Willis & Elsie Shenk Nature Preserve

About This Preserve
  • 148 Acres
  • Hunting Map
  • Region: Susquehanna Riverlands
  • Coordinates: 39.83222, -76.24590

Ecology and Management

Willis & Elsie Shenk Nature Preserve is managed for its habitat being of highest and best use.

Fishing Creek is designated as a high quality cold-water fishery. It supports a wild trout population and is supplemented by trout stocking by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission in the spring. Fish species found in the Susquehanna River also use the creek for spawning, early life stages, and seasonal movements. The same species of water fowl and birds found on the Susquehanna River can be spotted along Fishing Creek, including herons, egrets, and kingfishers. Fishing Creek also supports other wildlife, including white tailed deer, turkeys, hawks, foxes, muskrats, raccoons, and squirrels.


Fishing Creek traverses the preserve with wide meanders around bedrock outcrops before being joined by an unnamed tributary and continuing a long meander through Fishing Creek South Nature Preserve and eventually emptying into the Conowingo Pond of the Susquehanna River.

Hunting Information

Willis & Elsie Shenk Nature Preserve 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)

Acquisition History

The Conservancy acquired the first tract of this Preserve in 2016 with funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Natural Lands Preservation Fund of Lancaster County. The rest of Willis & Elsie Shenk Nature Preserve was donated by Henry and Mary Lou Huffnagle in 2009.


Limited parking. 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 cdc.gov/lyme

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 – 17.1 miles away
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital

555 N Duke Street, Lancaster PA 17602

Additional Resources

PA State Police