Planning Your Hike
Moderate, steep slopes. Access via the Horseshoe Trail to complete the 2 mile loop.
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.
Ecology and Management
Rannels Kettle Run is managed for its passive recreation as being of highest and best use.
Nestled into PA Game Lands, the Preserve consist mostly of a dry, steep, south-facing slope draining into rich bottom lands and Kettle Run flowing east-to-west. The hiking trail drops down through shale stone, seeps, then skunk cabbage.
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, spicebush, tupelo, maple leaf viburnum, and arrowwood viburnum grow here, too. The late-successional forest contains a mix of significantly large trees, snags, and good regeneration which makes for excellent bird habitat.
Kettle Run traverses the Preserve to join Hammer Creek just south of Upper Hopewell Forge Wildlife Sanctuary before emptying into Speedwell Forge Lake and then flowing across the County through the Cocalico Creek and Conestoga River before emptying into the Susquehanna River just beneath the Safe Harbor Dam.
Rannels Kettle Run is open to Mixed-Use 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 at 1-888-742-8001 or 610-926-3136
This preserve was donated to the Conservancy by the Rannels Family in 1998 and 2003.
Parking. Preserve sign. Trails.