Planning Your Hike
Difficult to strenuous. There is no parking on the preserve. Limited parking is available at the Urey Overlook Trailhead. The Mason-Dixon Trail connects the preserve to Urey Overlook (a satellite of the Susquehannock State Park system) and serves as the primary trail within a network of trails that can provide in-and-back, short, day, and loop hikes of varying lengths. Terrain is uneven, rocky, and very difficult in poor weather conditions. Cell phone service is limited inside of the glen.
Ecology and Management
Otter Creek is managed as its passive recreation being of highest and best use.
Otter Creek’s steep terrain has served to protect a mature forest of hemlock and mixed-hardwoods including remnants of the American chestnut that once dominated Pennsylvania forests, nearly wiped out from the invasive Asian chestnut blight. Rock outcrops jut from the hillsides of the deep glen. The creek meanders for three, undisturbed miles. Adjacent land to the south encompass State Game Lands #83 but no trails provide passage across the wide, shallow creek. Adjacent land to the north and west is part of the Susquehanna State Park System. Camping is available at the adjacent Otter Creek Campground.
A massive storm-cell hovered over Otter Creek in the late summer of 2018. Extreme flash-flooding destroyed homes and carried their remnants well into the Preserve. Efforts to remove the debris from the Preserve are ongoing.
Otter Creek empties directly into Lake Aldred of the Susquehanna River.
This preserve was acquired as part of a nationally recognized landscape protection project known as the PPL Project. Funds for that Project were provided by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Conservation Fund, Lancaster County, York County, PPL, Talen Energy, and Brookfield Renewable. The tracts that form the Otter Creek Nature Preserve were donated by PPL and Talen Energy.