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Actually a small network of multi-use trails, the Farmingdale Trail has recently been extended through The Crossings mixed-use development and now connects several neighborhoods in the northwest Lancaster suburbs.
The first phase of the network was completed in 2009 by the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority on land that was once the site of a brickyard and landfill but has long since been reclaimed by nature and is now a nature preserve known as Noel Dorwart Park. It is accessible from a trailhead and parking lot off Good Drive just north of the active Norfolk Southern RR line. Most of the trails have a crushed stone surface and are relatively level, making them suitable for hiking, cycling, dog walking and pushing baby strollers, though there is also grass surface path that winds through a meadow on the north side of the property. Most of the land is covered by young forest while the northwest corner features wetlands that can be crossed on boardwalks. There is also a dog park off Farmingdale Road, though the dogs must be well-behaved due to lack of fencing.
Although not considered a "rail with trail," one segment of the network that crosses the southern part of Noel Dorwart Park is close enough to the rail line that freight trains can often be seen rumbling by between Good Drive and Farmingdale Road and on a spur path that currently dead ends at a RR bridge over Little Conestoga Creek. This segment may be expanded south to Route 23 or east across open space owned by Franklin & Marshall College.
The Farmingdale Trail network was extended north into the adjacent Crossings at Conestoga Creek mixed use development in 2019. After crossing the Little Conestoga Creek on a footbridge, this new extension, which is paved with asphalt, connects to the apartment complex on the back of the property and passes just south of the Wegman's, connecting to Harrisburg Pike immediately across from the entrance to Long's Park. The park's own trail network, along with a connector that passes under Route 30, provides an indirect link to Park City Center shopping mall and adjacent neighborhoods and businesses. Other features along this new segment include the ruins of old kilns dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries, a stone farmhouse that is currently being restored and drainage ponds that attract a variety of water fowl and other wildlife.
A fixture of the northwest Lancaster suburbs for a decade, the Farmingdale Trail will now serve as an alternative transportation network in addition to being a passive recreation area. Longer term plans anticipate it becoming part of a larger network of greenways that will connect the western Lancaster suburbs with the downtown and eventually extend all the way past New Holland.
Trailhead located off Good Drive just north of the Norfolk Southern RR crossing. Can also be accessed from the parking lots at The Crossings At Conestoga Creek development and Long's Park.
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