Shaw Family Nature Preserve

About This Preserve

About the Name

Elizabethtown resident Barry Shaw has supported farmland preservation, Elizabethtown College, Brethren Village, and many other ventures. His personal hobby of nature photography has also inspired his philanthropy. For over 15 years, Barry Shaw produced calendars for The Wenger Group and Elizabethtown College featuring his photographs of hawks, mergansers, geese, and other animals around Elizabethtown as well as animals from around the natural world Barry explored. This passion for capturing photos of wildlife led him to invest generously in the Conservancy’s work to protect important natural lands for future generations.

The Shaw Family Nature Preserve was dedicated on Monday, November 20, 2023 in honor of this local conservationist and long-time Conservancy supporter.

Ecology and Management

This preserve is managed for habitat and protects the viewshed from the Conewago Trail of a bucolic landscape consisting of open agriculture fields surrounded by hardwood forest. The hardwood forest covers the north facing steep slopes of an expansive ridge that is the lowest foothill of the Appalachian mountain range running from the Susquehanna River across the northern tier of Lancaster County into the Furnace Hills of Lebanon County and Berks County. This ridge serves as a migratory corridor for large mammals such as black bear.

The public can experience the preserve from the Conewago Recreation Trail. The closest Conewago Recreation Trail parking area is located at 2385 N. Market St., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. The Shaw Family Nature Preserve begins just a few minutes northbound from that trailhead. 


Drains directly into the Conewago Creek.

Hunting Information

Not open to public hunting.

Acquisition History

Acquisition of the Shaw Family Nature Preserve began in 2011. For the next 10 years on and off, the Conservancy continued conversations with the owner regarding sale of the property and with Londonderry and Mount Joy townships regarding their plans for an extensive joint Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) stream restoration project along the Conewago. As planning for the MS4 project continued, the Conservancy worked on raising the funds to acquire the land.

The Conservancy was able to raise the necessary funds to secure the property, and in 2020, an agreement of sale was executed for $2.1 million. One year later, the preserve was acquired by the Conservancy with funding from the Protect & Restore Campaign, DCNR, the County of Lancaster, and a donation of land from Brookfield Renewable. After acquiring an initial 155 acres of property, the Conservancy transferred the section north of the Conewago Trail adjacent to the Conewago Creek to Londonderry Township for the restoration project.


Preserve sign.

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 – 5.2 miles away
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital

418 Cloverleaf Road, Elizabethtown, PA 17022

PA State Police