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The 7.1-mile Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail-Trail runs from Ephrata west to Lititz in Warwick Township, following the former Reading and Columbia Railroad, which began service in 1863. The Lancaster Junction Trail is located farther down the same rail line on the route to Columbia. When the rail line was built during the Civil War, there was debate about whether the terrain was suitable for a rail line and if cutting a mere 25 miles off a trip from New York to Washington, D.C., was worth the investment, particularly when a rail line already existed through Harrisburg.
Though the easternmost endpoint is located a bit farther north, at Hazel Alley and Acorn Alley, it’s best to begin your journey 0.5 mile along the trail at Ephrata Linear Park, where parking is available. From here, the trail takes you through downtown Ephrata before passing through mostly residential areas. This portion of trail is paved and lit. At Millway Road in about 2.7 miles, parking and a restroom are available. If you turn right here, go 0.2 mile, and turn right again, you’ll find a farmers market offering fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods.
In 2018 the 0.75-mile portion of trail in Warwick Township between a bridge at Cocalico Creek and East Meadow Valley Road was completed. From Millway Road, the trail crosses Cocalico Creek and heads to a trailhead on East Meadow Valley Road, between Cocalico and Briar Hill Roads. After this point, the trail becomes crushed stone and runs through farmland, though it still has some tree cover to keep your trip pleasant on a sunny day. Here, users are advised to be aware of farm equipment crossing the trail, stay a safe distance away, and observe posted rules and regulations.
In another 2.4 miles, you’ll pass through the Warwick Township Municipal Authority on Clay Road. More than just an administrative building, this trailhead offers a 20-acre park with baseball fields, a playground, and a 0.6-mile trail encircling it. The Warwick Township Municipal Authority also includes restrooms and the closest trail parking to the Lititz terminus. Head another 0.7 mile west on a trail that is once again paved and dead-ends at North Oak Street in Lititz.
From here, the southern endpoint of the 1.2-mile Warwick Township Linear Park Trail is just over a mile northwest, and the northern endpoint of the 0.5-mile Butterfly Acres Trail is less than a mile south.
On the western side of the Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail-Trail, Lititz Borough is working to extend the trail about 1 mile farther west in the future. On the eastern side, Ephrata Borough is in the planning stages for an extension north to West Pine Street, with an estimated completion date of 2020.
Parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions. Parking locations include a small seven space parking lot where the trail crosses at 78 East Queen Street in Ephrata. A porta potty is located there as well (no porta potty/restrooms at the Railroad Ave trailhead or the parking area at the Major Dick Winters memorial).
Was on the trail on Fri. 10/14/2022. spoke with one of the maintenance men, near the Dick Winters memorial. He stated that they have a broom attachment for the skid loader that they use to brush aside all of the fallen black walnut husks on the paved sections. I find the trail very well kept.
I'm not sure what the person complaining about rails and trash on the trail is talking about. We rode this trail end-to-end and back yesterday. It's a very nice well maintained trail. The surface is a combination of paved and crushed stone. even the unpaved portions are pretty smooth. The trail travels through some scenic farmland as well as some neighborhoods. Portions of it are shaded by the tree canopy and there is also a gnome garden.
I would rather them just keeping the railroad then making a terrible trail which really isn't even a trail. Just Trash everywhere and the rails are left on the side of the trail to rot its not an enjoyable experience for railfans.
We rode our bikes 7 miles from Ephrata to Lititz and arrived at lunch time a break and some nourishment in town. Lititz is cute as a button for all kinds of shopping and history. After time in Lititz we got back on the trail and got to Ephrata Linear parking lot in about 40 minutes. For us, this was the perfect length. The “hills” were pretty easy, the gravel parts were not a problem at all and the weather was sunny and warm, with low humidity. We would do it again if we are in the area!
