Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway


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Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Lancaster
Length: 1.2 miles
Trail end points: Just east of the rotary at Ben Franklin Blvd & E Walnut St, aka "The Goat Path" and Oak Grove Dr.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 13589503

Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway Description

Currently just over a mile in length, the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway looks, at first glance, like most of the other multi-use trails that have been built across the Lancaster suburbs over the past two decades. The completed segment of the trail gently slopes through a rolling, meadow-like environment, paralleling the southeast side of Chestnut Street from just east of Route 30 to the roundabout at Ben Franklin Blvd. The trail crosses Ben Franklin Blvd. at grade before ending at the trailhead immediately east of the roundabout.

A modern art sculpture, as well as a couple metal goat statues decorate the middle of the roundabout and are accessible from the trail. The goat statues attest to the history of the strip of land that the new trail and adjacent streets pass through, known locally as The Goat Path. Looking east of the trailhead at the end of E. Walnut Street, one will notice a strange sight: this strip of linear meadow stretches further east, passing beneath Willow Road. This oddity stretches about 10 miles further east, through the Lancaster County countryside, ending just east of Route 772 in Bareville. It was originally built in the 70's as part of a planned Route 23 expressway that would have connected Lancaster and New Holland.

Penn DOT completed the roadbeds and bridges for this highway before halting work in 1977 due to local opposition and lack of funding. Several attempts to resume construction in the 80's and 2000's were scrapped due to continued opposition from the local Amish community. During this time, Penn DOT allowed local farmers to pasture livestock along the unfinished road, giving it the name "The Goat Path."

Penn DOT eventually gave up on the project when it decided to use funding to repair and replace the state's structurally deficient bridges instead. The county subsequently allowed High Real Estate Group to build the extensions of Chestnut Street and Ben Franklin Blvd., including the roundabout, trailhead and an overpass across Millcross Road, as well as the first segment of the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway, along the westernmost portion of the Goat Path. East Lampeter Township anticipates extending the trail further east on its segment of the unfinished highway in the near future. Plans also call for constructing a parallel trail in the corridor for use by Amish and Mennonite buggies.

The county eventually plans to extend the pathway west to the Penn Medicine Suburban Outpatient Patient in East Hempfield Twp. and east through New Holland to Money Rocks County Park. In addition to the new trail, dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks along Chestnut Street carry the greenway through Lancaster city. It is possible that the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway will one day extend even further east, to Honey Brook in Chester County, where it would link with a planned westward expansion of the Struble Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the current northern trailhead near the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, 850 Greenfield Rd.

See TrailLink Map for more information.


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