After more than 13 years, the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail (NWLCRT) is nearing completion.
In November 2015, the Lancaster County Park section of the trail, which runs from Furnace Road in Marietta to Route 30 in Columbia, was completed. This two-mile section of trail features an old railroad tunnel, remnants of 19th century iron furnaces and dramatic views of Chickies Rock.
Currently, this part of the trail is comprised of crushed stone but will be paved this summer. Completion of this trail section is significant, as it links the northern part of the NWLCRT to Columbia Borough.
A key highlight of the trail, the $2 million trail services building, Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, recently opened for public use and will act as a hub for the southern end of the trail. The vision for the building is to connect people to the Susquehanna River through recreation, conservation and heritage. Columbia Crossing is managed by Susquehanna Heritage for Columbia Borough.
Located along Front Street in Columbia, the trail center features an elevated deck that overlooks the river, as well as picnic tables, a boat launch and an area to rent canoes, kayaks and bikes. Moving forward, the center hopes to offer a variety of activities for the public to enjoy.
Later this year, a bridge will be installed over Evans Run in Marietta, allowing users to walk or bike the entire 14 miles from Columbia to Falmouth (though the northernmost three miles in Conoy Township are not yet paved).
The next phase of trail development will take place in Conoy Township from Race Street in Bainbridge to Kings Road in Falmouth, and will include improvements like paving and construction of a parking lot at the Prescott Street trailhead. Construction efforts on this two-mile stretch of trail will begin this year and continue through 2018.
For the past six years, LCSWMA has partnered with municipalities along the NWLCRT to assist with grant writing, construction and project management. By working with the local community to build recreational trails, we can help preserve open space and offer residents an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful, diverse environment.
To view a trail map, click here.
Columbia Crossing River Trails Center