Hanover Trolley Trail


4 Reviews

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Hanover Trolley Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: York
Length: 3.65 miles
Trail end points: Moul Ave to Gitts Run Rd. (Hanover Section) and Hanover Rd. to Martin Rd. (Spring Grove)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6237980

Hanover Trolley Trail Description

The Hanover Trolley Trail is being built along the 16-mile corridor of the York-Hanover Trolley Line that ran between the two cities in the early 1900s. Currently, about a quarter of that distance is open in two disconnected trail segments. 

The section in Hanover begins at Moul Field and extends for 1.57 miles to Gitts Run Road. A few miles northeast, another segment is open in the Jackson Township in the town of Spring Grove from the East Constitution Avenue Trailhead to Martin Road for 1.45 miles. Another trailhead is located along Hershey Road about at its midpoint.

At the beginning of June 2022, a newly paved 0.37-mile section of trail opened to the public. Built on an abandoned Genesee & Wyoming rail line in the town of Spring Grove, the trail splits from the existing crushed limestone section of the Hanover Trolley Trail near the East Constitution Trailhead. Diverging from the main trail segment, the path heads southwest and ends by the intersection of East Railroad Street & South Main St (also known as Route 116 or Hanover Road). 

By providing pedestrians and bicyclists with an alternative to busy roads and traffic, this new trail segment offers a safe route to & from the center of town. Future plans call for the development of 8.5 miles of the abandoned G&W railroad right-of-way into a rail trail. Gates, fencing, and signs will also be added. 

Parking and Trail Access

There is parking for this trail available along Hershey Rd. just north of Spring Grove. and at the southern end of this northern section along E Railroad St. In Hanover, there is parking along the southern endpoint along Moul Ave.

See TrailLink Map for more detailed directions.

Hanover Trolley Trail Reviews

Still lots of work to be done

This trail is in two sections that are separated by about 10 miles, so in order to do both sections, you drive from one to the other. I did the Hanover section first which is mostly factories and power lines. Trail is in decent shape. At one point the trail signage leads you onto Hanover streets which abruptly end at Hanover Hospital.

I then drove to the Spring Grove section to the southern end. There is parking for about 4 cars at this end of the trail. Heading north, it is mostly a gradual uphill ride to the center of the trail. When you get to Hershey Rd. There is a large are for parking. Then downhill (enough to coast) to the end of the trail.

I am looking forward to this trail being complete and even more excited if they ever go all the way and connect to the Heritage trail.

Great wildlife area

Begins at a ball field on Moul Ave and continues adjacent to a creek and wetlands area with a open field on the right. The trail goes into the heart of the wetlands area creating a tunnel effect. The last hundred yards or so is surrounded on both sides by fields. Many sparrows, cardinals, bluejays, and robins year around. Catbirds so plentiful that they are annoying in the Spring and Summer, but that is everywhere in York County wooded parks. Chickadees, tufted titmice, and finches are also plentiful year-round residents. Yellow-rumped warblers are also quite common in the Spring. When the construction of nearby developments is completed this will be a very tranquil lovely Borough Park.

Work In Progress

First, the information given on this entry is inaccurate: currently, only two, discontinuous segments of the trail are completed, each about a mile in length. Both follow an abandoned trolley line that ran from York southwest to Spring Grove and Hanover in the first half of the 20th century.

Despite their short length, the two completed sections are both worth checking out.

The eastern segment, which begins at Hosiery Alley in Spring Grove, parallels an active freight line owned by York Rail for about 1500 feet, where both the trail and railroad pass under a trestle that supports another active line owned by CSX. During the years it was active, the trolley line also passed under this trestle, making it an important piece of southwest York County's railroad heritage. If trail users are lucky, they can watch two freight trains passing over and under this bridge.

The trail then curves slightly northeast, veering away from the York Rail line, but staying close to the CSX track. Users ascend a gradual slope to Hershey Road, which is the current eastern terminus for this segment.

The western segment begins at Moul Ave. on the east end of Hanover, separating Moul Park from a new condo complex. After briefly following the northeast park's northeast perimeter, the trail turns due east into the woods, where it joins the old trolley grade. The trees form a tight canopy over this portion of the trail, creating the effect of a "green tunnel." These woods and adjacent marshlands give trail users great opportunities to enjoy local wildlife. Going further east, the trail passes through fields, before coming to its current eastern end at Cherry Tree Court.

The York County Rail Trail Authority plans to extend both of these sections further east in the near future, though it will probably be several more years before both sections are connected and the entire trail is completed. Once finished, the trail will stretch from Hanover to join the York County Heritage Rail Trail at a point near York, and will form an important part of the county's emerging trail network. Long term plans anticipate it forming part of the Grand History Loop, a circular greenway system that will connect south-central Pennsylvania with the Baltimore and Washington DC metropolitan areas.

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