This is the trail I've ridden most often, as it is only a few minutes from my house. It's a great little trail, and my kids love stopping at the beautiful Warwick Twp park that the trail goes through. I'd like to give it 5 stars, because I'm sure many people work hard to maintain it. However, there are long stretches of the spring and summer that the Warwick half of the trail is simply not usable due to the overpowering odor of the liquid fertilizer that the local farmers use on the many fields lining the trail. I've lived in Lancaster County for nearly 20 years - I'm fine with the standard cow poo smell, but the liquid stuff is unbearable and it gets in your clothes, hair, and skin. It also draws so many flies and other bugs that you feel like you're being pelted with sleet as you ride. I have to mask up and wear goggles to keep them out of my eyes and mouth. It's a real bummer, but I suppose that's just the reality of the location. Not sure there's a way to remedy it.
I hopped on this trail somewhere around the mid point and headed towards Lititz. Very nice maintained. I even enjoyed a few alternative routes around a park and a school. I was hoping it would go farther towards the pleasant downtown area in Lititz but feel that the streets are safe enough to travel to all of the shopping attractions in Lititz. I the returned back to the trail and followed it back all the way to Ephrata and was pleasantly surprised to see that that end of the trail leads to downtown. I even caught a glimpse of a small BMX style practice track that I was tempted to try. I also want to mention that there are bike rental options at either end of the trail that makes for a great option for non-owners.
Ephrata side of trail is paved and clean. Warwick side has Small crushed limestone that just cakes on chains and bikes. This is the only local trail I ride that I have to wash the bike when done.
Another downside is the 11 road crossing that can be very challenging depending on time of day. With 2 of the worst traffic crossings on the Warwick Side.
My husband and I rode the 7 miles out and back today from the Warwick municipal authority parking lot to Ephrata. A lovely ride. Crushed stone and asphalt. Stopped and at Brewsters. We had the pork sandwich, delicious! Recommend this trail.
A great kid-friendly ride with trailside opportunities to take a break and enjoy😎 From the Ephrata Linear Park trailhead it’s about an easy two miles to the gnome village of Nibbles T McGibbons. A small playground trailside offers shade and a few picnic tables with nearby porta-potty. And, our 6 yo grandson gave the dirt bike course a try👍🏼 We reversed direction at the cornfields, a little more than half-way on this shorter-than-most rail trails for a roundtrip of 8 miles.😎
My wife and I rode the trail this morning. Excellent ride for e-bikes. Most of trail is asphalt. A small section is dirt/small gravel but very easy to ride on. Beautiful ride through the country side. Be sure not to miss the Gnome Village!
It would be a 5 star trail for biking if it was paved. It makes for a very dirty bike.
Straight, flat, well paved or otherwise surfaced, and a relatively short round trip distance: The Warwick Trail is a great way to start the biking season.
Great trail! Very scenic and the trail is wide enough for walkers, bikes, and electric scooters.
A friend and I rented bikes at the Dick Winter's Memorial off Fulton Street in Ephrata. They have really nice trail bikes for rent for $10/2 hours. You do need to unlock the bikes with a code that is emailed AFTER you pay for your rental. We had no issues getting the bikes adjusted to our height. One bike had a basket which was convenient. A few other bikes had water bottle holders. I don't ride bikes a lot, but my friend told me that the rental bikes are very good quality. I thought the bikes were very comfortable and even though I am 53 y/o - it was a comfortable 14 mile ride on the Warwick/Ephrata rail trail. It was a lovely day so there were a lot of people on the trail, but not too many people that we had difficulty navigating the trail.
Rode entire trail. Very nice, much to see. Loved the paved sections. Some inclines but easy enough. Well maintained. It was busy on a Saturday. Very friendly people on the trail.
Have enjoyed exploring different sections of this trail with my 10 month old puppy. We’ve walked 3 different sections so far & love how well maintained the trail is as well as the beautiful country scenery!! My favorite so far.
Love this trail. Easy to run and very well maintained.
Walked portions of this trail in the past. It has gotten longer.
