Northwest Lancaster County River Trail will one day stretch 14 miles, connecting three townships along the east bank of the Susquehanna River: Conoy, East Donegal, and West Hempfield, as well as several other riverfront communities. Currently, nearly 12 miles of trail are open between Falmouth (near the Dauphin County line) and Columbia.
Along the way, you can view relics of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal towpath, which the trail follows, including abandoned canal locks, iron furnaces, and an old quarry at Billmeyer. The canal begin operations in 1833 and ended in the 1860s with the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The northern 3.75 miles of the trail between Falmouth and Bainbridge is known locally as the Conoy Canal Trail. It runs along the Conewago Canal, part of the original Mainline Canal, that was built to bypass Conewago Falls on the Susquehanna River. On route, you'll see original stonework in the form of old bridges and locks.
The trail’s southern half runs through Marietta, from downtown to Chickies Rock County Park, which offers more than 400 acres of woodlands and meadows. The section through the county park goes by the name of Susquehanna Heritage Trail and ends with a trip through an old railroad tunnel called the Point Rock Tunnel. In the park, be sure to take the spur up a 100-foot-high rock outcropping for spectacular views of the river and the Norfolk Southern Railroad below. The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the active railroad for a few miles.
In Conoy Township, parking is available at the Falmouth Boat Access. From Route 441, turn onto Collins Road.
In Bainbridge, parking is available at American Legion Park, located where Race Street ends at the Susquehanna River. A portable toilet is also available there.
In Marietta, parking is available in Riverfront Park and at the Decatur Street Trailhead.