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Otter Creek Nature Preserve & Urey Overlook

1225 Furnace Rd. | Lower Chanceford Township | York County

OUTSIDE OF LANCASTER COUNTY

 

This hike is really 3 hikes in 1. From the small parking lot you are able to access Urey Overlook (which is part of Susquehannock State Park), Otter Creek Nature Preserve and a section of the Mason Dixon Trail. This area is very steep and rocky in places, but offers a beautiful and challenging hike.

From Urey Overlook you have spectacular views of the Susquehanna River where you are able to see Weise Island and the Safe Harbor Dam. There are several trail options at this location, so you are able to customize your hike.



In 2018 there was a storm that created massive flash-flooding which destroyed homes and carried debris into Otter Creek Preserve. There is still large amounts of debris present, but efforts to remove it are on going. Be cautious when passing through these areas.


 

Distance: 8 plus miles of trials

Terrain: dirt | rocks | water | wooded

Difficulty: rare to medium well

Activities: hiking | trail running | leashed dogs

Parking: small parking lot

Restrooms: no

Website: lancasterconservancy.org dcnr.pa.gov



 

Urey Overlook | .9 miles out and back | blue blaze

Rare | 30 min-1 hr

If you are just interested in the overlook, this is a quick and easy hike. Follow the trail from the parking lot through the trees to a beautiful view of the Susquehanna River.


Mason Dixon Trail | 5.7 miles point to point | blue blaze

Medium Well | 2-4 hrs

This portion of the Mason Dixon Trail comes in from the south at the mouth of Otter Creek which it then follows, joining with the Red Trail. There is a pull off along the road at this spot, but not a lot of room for more than one car. The trail then turns towards the river, crossing Furnace Rd. and heading toward Urey Overlook. The trail then crosses back over Furnace Rd, reconnecting with the Red Trail, then heading north to exit the preserve.


Red Trail | 2.5 miles point to point | red blaze Medium Well | 50 min- 1hr 40 min

This trail can be picked up across the street from the parking area. It goes downhill until you reach Otter Creek. The trail then follows the creek until it comes to an end at Furnace Rd. The trail is scenic with lots of rock outcroppings and views along the water. It is a challenging hike with lots of rocks and roots to climb over as well as some significant elevation changes.


Yellow Trail | 1.6 mile semi-loop | yellow blaze

Medium | 30 min-1 hr

This trail picks up at the Urey Overlook. There are loops and switchbacks as it takes you down the embankment. There are views of the river through the trees and in the spring this area is covered in wildflowers. Once down the hill the trail skirts along the Susquehanna and ends at Furnace Road at the mouth of Otter Creek. If you cross the road you will be able to pick up the Mason Dixon Trail and shortly there after the Red Trail and the Orange Trail.


Orange Trail | .82 miles point to point Medium | 15-30 minutes

This trail starts at Urey Overlook and cuts down through the woods. It crosses over Furnace Rd. and eventually meets up with the Mason Dixon and Red Trails.

 

Directions:

From Lancaster take US-222 S

Continue straight onto US-272 S

Turn Right onto PA-372 W

Turn Right onto Slab Rd.

Turn Right onto PA-74 N

Turn Right onto Furnace Rd. (PA-425 N)



 

Nearby Trails: Historic Lock 12 & Millcreek Falls

Mason Dixon Trail

 


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