Scenic Parks & Preserves Trail
Southern Lancaster County's beautiful landscapes, plus Strasburg and Downtown Lancaster
Starting at the Pennsylvania Dutch Visitors Bureau, explore seven historic covered bridges, all the while journeying through picturesque countryside, past Amish farms and one-room school houses, through the twists and turns of Lancaster County's back roads. Continue into the relaxing backdrop of nature by touring through our beautiful woods and natural preserves. Along the trail are plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs. Browse the shops at two large outlet centers filled with name brand items, enjoy dinner and a comedic show, stroll through Strasburg's quaint shops, explore a nature preserve and scenic overlook and enjoy the sites of downtown Lancaster.
Download printer-friendly trail guide and directions. (162 KB pdf)
Turn left out of the Visitors Center parking lot.
At the light, turn left into Greenfield Rd. and continue over the bridge.
Turn left to merge onto highway 30.
Continue on Rt. 30 for 3.8 miles.
Point of Interest:
Along Rt. 30 on the right is Tanger Outlet Center
. For great deals and discounts on designer merchandise, this is the perfect place to spend a few hours looking around for gifts for loved ones or even a treat for yourself.
After you pass the light at Witmer Rd., Willow Hill Covered Bridge
is directly on your left, located on the property of Amish Farm and House
, which is an operational Pennsylvania Dutch farm with that is open for guided house tours and self-guided farm tours. Willow Hill Covered Bridge is one of the youngest covered bridges in Lancaster County, built in 1962 from material that was salvaged from other farms' bridges.
Continue on Rt. 30 for 4.8 miles.
Point of Interest: Rockvale Outlets Lancaster
, another great spot for discount shopping on name-brand items, is just ahead along the right-hand side of Rt. 30. Here, you'll surely find a store for every need.
Point of Interest:
A few miles further east on Rt. 30, on your left, is Rainbow Dinner Theatre
, which welcomes guests for a delicious dinner and comedic theatrical performances guaranteed to fill the room with laughter.
To proceed on the trail, continue east on Rt. 30 to London Vale Rd.
Turn left onto London Vale Rd. and proceed for 0.6 miles.
At the stop sign, turn left onto Belmont Rd. and proceed for 0.2 miles.
Covered Bridge: Eshleman's Mill Covered Bridge
was originally built in 1845, rebuilt in 1893, and is sometimes referred to as Paradise Bridge.
Turn around and drive back on Belmont Rd. for 0.5 miles.
At the light, turn right onto Rt. 30 and proceed for 2.8 miles.
Turn left onto Soudersburg Rd. and proceed for 0.5 miles.
Covered Bridge: Herr's Mill Covered Bridge
, also known as the Soudersburg Bridge, was built in 1844. At 178 feet in length, this bridge in one of the few double-span, double arch covered bridges left in the United States. Unfortunately, like Willow Hill Covered Bridge, it is not a bridge able to be driven.
Turn left at the stop sign onto Ronks Rd. and proceed for 0.8 miles.
At the stop sign, Ronks Rd. will turn into Fairview Rd., which has no street sign; proceed for another 1.5 miles. Follow the road as it bears right at an intersection.
Turn right at the intersection of Fairview Rd. and highway 741/Gap Rd.; proceed for 0.5 miles.
From the square in Strasburg, continue driving west on 741/Main St. for 1.5 miles. Follow the signs for 741 as it bears to the left at a "Y" intersection, and then to the right.
Turn left onto Penn Grant Rd. and proceed for 0.2 miles.
At the stop sign, turn right onto Hagers/Penn Grant Rd. and proceed for 1.2 miles.
Covered Bridge: Neff's Mill Covered Bridge
was originally built in 1824, but later rebuilt in 1875. With an 11-foot opening, it is the county's narrowest covered bridge. In the winter of 2001, the mill was torn down and the stones were used to make a fence on the residing property.
Proceed on Penn Grant Rd. for 0.2 miles.
Turn left onto Pequea Ln. and proceed for 1.1 miles.
Turn right at the stop sign onto Lime Valley Rd. and proceed for 0.3 miles.
Turn left onto Brenneman Rd.
Covered Bridge: Lime Valley Covered Bridge
was built in 1871, originally known as Huntzinger's Mill Bridge. It is also known as a twin bridge to an earlier one built in 1857, just 200 feet west of the existing bridge.
Continue driving on Brenneman Rd. for 0.9 miles.
Cross over Route 222, bearing right onto Main St., and proceed for 0.3 miles.
Turn left onto Refton Rd. and proceed for 0.3 miles.
