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Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

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Chickies Rock Count Park

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail is a 22.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Marietta, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 22.3 mi Elevation gain 515 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Road biking

Rock climbing

Walking

Running

Forest

Partially paved

River

Views

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Fun, hike that can be as quick or long as you make it. Kids and dogs can successfully hike it, though there is a steep portion at the beginning/end. The ruins of an 1845 Henry Clay furnace are a highlight. The trailhead is located just north of the parking lot at Breezyview Overlook on the southern end of Chickie's Rock park. The trail immediately descends 200 feet via a steep trail. For the most part it is easily navigable, but there are a couple of places where the loose rocks, angles, and lack of anything to hold onto make a tricky spot. Trekking poles or walking sticks are definitely nice to have. About 3/4 of the way down there is a bridge crossing a gully. At the base of the descent you intersect an old railroad bed. Go right (north) and the ruins of an old iron furnace will be on the right. When you intersect with the Norfolk-Southern rail line, you're at the base of Chickie's Rock. Note that hunting is allowed in the area through which the trail passes. Wear orange for visibility and safety.

Paved parking lot, pavilion. No restrooms or water.

Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation: http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/parks/cwp/view.asp?q=518276

From Lancaster, PA, take US 30 west towards York. Exit at PA 441 and go north. Take the first left towards the top of the hill, Breezyview Dr. A parking lot with a wonderful view of the Susquehanna River is at the end of this road. The trailhead is marked with a sign and is on the north end of a grassy area.

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Reviews (222)
Photos (169)
Recordings (235)
Completed (290)
Bruce Neuhauser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 08 2020
Mountain biking

Beautiful, largely tree-lined trail, with a stretch through quaint & historic Marietta.

View Bruce's Recording
Kelly Anna Lucas
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Road biking

Amazing trail. Beautiful views. Really good for biking. Very crowded.

Tiffany Carbaugh
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Hiking

nice area for kids to ride bikes and stuff. we started at the beginning and planned on going up to the gazebo at breezywood for lunch, but that trail up was def too steep for my kids to maneuver their bikes up and we didn't feel comfortable sitting then along the main trail.

View Tiffany's Recording
B Plato
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
Road biking

Very nice trail. Five first timers, we rode this past Wednesday. Lots more traffic than I was expecting on a weekday. Lots of cool scenery along the way. Several incidents including one crash and two flat tires but was still a good day... for me. The issues just reinforce the notion to pay attention and be prepared. And maybe one spare tube isn't enough :)

Mike Hudzik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 24 2020
Road biking

Great ride not to much traffic

Julie Backes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
Hiking

Very busy trail... lots of bikers.

View Julie's Recording
Gust Diamantoni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 25 2020
HikingMuddyNo shadeOff trail

I recommend this trail for anyone who likes ice cream. Because there is a ice cream shop. And anyone who has pets. And it’s a good trail to bike on. It’s a good trail for kids.

View Gust's Recording
Amy Morrissey
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Road biking

We parked at the Southern parking access lot and biked about 2.5 miles on a nice flat paved path and stopped at the Cliffs of Canoy and then headed back. Will definitely go back to bike more on this beautiful trail, just didn’t have enough time.

Kristina Perez
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HikingMuddyOff trailRocky

We went off trail, across the train tracks and down to the water. Nice little secluded spot down there. Incredibly busy on the actual trail today.

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Dan Clementi
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Hiking

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I walked and jogged up to Gay St in Marietta from Columbia with the dog and met allot of great dogs and their owners. Lots of bikers and walkers too. There are many on and off points heading into Marietta, which is a beautiful town with lots of history! There are also off-chute trails that give you opportunities to go along the Susquehanna. The trail is flat and paved, but there is the steep Heritage Trail that connects the trail with the Breezewood Overlook, between Chickie’s Rock and Columbia.

Philip Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 24 2020
HikingOff trail

Best paved rail to trail I’ve been to. Eight foot wide trail, with at least four foot cut grass on ether side most of the way. Start at riverfront park or koser park and go to the white cliffs of conoy. A huge pile of limestone along the river.

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Philip Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 30 2020
HikingOff trail

Great paved trail and plenty of space on both sides to keep your distance from people if you want. With some open fields and wide spaces.

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Pete Bottiglier
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Hiking

we hiked to the railroad bridge from Columbia. great hike. very nice trail.

