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Wildwood Lake via Canal Towpath and Capital Area Greenbelt Trails

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Wildwood Park

Wildwood Lake via Canal Towpath and Capital Area Greenbelt Trails is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.5 mi Elevation gain 144 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Wheelchair friendly

Kid friendly

Stroller friendly

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Road biking

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Partially paved

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (6)
Facilities
Contact
Tips

Note: As of June 2020, part of the trail is closed for repairs however most of the trail is still accessible. Please check with the park page for more information. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania, Wildwood Park is conveniently located on the edge of Harrisburg, PA. Wildwood Park has a long and unique history. But, what is really exciting is how far this natural habitat has come in the past five years. The lake trails offer numerous opportunities for visitors to stop and check out natural elements - whether it is wild flowers or wild life, there is always something to see. Wildwood Park is a photographer's paradise to capture amazing sunrises, awesome sunsets, and wildlife moments. Whether you are someone who just enjoys taking pictures or a professional, you cannot beat Wildwood for scenic backdrops or point of interest shots. The park is also an ideal location for birdwatchers with two boardwalks and a bird blind for up-close viewing. While this guide plots the main trail around Wildwood Lake, many visitors take advantage of the boardwalks and side trails to extend their visit and get off the beaten path. To make even more of your time at Wildwood, be sure to visit when the Nature Center is open. Wildwood Park is located minutes from downtown Harrisburg and is a convenient location to get "back to nature" close to the city. The trail is used by walkers, runners and bicyclists and is also dog-friendly. Dogs must be leashed and several "comfort stations" are provided.

The Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center is a haven of opportunities for those interested in nature. The nature center was built through the generosity of Benjamin Olewine III. Mr. Olewine has a deep love of nature and wanted to provide to others the ability to learn, the opportunity to sit peacefully and watch nature. In addition he wanted a place for children to interact with nature, and to help all understand Wildwood and the role it plays in the Susquehanna Valley conservation efforts. Constructed in 1999, the Nature Center opens its doors Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. allowing visitors to peruse through the exhibit area that depicts the areas natural resource information and shop in the unique Nature Store. Children are invited to check out nature from the inside-out by climbing through a tree or enjoy a book in the reading area where parents can sit and read to them. Bird enthusiasts can watch the birds from the special glass enclosed bird blind that overlooks the lake and offers numerous bird feeders that attracts an abundant number of species that come to eat. Educators find ample opportunities to bring their school children to learn about nature in an outdoor classroom supported by a wetlands laboratory setting with a wide range of special programs offered through the Wildwood Staff. Walking into the Nature Center is like being outside in a controlled atmosphere! Even the restrooms show signs of wildlife as you encounter a variety of footprints left by the natural habits of the area. The friendly staff is eager to answer questions and provide directions to make visiting a pleasing experience.

Mailing Address Friends of Wildwood Lake Nature Center, Inc. 100 Wildwood Way Harrisburg, PA 17110 Telephone (717) 221-0292 Fax (717) 221-0318 E-mail wwstaff@dauphinc.org

The park is open from dusk to dawn. There is plenty of parking along Industrial Road or near the Nature Center. There are several picnic areas and restrooms available. The Nature Center is open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. The park can be fairly noisy due to the close proximity of the highway and an industrial park. While the din can detract from the overall "nature" experience, the beauty of the area and the abundance of wildlife certainly help to make up for it. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (304)
Photos (260)
Recordings (284)
Completed (548)
Pete Zornosa
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Hiking

cute little park

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Anna Montalbano
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Hiking
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Imelda Redding
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Hiking

very scenic and lots of wildlife

Michelle Güntzel
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Peaceful. Made a game out of counting all the turtles and frogs!

Krystal Markle
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Walking

Very nice paved walking trail. Some hilly spots. The stone path by the marsh was flat. Enjoyed all the nature and scenery.

View Krystal's Recording
Rachel Soccio
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Hiking

part of the trail was closed off for repairs, but overall it was a great walk/hike. saw lots of wildlife and found a fresh snake skin.

