- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Explore the best rated trails in Lebanon, PA, whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail and Limerick Trail . With more than 84 trails covering 532 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
My wife and I rode this trail today and we both agree, it’s at the top of our list of rail trails. The views of the farms, the creek (I would call it a river), York College and others make this ride so enjoyable. We are from Maryland and have taken the Torrey C Brown trail several times so we wanted to see how the HRT was in comparison. We parked at Seven Valleys and rode north to York (about 10 miles). The trail is in great shape and with the leaves off the trees, it helped to provide views all along the route. We stopped for lunch at the Iron Horse Restaurant in downtown York where Summer took great care of us. It’s only 3 block up main from the HRT. If we get some more mild weather this winter, we will start in New Freedom and ride north. It will be well worth it.
Ok for running or walking but surface too soft and rocky for riding. Rode half way and gave up and moved to road. Parallel tracks indicate it's used by 4 x 4s more than bikes. Also, there's not much to look at since it's right by the road.
Trail surface was great for a gravel ride. Not overgrown at all. Scenic, and the fact that it's 20' above the adjacent highway keeps noise and vehicle intimidation to a minimum.
I enjoyed the trail from Brentwood Trailhead up to where the residential street started…. need more signage at that location to tell people they have to walk thru the neighborhood to pick up the rest of the trail. Or that they can take that little path to the right that leads one back to the University grounds.
Not to be confused with the nearby and better known Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, the Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail is noted for its scenic, natural beauty and for passing several historical sites on its 2.2 mile route through SC PA's South Mountain area, itself the northernmost tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Although these lands are now covered with lush forests, gently flowing creeks and placid lakes, historic Pine Grove Furnace and the adjacent village attest to the area's past as a bustling iron works in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The trail begins next to the old, hulking stone furnace and passes near several other relics from this bygone era, including the ironmaster's mansion, which is now a hostel, and Fuller Lake, originally an open pit iron mine that flooded with water. The trail itself follows the route of a long abandoned RR that was used to ship iron produced at the furnace to the rest of the nation.
The first quarter mile of the trail passes along the north shore of Fuller Lake. Despite its origins as an iron mine, the lake is a popular recreation spot and the Fuller Lake Day Use Area includes a picnic area as well as a snack bar, restrooms and a beach open to swimming from late May to early September. This section of the trail has a paved, asphalt surface and is used to provide access to the lake from the nearby village.
Asphalt gives way to crushed stone as the trail enters the woodlands of Michaux State Forest east of the lake. The sounds of wildlife, including birds and numerous small mammals, as well as frogs, crickets and locusts can be heard in the forested wetlands that line nearby Mountain Creek. This section of the trail is also part of the much longer, world famous Appalachian Trail and users may encounter long distance hikers.
A yellow gate located about a mile east of Fuller Lake marks the halfway point on the trail as well as the beginning of the eastern segment, on-road concurrency with the appropriately named Old Railroad Grade Road. This is also the point where the Appalachian Trail diverges, veering right and ascending the mountain toward the Pole Steeple rock outcropping and overlook, while the rail trail and road go right, following Mountain Creek. After another half mile, the trail and road pass Laurel Lake, on its southern shore, treating users to panoramic views, while the thickly forested mountain rises steeply to the south. Unlike the smaller Fuller Lake, Laurel Lake was originally constructed to provide water to a nearby iron forge and a large, concrete dam is still located at its eastern end. Like it's western counterpart, it's now a popular location for boating, fishing and swimming during the warmer months of the year. In addition to the Appalachian Trail, several smaller hiking paths, including the Pole Steeple, Kopenhaver and Mountain Creek trails, branch off this section.
Although this eastern section, which ends at Pine Grove Road near Old Forge Road, has a smooth, asphalt surface, trail users need to be aware that this is also a public road and to look out for cars and trucks using the road to access the lake and several cabins set back in the woods. Despite the low posted speed limit, the narrow width of Old Railroad Grade Road as well as the fact that it passes between a lake shore and the slope of a mountain means that there is little room to move off the trail when yielding to vehicles. Nonetheless, the beauty of the surrounding mountains and valley and historical significance of Pine Grove Furnace State Park make the Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail a rewarding experience and worthy addition to South Central PA's greenway system.
Constructed through the rural farmlands of western Cumberland County, the 13 mile long Cumberland Valley Rail Trail is one of Central PA's premier multi-use greenways.
The trail follows a portion of the main line of the former Cumberland Valley RR, which connected Harrisburg with VA's Shenandoah Valley and operated from 1837 to 1919, when it was acquired by the Pennsylvania RR. During this time, the RR was notable for running the first passenger sleeper car in the US in 1839 and for transporting troops, weapons and other supplies to the front lines during the Civil War. The line remained active under the ownership of the Pennsylvania RR and its successor, the Penn Central, before passing to Conrail in 1976.
