Explore Nature And History On The Northwest River Trail In Lancaster County

May 18, 2015

If you’re looking for a nature-filled getaway that exudes the rich history of Lancaster County, then
Family on bikes
you’ll love the Northwest River Trail. When fully completed in 2016, the trail will extend 14 miles and connect the historic river towns of Columbia, Marietta, Bainbridge, and Falmouth. With 10 miles already finished, it’s a great place to escape your hectic lifestyle and embark on a leisurely outdoor adventure following the route of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal.

The Trail Services Building in Columbia has all the information you need for blazing the trail. For history buffs, there is quite a bit of information on the history of Columbia and the canal. The building property also features restrooms and a covered pavilion that overlooks the Susquehanna River, a perfect spot to pause and enjoy a picnic on a beautiful sunny day. 

The Northwest River Trail is ideal for everything from hiking and biking to picnicking in the great outdoors. If you enjoy riding on the river, Chiques Rock Outfitters in Columbia offers canoe and kayak rentals. You can also check out the beautiful historic river town architecture, the iron furnaces at Chickies Rock, and abandoned canal locks along the trail. For more information about what the trail offers, check out this map and brochure.

Access points on the trail are currently located at Columbia, Marietta, Decatur Street, River Front Park, Bainbridge, and Falmouth.

With the trail just a half hour drive away from the Historic Smithton Inn and open all year long, I encourage visitors to take advantage of the gorgeous scenery, beautiful foliage, and glimpses of wildlife that it offers. 

Speaking of visiting, have you booked your stay with us yet? I’d love the opportunity to meet you, share more about my favorite parts of the Northwest Trail, and give you the scoop on other breathtaking areas and attractions to explore in Lancaster County.



By Rebecca Gallagher

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net