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.
October 2011 - SGHA Awarded Grant to benefit trail. Read press release here.
Click Here to View Trail Map and Guide
Directions to Trailheads
Decatur Street Trailhead (Marietta Borough) Parking and trail access is available by traveling through the stone arch tunnel at the end of
Decatur Street, which intersects Market Street.
Riverfront Park (E. Donegal Township) Located off Rt. 441, trail users can access parking by turning west onto Vinegar Ferry Road and proceeding through the stone arch tunnel.
Bainbridge Access Parking and Trailhead are located off Rt. 441 by turning West onto Race Street. Follow to the small park by the river.
Falmouth Boat Access (Conoy Township)
The northern trailhead is located at the PA Fish & Boat Commission access in the village of Falmouth. Parking and trail access is available by turning west onto Collins Road from Rt. 441.
- Enjoy the trail at your own risk. The trail is open year round, dawn to dusk, conditions permitting.
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited except for emergency and maintenance vehicles.*
- The trail is available for walking, bicycling, jogging, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.
- Pets must be kept on a leash. Owners are responsible for removing all pet waste.
- Keep the trail clean – carry out all waste.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- Use caution when crossing bridges, roads, and railways because they are actively used.
- Stay to the right of the trail and warn when passing.
- Please do not disturb the natural habitat.
- Discharging of weapons on or from the trail is prohibited. Hunting may be permitted on adjacent land.
- Other borough, township, or park ordinances shall be in effect.
*Individuals with mobility disabilities should refer to the trail’s ADA accessibility policy regarding the use of powered mobility devices on the trail. This policy is available on the trail website or at the municipal offices.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the trail, please contact any of the following land owners:
Columbia Borough - 717-684-2467
Conoy Township - 717-367-4927
East Donegal Township - 717-426-3167
Marietta Borough - 717-426-4143
Lancaster County Department of Parks & Recreation -717-299-8215