Developed from a master plan in March 2003, the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail is a multi-purpose, public recreation trail approximately fourteen miles long, spanning five municipalities at the northwestern edge of Lancaster County. Parts of the trail are also owned by Lancaster County and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority.
The trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal and uses some of the original towpath that remains along the corridor. This provides ample opportunities to interpret the numerous industrial archaeological remains such as abandoned canal locks; the iron furnaces at Chickies Rock; and the old quarry operation at Billmeyer. The trail also connects the historic river towns and villages of Columbia, Marietta, Bainbridge, and Falmouth.
The current condition or readiness of the trail varies throughout the corridor, but there are several miles of developed trail as noted on the map below. Additional sections of trail will be developed in the coming years. The trail is not yet completed from Columbia River Park to Chickies Rock County Park. Trail users are advised not to trespass on Norfolk Southern property. When completed, the trail will follow the new Rte. 441 bypass to N. Front Street in Columbia. Anticipated completion of this section is the end of 2015.
The Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area publishes the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail Map & Guide on behalf of the trail partners.
Click here to view the Trail Map & Guide