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Kelly's Run Loop Trail is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Holtwood, Pennsylvania that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 3.7 mi Elevation gain 616 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Muddy

Over grown

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Kellys Run Nature Preserve contains a loop trail near the Susquehanna River. The trail is rocky and steep in some places but it is a beautiful hike with views of small but picturesque waterfalls. Preserve information can be found at: https://www.lancasterconservancy.org/preserves/kellys-run/

Martic Township. No direct road access; property must be accessed by foot from PPLs Kellys Run Recreation Area. From Lancaster, follow PA Route 272 south to Truce Rd just north of Buck. Right on Truce Rd to Rawlinsville. Left on Drytown Rd, right on Old Holtwood Rd, then bear right at a fork into PPLs Holtwood Recreation Area. To access preserve, hike PPLs blue-blazed Kellys Run Recreation Trail. At second power line cut turn right, head down to bottom of hill, turn left and follow Kellys Run to the Conservancy sign on far side of the stream. This is the southeastern corner of the preserve.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (827)
Photos (972)
Recordings (673)
Completed (1237)
Chris Böerger
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Hiking

Awesome hike with some great views with the creek and waterfalls

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Dan Clementi
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Hiking

Not as fun with the lack of rain. I hiked this trail the day of Isaias and the run was almost bone dry. Most of the Trail is easy, the creek crossings offer the only challenge. I’ve never completed this trail without drawing some blood, however. The rocks are always wet! If doing the trail counter-clockwise, the return is all uphill. If you’re likely to bang your knees like I do, the trail is better hiked clockwise.

Alex Owens
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Rock climbing

Great easy trail. Mind the blazes, or you may end off-route.

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Jenn Holbrook
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HikingMuddyRocky

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, I recommend this trail. Plenty of hills. Terrain varies greatly throughout. About a quarter of the trail is covered with large boulders that you must navigate. Boulders and lower elevations can be slick. Definitely wear hiking boots - not sneakers. A walking stick would be helpful too. My navigation app calculated 4.3 miles - a little longer than the trail description. We’ll be going back!

Ralph Elmore
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HikingBugs

Great trail! Pretty when you get by the water. There was a good link up to the pinnacle overlook, so you can double the distance and add a steep climb section in exchange for a beautiful view.

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Katrina Harnish
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Bird WatchingBugsRocky

Great trail. Relatively easy. I added the pinnacle overlook which made it a great hike. At pinnacle I came down on another trail (started at bathroom) & it joined up with pinnacle trail so I had a little variety. Trail is tough to follow along creek. It crosses a few times & I went off route. I recorded but my off trail was recorded as well. Wore hiking shoes which helped on the rocks. Also hiking sticks helped with climbing over rocks. Next time I will bring kids & water-shoes so we can play in the creek. Went clockwise & it wasn’t difficult. Section that is steeper is short. Even at 90 degrees the shade made it a nice hike.

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Tyler Ferrara
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Hiking

trail is well marked on Kelly's run trail but sometimes not on the others. for an additional challenge to this hike about 1.8 miles in follow the orange and yellow conestoga trail up to the pinnacle overlook. Adds another 1.5 miles to the loop

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Michael Bingham
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Great trail and well marked. Took our dog and a 4 and 6 year old. Everyone did well, but there are certainly areas that could be dangerous if your kids don’t listen or are a bit rambunctious. Highly recommend taking the trail clockwise, especially if you are inexperienced or have children with you. It’s much easier to go up the gorge along Kelly’s run rather than try to climb down.

Capnvic M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

A great loop trail with a decent elevation change. A Goldilocks of a hike: not too hard and not too easy and with a lovely mini-gorge lined with rhododendrons, hemlocks and wood ferns. Hiked with dog and 2 college-aged sons. Trail was a bit wet after heavy rains yesterday so clockwise was the best way to go.

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Tiaana Vaughn
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

Great trail. Heavily wooded, lots of streams and rocks to climb over. We started out counterclockwise so the uphill was a workout, not bad, but definitely a workout. I’m not experienced YET!!! But other than that, great hiking trail. Would do it again. I wouldn’t recommend going counterclockwise if you are inexperienced. We came across some old tracks and took some pictures. Beautiful trail. Heavily shaded. Some areas had no shade, but it was manageable. Very little cell phone service. Not marked very well. We got lost along with a couple of others at one point in the same area near the streams. We back reached and found the correct (blue) trail.

Kirstin Miner
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HikingOver grownRocky

Not marked well. We ended up on a completely different trail half way through and had to walk miles to get back. No cell service. Steep elevations. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone that isn’t experienced.

Jackie Graf
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went clockwise with my kids today. wonderful. little bit of everything for people who enjoy hikes and nature. can't wait to do it again in the fall.

Jon Sternberg
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

Favorite circuit in the area. Has a little of everything

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Nicki Marie
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HikingRocky

I would highly recommend this hike! We also followed the blue markings and took the trail counter clockwise. Being by the waterfalls was beautiful and nice and cool! Very few people on the trail and excellent parking. We took our time, stopping for lots of pictures and it only took us a little over 2 hours. Would definitely do it again!

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Thad McGiness
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HikingRocky

Lots of rocks, not very kid friendly due to some tough off trail rocky work

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Mary P
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

This is a great loop trail and a lot of fun down by the water. The rocks can be slippery, so be careful climbing up and down. There are some scrambles that provide a great workout, too. Shade, views, stream crossings and a little bit of a challenge make this a wonderful hike. Busier on the weekends.

Eric Brennan
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HikingScramble

Parking at the trailhead was great. I would recommend the clockwise direction. Blue blazes weren’t difficult to follow and made our way with very little confusion. Be prepared for a bit of scrambling and a handful of shallow stream crossings. Well worth the efforts. A great example of a valley hike done right. With no vista opportunities in mid summer, The rock formations, rhododendron, and cascading streams satisfy a day hikers dream.

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