Spent couple of hours riding End to End and back.
Started at the Millway crossing parking area. Good parking with PortaJohn. Millway and Rothsville Rd.
Ride into Ephrata is paved and lighted. Portions of the trail open in the evening. Some portions Dawn-Dusk. Warwick Township portion is mostly packed gravel - in good condition.
Lititz Bikeworks provides a Bike Rental kiosk at Warwick Township Facility.
It's a do-over. I'll be back.
Very nice trail! great for biking!
We started in Ephrata at the parking lot near the monument. It took 2.5 hours to ride the whole thing.
Nice mix of hills, scenery, and pull offs to rest.
Lots of road crossings, but most people stopped for us.
This trail is now open from Lititz to Ephrata. Construction on the bridge in the center is complete. The trail is paved at both ends and gravel in the center. I rode the entire trail on my road bike and had no problem with the gravel section, but I might not be able to say that shortly after a rain.
We rode the trail today from Warwick Twp towards Ephrata and were stopped near Millway due to construction upgrades. Does anyone know when this section will re-open?
Rode this trail on Wed. 1/2/19 starting in the early afternoon, the temperature was in the low 40s and it was overcast. There were lots of people using the trail, mostly walkers but also runners and several other riders. My GPS showed that the trail was only 6.85 miles from Main Street in Ephrata to Oak Street in Lititz. The trail is a pleasant mix of small town "urban" and farmland and with all of the leaves off the trees there were some nice long views of the Lancaster County countryside as you climb and descend several small hills. If you start your ride in Ephrata about 1 mile from Main St. the trail turns to the left. (Going straight takes you to a road). A potentially dangerous spot is near the Warwick Township building, there is a black fence next to the trail that blocks your view around a turn. One last word of caution, some of the many Porta-Potties have doors that do not latch closed. Still a great little trail, while too short to be a destination ride on it's own, there are several other nice trails nearby. I hope to ride this trail many times throughout the year.
After 20+ years, the Rehab/redecking of the bridge over the Cocalico creek has been completed!!!!!!!!! Yahoo!!!!!!
This middle section was opened to the public, yesterday , 12/28/2018.
One can now utilize this 7.2 mile trail to travel from the Lititz Borough /Warwick township line to Rte. 322/Main Street in Ephrata.
A local bike company, has a bike rental station(via smartphone) at the Warwick township building at Clay Road. Train for a 5 k, half marathon or a Leisurely bike ride on this trail thru preserved farms, and the heart of the 1900's industrial era of Ephrata. Many scenic vistas! go out explore, send photos!!!!!!!!
A wonderful trail to walk and ride bike on.
I have 5 kids and they all are able to walk this trail. Smoothe path great for bikes, strollers, and wheelchairs. Always fully stocked with pooper baggies for the four legged walkers, and always quiet and clean. It has a good mixture of sun and shade but keep sunblock handy for the little ones some stretches don't have shade. There is a porta potty near the middle of the trail, and at the beginning near the elementary school, a small park near the Akron bridge and a small basketball court in the ephrata portion. There is also a really cute little elf village near the rothsville portion in a shaded area on the side. (We walk this trail a lot!!) Keep water on had there are no fountains. One end starts in the middle of ephrata where all the reuse-it shops are so if you are into shopping consignment then it is an awesome trail to start shopping drop your stuff off and then start. There is also a little cafe at the intersection not far from the trail so if you want a special treat when you are done, its perfect. If you know where the WIC office is this is almost directly across the street from it. The one thing we are waiting on is for them to finish it.. PLEASE finish it this will be one of the best trails around once complete!!
This trail is great but it took a long time for it to be completed. Lancaster County has a good number of rail trails that are heavily used. Finally the local governments are realizing the tremendous benefits that these trails provide. I wonder when this trail will be finally completed from Ephrata to Lititz.
