The Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail-Trail, first envisioned in the 1990s, is a developing pathway being built along the former Reading Railroad. The 7-mile route is hoped to be completed in 2018 and will connect the central Pennsylvania communities of Lititz, Warwick, Akron, and Ephrata. Today, almost half the trail is complete and open.
Its most western completed segment, known as the Lititz-Warwick Trailway, traverses both urban and rural landscapes in the community of Lititz. It passes two restored 18th century buildings and includes signage explaining their history.
Farther east, the rail-trail’s newest piece, which opened in 2015, begins off Fulton Street in Akron. For just over a mile, the paved trail continues northeast primarily through residential neighborhoods and includes a lighted pedestrian tunnel under Route 272 (7th Street). On its eastern end, at Parkview Heights Road, it seamlessly connects to the next segment of the rail-trail in neighboring Ephrata.
Once known as the Ephrata Linear Park Trail, this eastern segment was renamed in 2013 as the Major Richard D. Winters Memorial Trail in honor of a decorated World War II veteran and hometown hero. Dick Winters was featured in the book, Band of Brothers, by historian Stephen Ambrose, and portrayed in a TV miniseries of the same name. Ephrata was his boyhood home and he was buried here in 2011. The well-developed, paved pathway through downtown Ephrata runs for a mile and offers lighting, benches, and landscaping.
For the Ephrata section: Take Route 322 to E. Fulton Street; the trail begins at the street’s intersection with Railroad Avenue in the center of EphrataBorough.
For the Lititz section: From Lancaster, follow Route 501 North to Lititz. Turn right (east) onto Route 772 (Main Street). Turn left onto Clay Road and follow it up the hill to the Warwick Township Municipal Complex on the right. Parking is available all around the municipal building; the trail entrance is directly across Clay Road.