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Kelsey Strohm
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Hiking

Awesome trail heavily trafficked. Go early! Good views.

Shelby Nelson
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Hiking

Lots of cool things to check out on the trail! We only had time to go a few miles in but we’re definitely going to come back soon to finish the rest. The water is beautiful, there’s a cool rock tunnel, some interesting stone structures, and we even ran into a “trail trolley” that sold hot dogs, drinks, and ice cream which was really rewarding after walking 3 miles in 90 degree weather

View Shelby's Recording
Katerina Warren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 07 2019
Hiking

Paved flat trail along railroad and river. There is some cool things along the trail. Highly trafficked by bikes and hikers. Great for marathon training or an easy walk!

Jay Lynn Schaeffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 27 2019
Mountain biking

Love love love! Great scenery. Bainbridge to Columbia, paved over 90%. A LOT of bikers. This was my first ride on this trail and will absolutely be back!

Justin Ziegmont
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 18 2019
Hiking

Flat and paved trail to The Cliffs of Conoy.

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Drew Lyman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Apr 03 2019
Hiking

Great, easy, paved, well maintained trail. Took my active 70 year old father along for an 8.25 mile round trip from Bainbridge to East Donagal Riverside Park. Parked at Koser Park in Bainbridge and headed south along the trail. One and a half miles in you reach the White Cliffs of Conoy, a limestone outcrop. Sounded a little more dramatic than reality, was nice though. At mile marker 9, two miles in from Bainbridge, there is a Bald Eagle’s nest with a viewing area and binoculars on a pedestal. One eagle was home, maybe sitting on an egg as it was early April. Continued under the Shocks Mill Railroad Bridge, typically beautiful Pennsylvania railroad bridge built in 1905 with a modern boardwalk style walkway underneath. Arrived at the East Donagal park and sat a spell before turning back around to go to the car. Overall a great afternoon. 4/5, would do again. Next time will place a car at both ends and go point to point between Bainbridge and Marietta.

Jenna Carroll
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 06 2018

I live a long this trail and respect every aspect of living on a trail. It’s such a special thing to be a part of and I make every element of a trail a part of my life and family’s lifestyle. Beautiful trail and great for running and bike riding. I have road my bike the entire distance and love it. I have ran half of the trail which is great to run because it is shaded and cool. Great for dogs and kids too!

Ray Hottenstein
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Hiking

Our first hiking experience. It was a good trail to be the first!

Rachel Stellhorn
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We LOVED this trail! Started in Marietta River Park and biked all the way down to Columbia Crossing. Excellently maintained trail that made for a beautiful ride. There are spots along the way to stop and go down to the river, and also a lovely wildflower meadow. Don’t forget to stop at the snow cone stand at Chiques Rock! Very kind lady and very refreshing treats. Made for an amazing day!

Frank Schaeffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 20 2018

this is paved trail and is over run with bicycles riding way to fast and not signaling when they ride up on you. very busy place. Good for a little family walk and strollers.

Jonathan Slaven
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 16 2018
Road biking

Forget the cowbell. For a river trail I need a little more river view! Good flat path great for walk/run/bike tho.

Andria Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 21 2017
Mountain biking

This trail is terrific to bike or hike. It's paved most of the way with nice benches along the way to sit and cool off. There are side trails that are fun to explore, and the river is never far away. The beginning of the trail features a lot of large rocky out croppings, and some cool stone structure remains. It then takes u through historic Marietta which is a good spot to stop at a pub for a beer or at the county park to fill up your water bottles from the water fountains. I explored the white cliffs of Conoy which are at the far end of the trail. It was an interesting site, but a bit anti-climatic. Farther down, the trail becomes unpaved but is still navigable by bike. The unpaved portion will drop u off in Faulmouth. If you cross over the parking lot, there is a very unmarked, lightly treaded trail through the woods. If you take the trail to the second set of power lines and head towards the river you'll see some of the conewago potholes. You'll also cross over a pretty creek and the area is full of wildflowers this time of year. I loved every portion of this trail.

Mike Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 02 2017

Very cool trail... hopefully one day they'll connect this with the Enola Low Grade so you can go from the dam to Falmouth! It's almost entirely "paved" with stone dust. Bike friendly. Dog friendly. Easy flat walk. http://www.nwrt.info

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