Planning Your Hike
Easy to moderate. Multiple loops, including a half-mile (fully forested) Universally-Accessible Trail, and the opportunity to extend hikes well into the adjacent Money Rocks County Park. Because of poor sub-soil conditions and a past use as off-roading, many trails have been closed and restored to mitigate soil erosion and stormwater runoff. All open trails are clearly blazed and have been redesigned for long-term sustainability.
Ecology and Management
Welsh Mountain is managed for its passive recreation and its habitat as being of highest and best use with Gault Road serving as the dividing line between passive recreation opportunities to the north and habitat restoration to the south.
Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve is one of Lancaster County’s few remaining natural areas. An area of wooded slopes and rock outcroppings, this land supports a diversity of plant and animal life. Due to relatively poor sub-soils, canopy trees appear much younger than they actually are, especially since large stands are of relatively uniform height. However, uniqueness within the landscape abounds and includes seasonal blooms of wild azaleas, low-bush blueberries, and wildflowers, as well as large flushes of mushrooms that improve the integrity of the humus layer atop of the soil. It is not only the forest cover but also the thick humus layer that provide the vital ecosystem service of stormwater retention, saving communities within the valleys from the possibility of flash-floods.
Historically, Welsh Mountain was used by groups for off-roading activities. The Conservancy has been working to redesign the trail system to create more sustainable passive recreation opportunities and in so doing has addressed soil erosion and stormwater runoff with best management practices such as grade dips, water bars, and check steps. On-going efforts to re-establish a sustainable trail tread include applying woodchips to help rebuild productive soils.
Welsh Mountain serves as the headwaters for the Pequea and Conestoga Creeks, both of which empty into the Susquehanna River.
Welsh Mountain 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 888-742-8001 or 610-926-313
The Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve was acquired from 2009 – 2019 with funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Lands Preservation Fund of Lancaster County, and many contributions from foundations and individual donors including the Ressler Mill Foundation, Lancaster County Community Foundation, and many others.
ADA parking. Universally-Accessible trail. Preserve sign. Kiosk. Trails.