd. Follow Dead End Rd west to first State Game Lands #156 parking area.

Printable Map

  • Hunting
  • Trails
  • Wildflowers
40.23344, -76.348658
Preserve Map
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