Turn right onto Smithville Rd. and proceed for 0.9 miles.
At a "Y" intersection, bear right on Byerland Church Rd. and proceed for 0.4 miles.
Turn left onto highway 272 and proceed for 0.8 miles.
Turn right onto Pennsy Rd. and proceed for 3.3 miles.
Pennsy Rd. will turn into highway 324 at an intersection with a stop sign. Proceed on Rt. 324 for 2 miles.
Make a sharp left onto Fox Hollow Road and proceed for 0.2 miles.
Covered Bridge: Colemanville Covered Bridge
was originally built in 1856 and partially rebuilt in 1938 and 1973 because of flood damages. Because of the severe flooding in the area, the county completely rebuilt the bridge in 1992, several feet west of its original site, as well as six feet higher to avoid more weather-related damages. At 170 feet in span, Colemanville Covered Bridge is the county's second longest single-span bridge still in use.
At this point of the trail, choose to continue the trail or try a detour that will lead you through the county's parks and nature preserves:
Option #1: Continue the trail
a) To follow the trail without any variations, turn around and exit the campground.
b) Turn right onto Rt. 324 and proceed for 2 miles.
c) Turn left at the "Y" junction and follow Marticville Rd. for 1.1 miles. Go to step #30.
Option #2: See the Susquehanna River overlook
a) From Colemanville Covered Bridge, continue 0.7 miles up the hill.
b) Turn right onto Bridge Valley Rd. and proceed for 0.6 miles.
c) Turn left onto West View Rd. and proceed for 0.6 miles.
d) Bear right onto River Rd. and proceed for 2.1 miles.
e) Turn right onto Pinnacle Rd. and proceed for 1.2 miles to the overlook.
f) Re-trace your steps from Pinnacle Rd. to River Rd.
g) Turn left onto River Rd. and proceed for 6.3 miles to get back onto 324/Marticville Rd.
h) Turn right onto Rt. 324/Marticville Rd. and proceed for 2.3 miles.
i) At the "Y" junction, follow Marticville Rd. to the left and proceed 1.1 miles. Go to step #30.
Option #3: Visit the Susquehanna River Marina and view the river
a) Drive back to Rt. 324 and turn left, follow for 2 miles.
b) To return to the trail, turn around on Rt. 324 and follow 4 miles until the "Y" junction at Marticville Rd., bearing left to follow Marticville and proceeding 1.1 miles. Go to step #30.
Turn right onto Frogtown Rd. and proceed for 0.5 miles.
Turn left when you see signs for the covered bridge. There is no street sign, but this is Byerland Church Road.
Because of its hidden location, Baumgardener's Covered Bridge
receives fewer visitors than most covered bridges. Like Colemanville Covered Bridge, Baumgardener's was also rebuilt by the county in 1987 because of damages resulting from flooding in 1986. When it was rebuilt, the bridge was raised 4 feet and lengthened 9 feet.
Proceed on Byerland Church Rd. for 0.7 miles.
Turn left at Mount Hope School Rd. and proceed for 0.7 miles.
Turn left at a "T" intersection, which does not have a street sign, and proceed for 1 mile. This is Rawlinsville Rd.
Turn right onto Baumgardener Rd. and proceed for 0.7 miles.
Turn right onto highway 272/Willow St. and get into the left lane as soon as possible. At the first median turn-off, turn left to travel north on Rt. 272 for 1.6 miles.
At Beaver Valley Rd., turn right and proceed 0.2 miles.
Turn left onto Eshleman Mill Rd. and proceed for 4.3 miles. You'll pass Lancaster Central Park.
Turn left onto Golf Rd. and proceed for 0.2 miles.
Turn left onto Kiwanis Rd. and proceed for 0.2 miles.
Built in 1876, Kurtz's Mill Covered Bridge
was originally known as Isaac Bean's Mill Bridge and built over the Conestoga River. Unfortunately, Hurricane Agnes destroyed the bridge in 1972, so it was relocated and rebuilt in Lancaster County Central Park.
Turn around and follow Kiwanis Rd. for 0.2 miles.
Turn left onto Golf Rd. again and proceed for 1.4 miles.
At the intersection of Highway 222/Queen St., turn right and it will lead into downtown Lancaster.
There are many activities to partake in and places to visit in downtown Lancaster
. Tour art galleries
, eclectic shops, historical attractions and museums
. Stop by Central Market
for seasonal produce, meats and fresh baked goods. Stroll through unique boutiques and antique shops. Hungry after your day of touring? Downtown Lancaster is full of a variety of restaurants to please all palettes.
Download printer-friendly trail guide and directions. (162 KB pdf)