Conestoga Trail is a 14.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Holtwood, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Good Views of the Susquehanna and Wildlife This Trail is part of a "cross-county" trail system in Lancaster County. The trail system connects the Mason Dixon trail to the north. This section includes about a mile of hiking on railroad tracks. This out and back section does take you up a steep hill to overlooks of the river, and a nice crossing of the Tucquan Creek. This section of the trail is an up and down hike through the creek valleys back to the tracks, and back up to the Pinnacle overlook. If you plan to hike this, definitely pick up a trail system map at the overlook, and keep eyes open for the orange blazes.
It was a beautiful trail, but extremely technical in some places if you "follow the blazes." We hiked from face rock overlook to the backpacking campsite at Reeds run and deviate from the orange and it was REALLY TOUGH. a lot of up and over rocks, and sometimes tough to see the blazes, especially around the river areas. Having a 25lb pack made it a little more challenging.
This is a great trail with nice overlooks of the Susquehanna river. The trail along the Tucquan creek and Kelly's run is so beautiful with lots of cascading water falls. I consider the Conestoga trail as moderate with several strenuous spots. This is one of my favorite trails and my "go-to" when I want a good work out.
One of the best yet.
i absolutely love this trail. i just started hiking last year so some sections of this trail were hard for me. it is well marked. the section between River Road and the Pequea Boat Club is the easiest and gorgeous year round.
We started at Pinnacle and made our way down to Tucquan Glen to enjoy the creek (this direction is a steep downhill and then mostly gradual uphill till you get to the creek.. Then headed back to Pinnacle, which was mostly downhill to flat and much easier until the steep climb to enjoy the sunset at the overlook. Great trail for exercise and some really nice views along the way. Next time we will try the Tucquan Glenn loop in combo.
wanted to add, The Lancaster Hiking club maintains the Conestoga trail. Here is a link to there website, with maps and descriptions.
The last 8 miles of the Conestoga trail is the best part of the trail if you like "backcountry" type hiking. My wife and I use it to train for our bigger backpacking trips. It's never too crowded and gives a good mix of rocks, streams, ups and downs. We hike with our two girls, 5 and 7, and they can do it with a little help on the rock climbing sections.
The Conestoga can be accessed from Kellys Run, Tuquon Glen, House Rock, and Reeds Run Trails. My favorite sections are from Safe Harbor to Holtwood near PA 372. Not to far from Safe Harbor is a huge labyrinth of caves, the trail meanders through a section. Continuing south there is a chestnut tree farm near House Rock, but you have to veer about 50 yds off the trail. The section near Pinnacle has recently opened for rock climbing and it is a strenuous climb here, better to go up than down this section. The ridge views make this a great hike in early winter or early spring. I have seen bobcat on this trail. The trail is well marked with orange blazes.