Safe Harbor

River Road | Conestoga Township


 

Safe Harbor is a small village nestled in Conestoga Township. The small community was once a company town for the immigrant worker at the Safe Harbor Iron Works. It is also the home of the Safe Harbor Hydroelectric Plant and the recently completed Safe Harbor Trestle Bridge that links 2 once disconnected sections of the Enola Low Grade Trail.

There are several short trails in Safe Harbor that allow you to explore this town that once was. It's a great opportunity to step back into history while you hike.




There are 4 "trails" in Safe Harbor and they are are fairly close to one another. In addition to Safe Harbor Park there is also Conestoga River Park. Both parks have playgrounds, picnic pavilions and port-o-potties. Conestoga River Park is also a popular spot for kayaking on the Conestoga River.


 

Distance: 4 plus miles of trails

Terrain: dirt | rocks | wooded | paved

Difficulty: rare to medium

Activities: hiking | trail running | leashed dogs

Restrooms: port-a-potty at Safe Harbor Park and at Trestle Bridge

Parking: small lots at each location

Website: lancasterconservancy.org susquehannariverlands.com




 

Safe Harbor Park- History Walk | 1.25 mile loop

Medium Rare | 30-60 minutes

This trail was originally opened in 1997 and offered a self-guided walking history tour of Safe Harbor. You are still able to do most of this tour, although some areas are now private property. This trail takes you past several historical buildings, along a once existing and through a graveyard. Boy Scout Troop #146 has labeled the trees in the arboretum and offer some information on the historical buildings in the area.

To start the trail park in the lot beside the tennis courts (this was the location for the Iron Works for which the town was built). Head up the paved path following the blue and yellow trail markers. At the top of the hill the trail goes left through the arboretum. At the edge of the clearing on the top of the hill is the Iron Master's House. If you follow along the edge of the woods you will then see Odd Fellow Hall. This is one of my absolute favorite buildings. It's tough to see in the summer with all of the leaves on the trees. You are going to have better luck during the fall and winter months.

To the right of Odd Fellow Hall the trail tucks into the woods. This narrow path takes you past the former homes of the Iron Mill workers. You are still able to see the depressions of where the houses once stood. When you come to a fork in the trail go left, you will come back this way and take the trail to the right later. The trail comes out into a graveyard

and remnants of the church that once stood there. There are several plaques that describe the buildings that once stood here. After visiting the graveyard to back the way you came, but take the trail to the right at the fork. This will take you to the main road that you came up and back to the parking lot.

If you are interested in more information about this are check out Uncharted Lancaster's

Safe Harbor Adventure. It offer a more in depth history of this area and a treasure hunt!


Safe Harbor Nature Preserve | 1.75 miles out and back rare to medium well | 35- 70 minutes

This trail, that is part of the Lancaster Conservancy, starts on a paved access road for the hydroelectric dam. Along the way you will pass a graveyard on the right. The trail then cuts to the right into the woods. You will then have a pretty steep decent that leads to the Enola Low Grade Trail. Make a right on the trail and you will have a 5 mile walk to the Trailhead at Turkey Hill. If you go left you will reach the trestle bridge in about .3 miles.


Warehouse Road | 1.6 miles out and back rare | 30-60 minutes

This isn't exactly a hike, it's more like a walk along a dead end road. But it is a nice walk along the Conestoga River and at the end of the road there is the remains of a kiln. The end of the road is gated with access to those who work at the dam. Because there is not too much traffic, this is a popular place to walk your dog.


Powerhouse Road to and across the Trestle Bridge | 1 mile out and back

rare to medium well | 20-40 minutes

This is the fastest route to access the Safe Harbor Trestle Bridge. There is a small parking lot just before you reach the gates to Safe Harbor Hydroelectric Dam. The path is steep and there are stairs for a portion of the trail. This route gives a great vantage point to see underneath this historic trestle. On the other side of the bridge there is a pavilion with picnic tables, which perfect on a hot day, since shade is not always abundant. There is also information panels about Safe Harbor and the construction of the bridge as well as a port-o-potty.


 

Directions:

Safe Harbor Park | 5365 River Rd.

From Lancaster City take PA-324 S

Continue straight onto New Danville Pike

Continue onto Main St.

Turn Left onto River Rd.

Parking lot next to tennis courts





Safe Harbor Nature Preserve | Observation Site Rd.

From Lancaster City take PA-324 S

Continue straight onto New Danville Pike

Continue onto Main St.

Turn Right onto River Rd.

Turn Left to continue onto River Rd and over the bridge

Turn Left onto Oak Rd.

Continue onto Observation Site Rd.

Parking lot is to the right where the road dead ends





Warehouse Road

From Lancaster City take PA-324 S

Continue straight onto New Danville Pike

Continue onto Main St.

Turn Right onto River Rd.

Turn Left to continue onto River Rd and over the bridge

Warehouse Road is just after the bridge on the Left





Powerhouse Road

From Lancaster City take PA-324 S

Continue straight onto New Danville Pike

Continue onto Main St.

Turn Left onto River Rd.

Right onto Powerhouse Rd.

Parking lot on the right at the end of the road before the gate




 

Nearby Hikes:

Enola Low Grade Trail

Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve


 


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