York County Heritage Rail Trail

March 23, 2018


There is so much to do and see in Pennsylvania that it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide where to go. If you love nature and history, then we have the perfect activity for you! One of the best-kept secrets of our beautiful countryside is the York County Heritage Rail Trail, which winds south down to the Mason-Dixon Line. This stunning area features 21 miles of hiking, biking, running, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, and more! Travel back in time at the York County and share an unforgettable experience with your loved ones! 

If you like the York County Heritage Rail Trail, then you will love all the other activities available near the Historic Smithton Inn! Download our free Vacation Guide and get our top recommendations for the best local attractions. This guide has helped so many travelers cut their planning time in half, and we want that for you! Here is what you can find in our guide:


  • Outdoors adventures
  • Gourmet restaurants
  • Cute coffee shops
  • Museums
  • Fun events
  • And more!


The York County Heritage Rail Trail Tracks

Built by the York County government in 1999, the York County Heritage Rail Trail runs along the Northern Central Railway line, receiving its name from its parallel partner. The trail stretches alongside the previously inactive rail line. The line is now active again, featuring the heritage railway Steam into History. The New Freedom Railroad Station of 1860 was restored to its 1940 appearance to be used by this train. So, when you are hiking the trail, be sure to look carefully before crossing the tracks! And, explore these historic monuments along the way.Why You Need to Explore the York County Heritage Rail Trail


Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding the York County Heritage Rail Trail

Covering 176 acres, the Heritage Rail Trail Park travels through Glen Rock, Hanover Junction, and Seven Valleys. Enjoy the recreation of this 21-mile-long trail and appreciate history along the way! During your hike or bike ride, you will discover three historic structures along the route to explore. Whether walking or pedaling, you will appreciate some beautiful forest landscapes, woodland greenery, and rugged slopes along the trail. Moonlight bike rides are quite popular, along with picnics at scenic outlooks. Horseback riding is another popular activity to enjoy in this area.

Steam Into History

The most popular attraction along the Rail Trail is Steam into History, the train that now travels the Northern Central Railway. Steam into History, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that operates this iconic steam train, recalls Civil War history, and promotes the area as an important local destination. As a passenger on Steam into History, you will learn about the railway's role in the growth of the small towns along the route. Enjoy your trip as the rolling countryside whizzes by and a narrator fills you in on relevant history. Reenactors wait along the route, making it a truly fun experience. Is that Abraham Lincoln onboard? Are soldiers vying for control of that bridge? Ride on to find out!


Follow Your Hike With a Retreat to the Historic Smithton Inn

York County Heritage Rail Trail After spending a lovely afternoon at the York County Heritage Rail Trail, come home to a comfortable room at the Historic Smithton Inn! Our beautiful accommodations are ideal for romantic getaways! Enjoy the elegance and authenticity of our Inn and spend a relaxing, well-deserved vacation.


Book our Red Rose room and enjoy its serene and peaceful atmosphere. Take a hot shower in your private bathroom, sit down with a glass of wine by the fireplace, and get a good night's sleep in the soft queen bed. Wake up the next morning to the sound of birds chirping right outside your window and come downstairs where we have prepared a delicious homemade breakfast for you!


Book your stay today at the Historic Smithton Inn! We can't wait to meet you.