Bellaire Woods Nature Preserve

About This Preserve


Bellaire Woods Nature Preserves features trails that lead hikers past branching streams, springs, and bogs. But these wet conditions have also lead to a section of the trail degrading, eroding and widening–damaging the surrounding ecosystem. For this reason, one section of the figure eight shaped trail system at Bellaire Woods Nature Preserve is temporarily closed.

Please refer to our updated trail map to plan your next hike! Thank you for helping us heal and restore this nature preserve!

Planning Your Hike

Easy grade but technical tread. 1.4 miles total trail(s) length.

From the parking lot, a well-worn cobble-like path strewn with emerging trout lilies in early spring leads directly into the woods. Once in the woods the trail splits, creating a figure-eight loop with a bog bridge made from sills of the invasive ailanthus tree. Bellaire Woods is largely defined by its numerous springs and branching streams. Your visit is likely to be wet.

Hunting Information

Bellaire Woods is open to Archery Only Hunting. Respect property boundaries and safety zones. All Pennsylvania Game Commission Rules and Regulations apply. See ‘Where to Hunt’ for more details.

Report Hunting Violations: PA Game Commission Centralized Dispatch Center at 1-833-PGC-HUNT (1-833-742-4868) or 1-833-PGC-WILD (1-833-742-9453)


Limited parking. Preserve sign.

Ecology and Management

Bellaire Woods is managed for passive recreation being of highest and best use.

 Gently sloping, relatively open 52.4 acre third-growth mixed-hardwood forest showcasing towering tulip trees, mature shagbark hickories, and an understory of pawpaws. Unfortunately, an infestation of the invasive insect-species, emerald ash borer, has caused significant decline in the localized ash population; beware of hazard trees. As a result, seeing large woodpeckers and the possible owl is more common of an experience.

Huge boulders cover the lower end, creating small picturesque vistas and, 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. Excellent for spring native wildflowers. About three dozen wildflowers typical of Lancaster County bloom during late April to early May.


Unnamed streams with a few deep pools converge amongst massive diabase boulders before draining north into the Conewago Creek and from there emptying into the Susquehanna River at the Conewago Falls just beneath the York Haven Dam.

Acquisition History

This property was acquired in 2006 with funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Natural Lands Preservation Fund of Lancaster County.


Prospect Road, Mount Joy Twp.

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 visit

Spotted Lanternfly Alert!

Lancaster County is a Spotted Lanternfly quarantine area. This highly invasive insect is a serious threat to the health of our forests.

What you can do to help:

  1. Report spotted lanternfly sightings to Penn State Extension or call 1-888-4BADFLY.
  2. Stop the Spread. Look before you leave! Check gear, vehicles, and trailers.
  3. Smash them, bash them, kill them dead.
  4. Scrap and smash egg masses.

Emergency Information

In case of emergency, call 911

Nearest Hospital – 16.6 miles away
UPMC Pinnacle Lititz

1500 Highlands Dr, Lititz, PA 17543

Additional Resources

Fire Department Mount Joy (FDMJ)

Mount Joy Borough Police Department