View Rachel's Recording
Sue Graham
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Walking

Beautiful walk

Kathy O’Toole
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Walking

Great trail for a leisurely walk with lots to look at between wildlife, plants, wetlands and even artwork. Mostly flat with a few uphills/downhills on the backside. Full length was 3.72 miles vs what AllTrails shows. There are 4 different parking lots... the North Lot, the Middle Lot, the South Lot and then the largest of all, the Nature Center Lot. One section of the walking path was closed but there was an alternate route along the Delta Boardwalk that kept you progressing along the loop without missing much. There was signage posted indicated that the North Boardwalk was closed but it wasn’t roped off.

View Kathy's Recording
Victoria Siebecker
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Nice mostly paved walking trail around wetlands. There are also a couple boardwalks.

michael van scoy
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Hiking

A beautiful trail off an industrial road in harrisburg. Good for all ages and kids. Lots of birds, fish and turtles can be seen while on the tow path. There is a boardwalk area as well that takes you closer to the lake like all the other reviews the one small complaint is that for the majority of the time you can hear the traffic. Worth coming out to if near harrisburg

View michael's Recording
Brandee Buser
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Hiking

Fun trail to do with young kids, especially the boardwalk area. Trail is busy though

Kayla Williams
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Hiking

Loved the boardwalks. We saw lots of wildlife. There was neat art through out the trail such as a fairy garden, painted trees, tree stumps carved into animals, etc. It is stroller friendly!

Sarah Denk
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Hiking

We saw tons of wildlife and enjoyed the trails! Parts were a bit marshy but nothing that wasn’t walkable. Definitely will be back!

View Sarah's Recording
Steph Apple
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Hiking

We saw a lot of wildlife, which really surprised me considering that the park is sandwiched between a busy highway and an industrial park. There were tons of egrets, a huge snapping turtle, what we’re pretty sure was a beaver, many red winged black birds, and even a bunch of cute ducklings with their mom. Nice walk, suitable for all, and exciting to see so much wildlife in such an urban setting.

Chelsea Lienhard
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Hiking

Under construction

View Chelsea's Recording
Kristine A.
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Walking

Great trail for a variety of fitness levels. The backside is steep. I have run, rode and walked this trail many times. My 7 year old son also enjoys and likes to see the variety of wildlife on the lake. The only negative is you can hear the traffic on 322. Otherwise it's a wonderful spot along the Capitol Area Greenbelt, which in itself is a treasure.

James Woulfe
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RunningBlowdownBridge outWashed out
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Nicholas Antonelli
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MuddyOff trailRocky

awesome!

Kathryn Eng
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Mountain biking

Biked with husband and our two kids, who are beginner bikers (age 6 & 7). Path was paved through the elevated areas and dirt/gravel on the level area. Kids had to walk their bikes up some of the hills and down half of the steeper hills. We took many short stops for drinks:) The path was very crowded with many hikers (first warm, sunny day in a while). Took a little over an hour to Bike the entire 3 mile trail. Overall, it was a great experience for all of us! Kids enjoyed it a lot!

View Kathryn's Recording
Brandy Mazero
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HikingBridge outMuddy
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Anthony Pascarella
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Hiking

Enjoyed the walk. trail has beautiful views of the wetlands and animal life was abundant.

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Melissa McKinney
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Hiking

Gorgeous! Especially just after dawn. Asphalt and gravel trails are the only downside.

View Melissa's Recording
Miranda Cooper
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HikingBugs

Cool trail, lots of side trails to choose from. A few bugs out during sundown but nothing out of the ordinary for wetlands. We saw a weasel, lots of birds, and turtles.

Stefanie Meilinger
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Hiking

Really enjoyed this trail of the wetlands, around the lake. Some shade, partial sun. Bugs were not a problem. Neat structures and friendly, safe environment.

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Daniel Brigham
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Hiking

Family friendly. Can bring bikes or rollerblades. Cool nature center and connects to the greater Harrisburg trail network. Mostly shaded. Can go through the fox run and off trail into the woods for some fun.

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