Texter Mountain Nature Preserve

This is a recreation managed preserve 


approximately 120.383 acres

Planning Your Walk

The trailhead and parking area are located on Deer Road. Due to recent logging activity on the property, the trail tread is generally level and wide. The tail traverses two opposing hillsides, crosses many seeps and springs, and branches off into smaller loops distinguished by different color blazes. The main loop trail (blazed blue) is reached after hiking the connector trail from the trailhead. This trail traverses down in to the gulch and crosses a wetland and stream before its strenuous hike back up the opposing hillside. The main loop trail crosses the stream again amidst small waterfalls before returning to the connector trail leading to the trail head and parking area.  The trail length is estimated at 2.38 miles.

Printable Map

Stewardship Photos 2012 024
Things to See & Do

Standing at 1,180 feet, Texter Mountain is the highest point in Lancaster County and is located within the PA highlands.

The Texter Mountain preserve consists of 208+ acres. After selective logging, Beech, few Hemlock trees, and Shagbark Hickory, grow within a canopy dominated by Birch. Dogwood, Witch Hazel, and Ironwood share the understory.

Seeps and springs are plentiful as the hiking trail traverses two opposing hillsides. Watershed delineation is obvious to the untrained eye. Eroding sediment has washed into the stream bed and filled pools; braiding has caused small wetlands. The trail crosses one wetland at the rear of the property.

Watershed Facts

An unnamed tributary flows south through the preserve into Harnish Run which empties into Blue Lake. The Cocalico Creek flows through Blue Lake and feeds into the Conestoga River, the Susquehanna River, and ultimately into the Chesapeake Bay.

Flora and Fauna

Landowners and sportsman have implemented a Quality Deer Management plan which will continue under Conservancy ownership. The public should wear bright colors when using the land during hunting seasons.

Rare red bats are known to be bountiful. Turkey continues to be a common sight, along with other game and song birds. The great expanse of the preserve may also provide habitat for fox, raccoon, opossum, and coyote.

The West Cocalico Watershed Association is focusing efforts on returning native brook trout to Harnish Run.

Stewardship Photos 2012 034

Hunting Regulations

Texter Mountain 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 


Deer Rd. parking area coordinates (decimal degrees):  40.31063, -76.14955 

From US-30, merge onto US-222 N toward I-76/Reading (go 15.76 miles). Take the exit toward I-76/Penna Turnpike/PA-272/Pa Turnpike/Denver. (go 0.2 miles) Turn left onto Spur Rd/Colonel Howard Blvd. (go 0.56 miles). Turn right onto N Reading Rd/PA-272 (N Reading Rd is just past N Reamstown Rd). Turn left onto W Swartzville Rd/PA-897. Continue to follow PA-897 and take a right turn onto Texter Mountain Rd. Turn right onto Deer Road (0.5 miles) to the Texter Mountain Preserve parking area on the right. TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME: 48 minutes

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: www.cdc.gov/lyme


Emergency Information

In case of emergency, call 911

Nearest Hospital: Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital – 11 miles away

169 Martin Ave, Ephrata, PA 17522

Additional Resources:

Reinholds Fire Company, non-emergency number: 717-336-7753

Schoeneck Fire Company, non-emergency number: 717-336-6767

Ephrata Police Department, non-emergency number: 717-738-9265

  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Trails
  • Wildflowers
Preserve Map
Points of Interest map:
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