Well done trail that, when completed, will be an excellent destination trail. Paved for about 3 miles from downtown Ephrata. Lighted (lit didn't look right)for the first 2.5 of those miles. On a nice weekend day expect to see lots of user. Easy to connect to the Warwick section on back roads. We've been using this abandoned rail line for over 30 years and are excited each time a new section has been improved. Recently checked out the bridge section which is the final hurdle only to have two white tail deer dart across the trail in front of us. Anxiously looking forward to the day I can do a night ride from Ephrata to Lititz and back without being on the road at all.
Two segments of the trail have recently been completed. (as of 12/28/2016).
Warwick Township added 5200 ft. going east from East Newport road to Picnic Woods road.(* NOte, East Newport road is a very busy road! Flashing lights have been installed at the crossing, but use caution!)
On the other end, an additional 2000ft. have been completed from the Akron Borough line to Millway road in Ephrata Township.
Warwick Township anticipates completing the segment from Picnic Woods road to Old Rothsville road by the end of 2017. The Final segment from Rothsville road to Millway road, which requires redecking and fencing the bridge over the Cocalico Creek is expected to be completed in 2018.
From downtown Ephrata to Akron and return.
Walked as part of a 'Volksmarch'. Trail is well done and a bit longer than the current map indicates. Lighted of night time use. Open 6AM to 11PM. I'm planning on a night bike ride next spring.
There are side detours that should be considered. Easy to make a loop in Akron to connect Lloyd H Roland Memorial Park 'East' of the trail on Main Street. Ephrata Cloister is located 'West' of the Ephrata trailhead with numerous restaurants in the downtown area.
Great to be alive. We enjoyed another PA rail-trail. Short. Undone. Confusing at times, especially in Ephrata and alittle bit in Lititz. Need signage. Nearing completion. Liked the lights from Ephrata to Akron. May return when finished.
Went up and back and did the whole thing today. There is everything from walkers to bikers to pet owners so it can get crowded. Easier parking on Ephrata side. 95% is paved, some gravel at Akron side. Literally takes you to downtown Ephrata but you can park and pick it up at many locations.
My wife and I learned of this trail last year and have walked on it in the Ephrata-Akron area a number of times. Very well developed and maintained, a relaxing walk on most any day. We want to walk the trail in the Lititz-Warwick area next.
Can't wait till it's done
first time on this trail. Can't wait until it is completed. The trail itself is great, was just very short. Hard to believe it is there because it is so well hidden. Great for walking or jogging or for a quick short ride. Only reason for the 4 stars versus 5 stars is the length. Otherwise definitely a five star!
Having benches along the trail are great.
The trash cans and doggie waste bags are great.
Beside each other, not so great.
The long awaited extension of the trail into Akron Borough was openend on january 1st 2015.
This new segment from Parkview Ave in Ephrata Borough extends the trail 1.3 miles to Fulton Street in Akron.
It is expected that work on extending the trail to Millway Road in Ephrata township will begin this Spring.
This newly opened section is easily accessible to the apartments adjacent to the trail,and since the section is lighted, provides another place for evening dogwalkers
Went for a nice winter walk that included this trail.
Great trail, Lots of early morning users. Parking? Other Facilities appear lacking.
Saw a sign saying 'No Winter Maintenance'.
That's wrong. For the number of snow events we get, there must be a couple of minutes in the snow removal schedules the take care of the trail.
There probably is a requirement to shovel snow off a sidewalk in the township so why doesn't this extend to the township/town trails.
Maybe just trying to avoid the legal liability.
My wife and I bought bikes over the winter. As retired folks, although we are not in bad shape, we feel we need the exercise and just the chance to get out and enjoy the outdoors. This was our "first ride". We did the trail out to Oak St. then up to Newport Road. It was OK, but we didn't expect to be riding along a main highway. Remember, this is our "first ride", so we weren't sure what to expect. HOWEVER, we found some side trails, all paved that wound around between developments. WONDERFUL! Also, appreciated the Warwick Municipal building and park with bathrooms, good parking.....and very friendly people along all the trails.
