Parks & Preserves
Lancaster County’s natural beauty is extraordinary. For those who are local and have grown “too familiar” with the lush green that serves as a friendly backdrop for your daily life, just take a trip to a dry, arid climate that lacks any sizable trees…upon your return, you will never be so grateful for the colorful buds of spring, the waving green branches of summer, and the falling leaves of autumn. Even the bare trees of winter boast stately silhouettes that have their own beauty. For those visitors to PA Dutch country…you will quickly discover why Pennsylvania literally means Penn’s Woods. Explore, discover, and enjoy the many Lancaster County parks, preserves, and conservancies that showcase Nature’s Best!
Historic Poole Forge
1940 Main Street
Narvon, PA 17555
Picturesque and stately, one of Lancaster County’s most fascinating and idyllic hidden gems is the Historic Poole Forge, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 . Surrounded by a hillside, along the Conestoga creek near Narvon in Caernarvon Township, the once vibrant iron plantation includes the 1700’s Ironmaster’s Mansion, Paymaster’s Building, spring house, two tenant houses, and ruins of a lime kiln and Pool Forge Covered Bridge, dating from 1859…all of which creates the perfect setting for special events. This beautiful and peaceful setting provides the perfect backdrop for outside weddings, family reunions in the pavilion, casual get-togethers around the playground and picnics throughout the park.
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
100 Museum Road
Stevens, PA 17578
Located along the border of Lebanon and Lancaster counties, the Pennsylvania Game Commission‘s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is a prime destination for wildlife, wild flowers, and those individuals who enjoy the great outdoors. It was built for waterfowl and “they have come,” along with a wide variety of other wildlife species. Middle Creek is a fantastic location for bird watchers to take in yearly migrations, creating a virtual photo booth in waiting. Staffed by passionate naturalists, the Visitors Center houses a number of Pennsylvania wildlife exhibits, ranging from taxidermic mounts to interactive stations. The facility serves as the registration point for hunters participating in the area’s controlled hunts and is home to the Middle Creek lecture series. The Observation Area, which provides binoculars to view the impressive vista before you, offers a view of the impoundment and the winter songbird feeding station.
Stone Quarry Park
125 Stone Quarry Road
at the corner of Route 772 and Stone Quarry Road
Brownstown, PA 17508
If you enjoy a park with wide-open spaces, you will love the walking paths that covers the boundaries of Stone Quarry Park in West Earl Township. The inner walking trail measures 2,169 feet, while the outer walking trail is 2,282 feet in length. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it at the picnic table or spread a blanket on the massive, well-maintained lawn. The view of the quarry rock across the street presents an interested backdrop for this park, that borders a creek that has a dock at the water’s edge for launching small water craft and fishing.
Lititz Springs Park
24 North Broad Street
A small park with a big history, Lititz Springs is certainly among the best maintained and perhaps the most utilized community park in the nation. Fed by three underground limestone springs, the park’s centerpiece is a stone waterway that traverses almost the entire length of the park, with paved walking paths on either side, allowing adults and children the joy of safely feeding and watching the many swimming ducks. The town’s annual 4th of July celebration takes place in the park, drawing crowds of up to 50,000. Throughout the year, other large events also take place here, including art shows that cover the grounds and music events the fill the stadium seating at the famous band shell. With two separate playgrounds, volleyball pit, and picnic pavilions…this is an idyllic gathering place for all ages.
Manheim Township Community Park
East Petersburg Road (1 mile north of Rte 501)
Manheim Township, PA
Acquired in 1970, Community Park is Manheim Township’s first and is comprised of 33.5 acres. This is a mult-purpose park with two large outdoor pavilions that you can rent for any occasion, one with a kitchen facility. There is also an enclosed pavilion that has a kitchen facility. In addition to these pavilions, there are also several smaller pavilions, plus single table shelters. The park has two playgrounds plus a tot-lot, both a grassed and skinned softball field, two restroom facilities, two sand volleyball courts, four horseshoe pits and plenty of common grass areas. This park’s outer perimeter is a great place to walk!