Conrail took the section of line between Carlisle and Shippensburg out of service in 1981 and formally abandoned it in 1995, donating the corridor to the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails Council. The council developed a multi-use rail trail suited for cycling and foot traffic over the course of the three decades, the most recent being the section through the village of Greason, which opened in early 2023. Most of the trail is paved with crushed stone, though sections in Shippensburg and Newville are asphalt. A parallel dirt path exists for horseback riders.
As of 2023, three disconnected segments of the trail have been constructed (four if you count the 1 mile long Chambersburg Rail Trail, which Franklin County and Chambersburg borough officials eventually plan to incorporate into a planned southern extension).
A little over 11 miles long, the southern section extends from Fort Street in Shippensburg northeast to Green Hill Road just east of Newville. The first mile of this section passes through the campus of Shippensburg University and gets heavy use from students and faculty. An old Penn Central RR car situated immediately north of the southern terminus of the trail has been converted into a small museum and a restored RR signal both serve as tributes to the history of the line. The numerous sculptures and other works of art that line the greenway between Fort Street and Shippensburg Twp. Park, as well as the smooth, asphalt surface and comfort stations with running water and flush toilets, give the first mile more of a suburban vibe than the rural atmosphere prevalent on the rest.
The bustle of Shippensburg and the adjacent college campus quickly gives way to bucolic countryside and the asphalt yields to crushed stone northeast of Shippensburg Twp. Park. A linear woodland of trees and other lush vegetation lines most of the trail from here to Newville, providing cool shade in summer and helping reduce the strong winds that often whip through the valley in winter and peeks of picturesque, rolling farmland and small villages can be seen through the gaps and at several road crossings. Observant trail users will also take note of numerous small rock cuts along this section of the trail.
The trail enters open farmlands on the final 2 miles of the southern section located east of Newville, treating trail users to panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Similar vistas can be found on the short, 1-mile long middle segment of the trail that extends from Springview Road east through the village of Greason before dead ending just west of McAllister Church Road. Also take note of the old RR freight depot just west of Greason Road. These features offset the fact that these parts of the trail are more exposed to the elements.
Another short segment of the trail, the 2 mile long northern section, begins at Shearer Road in the warehouse district on the west end of Carlisle. This section crosses a wetland to Route 465, following the east side of that road for a half mile, before turning west onto the old rail line just south of Route 641. It follows the old RR to a dead end about a mile west of here. Despite crossing primarily through industrial properties, this segment of the trail is still a pleasant experience, though trail users need to be careful crossing busy Route 465.
The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail's gorgeous scenery and rich history, along with its role in helping to connect Shippensburg University with the adjacent town make it one of Central PA's great greenways. Unfortunately, the gaps that separate the different segments of the trail do not have easy detours and the dead ends on the middle and northern sections require users to backtrack, limiting their popularity. Hopefully, they can eventually be closed and the goal of linking Shippensburg and Dickenson universities will finally be realized.
I took my family on this trail and with it being 3/4 paved and ending up at Hopewell furnace made for a lovely afternoon¡
I was on this trail for the first and last time yesterday. My wife and I did a 21 mile round trip from the south end on a gorgeous day in October. This might be the prettiest trail I have ever seen. But the trail surface was a mixture of smooth, hardbacked dirt (nice) to something like a washboard. My wife sprained a muscle in her hand just holding on to the handlebars. I usually like to go back and finish a trail that I have only partially completed, but we won't be going back to this one.
I always park at the RT230 lot because it is only about 5 miles from my house. I have been on this trail more times than I can count over a lot of years and nothing has much changed. That is why I keep going back. Quiet, calm, peaceful are all proper descriptions of the ride in my book. And that it connects to the longer LVRT and also to Horseshoe trail and the MB trails at MT Gretna make it a truly unique ride for me. In fact one I will be doing that ride tomorrow. It's Sunday and you can ride through the Game Lands.
I had never been on the Heritage Trail but I wanted to get a least 50 total miles in so I started at the parking lot near MM 16 and rode south. I crossed the border into MD and what a difference a State Line can make! I was not impressed at all with the ride on the Heritage but The Torrey was much more rural, did not have near the road crossings and you are for the most part riding beside a beautiful creek in a serene wooded environment instead of beside RR tracks in an environment that felt more industrial. I'll be back to complete the Southern end, for sure.
If you're looking for a rail-trailesque experience, this is not that trail. While nicely built into an area of relatively new housing and commercial developments, there are very steep grades connecting the two loops, as the northern loop circles a housing development on a Kissel Hill, and the other goes around a commercial area in the valley.
My husband and I are always looking for new spaces to share, I am an avid Walker, he in a heavy Wheelchair…. we found the path between the golden soybean fields and enormous trees with its echo filled underpass and arched bridge a delightful hike, within a half hour of home. Boiling Springs and Cafe 101 offers a nice to have a nosh after.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!