Planning Your Walk
Strenuous to moderate. Section hike with loop opportunities. This is a “hike in” nature preserve, and is accessible along the Mason-Dixon Trail System (MDTS). Visitors can hike down from High Point Scenic Vista County Park, or up from Wrightsville’s Riverfront Park along the MDTS to access the nature preserve and its network of shorter hiking trails that provide experiences of woods and meadows as well as wide views of the surrounding landscape. Northbound hike from High Point Scenic Vista requires a walk through a large culvert under State Route 624. Parking is available at both parks, and there are seasonal restrooms.
Ecology and Management
Wilton Meadows is managed for its passive recreation being of highest and best use.
Wilton Meadows is topped by mixed meadows managed as early succession (warm-season grassed and wildflowers) and late season (berry canes and occasional juniper trees) and ringed by steep woods. The Mason-Dixon Trail keeps to the steep slopes high above the Susquehanna River while connector and loop trails provide opportunities to experience the meadows and coppice groves. As is with most meadows, ground birds, song birds, and raptors are not an uncommon sight.
Coppice is an agroforestry land management strategy that involves the strategic cutting of tree or shrub species that have a tendency of vigorous regrowth. Applying this strategy to the natural regeneration of black locust trees as an edge species provides an opportunity to strategically and systematically combat invasive plant species while also providing unique wildlife habitat and the opportunity to sustainably produce raw materials such as posts, poles, and rails that can be used across Conservancy preserves for infrastructure needs. Black locust is renowned for its vigorous regrowth and its rot-resistant characteristics; an untreated black locust post set in the ground can last 75 years!
Wilton Meadows overlooks the Susquehanna River.
Report Hunting Violations: PA Game Commission at 1-888-742-8001 or 610-926-3136
Hellam Township donated this land to the Conservancy in 2010. It has a conservation easement held by the Farm and Natural Lands Trust of York County.
Wilton Meadows is accessible via the High Point Scenic Vista and Recreation Area parking on Hilt Road.
Kiosk. Preserve sign. Trails