Spending time in nature has an amazing impact on our physical and mental health! Explore the Lancaster Conservancy’s nature preserves and the streams and rivers they protect. Even as little as 20 minutes outdoors can reduce your stress and reconnect you with the beautiful waterways you pledge to help!
Climbers Run Nature Center
Home to the Conservancy’s Nature Center, this preserve beckons visitors to enjoy a picnic lunch by the historic barn, explore the hiking trails meandering through shady woodlands along an eastern brook trout stream, or watch for birds and other wildlife in the open meadows. Keep your eyes open for bluebirds, toads, painted turtles, skunk cabbage, wild turkey, and a diversity of wildlife and plants in every season.
Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve
Shenks Ferry is renowned as one of the most impressive wildflower sanctuaries in the eastern United States. Tucked into the river hills of southern Lancaster County, over 70 species of wildflowers and 50 species of birds make their home in this sheltered ravine cut by Grub Creek. This preserve has a relatively flat and smooth one-mile trail that makes it welcome to visitors not familiar with hiking.
Conoy Wetlands Nature Preserve
You can hike or bike the Northwest River Trail to reach this unique preserve situated along the Susquehanna River. The wetland and forest habitat make this a great place for bird watching. You can also visit what is thought to be the first publicly accessible forest garden in Pennsylvania! Discover how a farm field was restored to more natural floodplain habitat using native species that both produce food for wildlife and humans (if there is any left)!
House Rock and Reed Run Nature Preserves
From the House Rock parking area, you can begin you a short out and back to rocky cliff with an incredible view of the Susquehanna or a 2.4 mile loop hike named in honor of the late Ralph Goodno, former Lancaster Conservancy president. The hike through both preserves features pristine streams, beautiful wildflowers, and great opportunities for bird watch in two restored meadows.
Fishing Creek South Nature Preserve
A public gravel road travels along and through (in three places) Fishing Creek making this preserve easy to hike, bike or even drive through! With towering hemlocks lining the steep sided valley and shady pools for fishing, this is a great place to explore as a family!