The Lititz-Warwick Trailway is a short, but sweet trail that passes two beautiful, historical structures. It also provides valuable links between nearby subdivisions, and will eventually extend both westward to Lititz-Springs Park and eastward to the Ephrata Linear Park. In the meantime, take the branch trail that begins just east of the creek north to Oak Street, then go south past John Bonfield Elementary School to the western terminus of the trailway for a longer hiking or cycling route.
Constructed along the right-of-way of the old Reading-Columbia Railroad, the Ephrata Linear Park is one of the best trails in Lancaster County. The trail's paved, level surface (the only incline is a ramp located near the southern end of the trail at Pointview Ave.), numerous benches and trash receptacles and legible signage make the trail ideal for cyclists, walkers, strollers and wheelchair users. It is also one of the few multi-use trails in south-central PA that is lit along its entire length, making it relatively safe for evening use.
Although the completed portion of the trail currently begins in the parking lot next to the Ephrata Review building off E. Main Street, it is best accessed from a free, public parking lot off Fulton Ave. The wheelchair-accessible porta-potty that serves as the trail's only public restroom is located here, and a small flower garden is located on the right bank that separates the park from Railroad Ave. A branch trail that connects to a nearby elementary school demonstrates that the Linear Park is intended not just for recreation, but to tie the community closer together.
South of Fulton Street, the trail enters lush, wooded areas as it passes light industrial factories and suburban-style homes. A section near the Brickyard development runs high on an embankment that provides panoramic views of Ephrata on one side, and a look into thick woods and a stream valley on the other. A flight of stairs that branches off to the east provides acess to the Brickyard Trail, a walking path that extends through the valley before climing a steep hill to the adjacent development.
A small basketball court is located nearby,providing another reminder that this trail is intended to be a full-fledged "park."
The embankment yields to a small ravine as one travels further south on the Linear Park, passing behind more homes and a church, before finally ramping up to a small parking lot off Pointivew (signs specifically inform motorists that this parking lot is private and not intended for trail users). Ave., near the southern end of town.
The small section of the trail between Fulton Ave. and the Ephrata Review parking lot runs on an embankment behind the borough's municipal building and police department. This portion also has a more urban feel than the southern section, and gives users good views of downtown Ephrata and a nearby feed mill.
Local officials plan to extend the Linear Park in both directions in the near future. The next phase, slated to begin in mid-2010, will take the trail north of Main Street, past the old train station, to a caboose that the borough purchased from the Reading Railroad next to State Street. Although no more than 1500 long, this portion will give users a glimpse of the trail's past, railroad heritage, and provide access to numerous shops and restaurants in the borough's downtown. Phase 3, which will be completed in 2012 or later, will extend the Linear Park further north to Pine Street, near the borough's north end.
Extension southward from Pointivew Ave. to connect with a trail that officials in Akron and Ephrata and Warwick townships plan to construct along an additional 4 miles of the defunct rail line, is also anticipated. That trail, when completed, will provide an indirect link to the Lititz-Warwick Trailway.
As a newbie to riding a bike, but a long term hiker/walker, this is one of my favorite trail/bikeways.
With the Newport Square trail ( built as part of a recent housing development) it forms a "T" that is 3 miles.
When the Township expanded the park facility at the municipal campus, they extended the trail around the perimeter of the ball fields, adding some additional length.
I often exit of the trail onto Front street in Lititz and ride over to the Warwick/Lititz Linear park and then back for a 10 mile loop.
Warwick township, Akron Borough and Ephrata township acquired the undeveloped right of way
of the former Columbia and Reading railroad in 2007. They do intend to develop this into a bikeway so that one will be able to bike from Ephrata Borough (which paved it's existing segment last year) to Lititz Borough.
The municipalities will be concentrating their efforts on extending the trail from Ephrata to Akron in the near future, and Warwick will follow with their segment
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