Heritage Rail Trail County Park

photo: Photo by Carl R. Knoch, York County Rail Trail Authority

Length: 19.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Greenway
Allowed Uses: Dogs - Mushing
Dogs - On leash
Fishing
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Agency: City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Location: Starting south of York City, the trail travels 19 miles south to the Maryland/Pennsylvania boundary, Rail trail connects York south to Seven Valleys, Hametown, and New Freedom.

State(s): Pennsylvania
Counties: York
Longitude: -76.70296
Latitude: 40.0234

Driving Directions

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Description

Heritage Rail Trail County Park, sharing the corridor of the former Northern Central Railway chartered in 1828, provides a link for visitors to some of York City's oldest buildings and the creek where America's first iron steamboat chugged. The trail travels south 19 miles passing through eleven municipalities including the towns of Seven Valleys, Glen Rock, Railroad and New Freedom and adjoins directly with the Maryland Northern Central Railroad Trail (20 mile non-motorized rail trail). This trail, located in the center of York County, is the central spine of a planned greenway trail system to interconnect communities. Trail amenities include twelve interpretive signs that explore natural and historic features such as :

- Hanover Junction Railroad Station - A rail stop with a connection to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.
- Howard Tunnel, 1838 - A 250 foot long tunnel named for a Revolutionary War soldier from Baltimore
- New Freedom Railroad Station , 1860 - Served as a passenger and freight station until 1971
- Mason Dixon Line
- The old line of freedom
- Agricultural - Numerous preservation lands adjoin the trail

The trail is constructed adjacent to the railroad tracks (tracks remain in place and are usable) with a surface of crushed compacted stone. The cost to construct the trail totaled 3.7 million dollars. Funding partners included: federal, state, county and municipal dollars, individual and corporate donations as well as utility fees collected for use of the corridor. In 2006, visitation to the trail totaled 310,295.

Additional Details

Width: 120 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock

Average Grade: 3%
Maximum Grade: 6%
Elevation Low Point: 360
Elevation High Point: 860
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2008

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Thomas Brant
York County Parks and Rec
400 Mundis Race Road
York , PA 17406
(717) 840-7440
parks@york-county.org
http://www. yorkcountyparks.org

 

Photos

Trail tunnel

Trail tunnel

ADA compliance accommodates all user types on Heritage Rail Trail. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

ADA compliance accommodates all user types on Heritage Rail Trail. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

 

Equestrians and cyclists share the Heritage Rail Trail. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

Equestrians and cyclists share the Heritage Rail Trail. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

Sunset over New Freedom on the Heritage Rail Trail. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

Sunset over New Freedom on the Heritage Rail Trail. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

 

Bridge near Seven Valley's around trail marker 50. Photo by Tammy King.

Bridge near Seven Valley's around trail marker 50. Photo by Tammy King.

Runners in Bob Potts Marathon coming out of the tunnel. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

Runners in Bob Potts Marathon coming out of the tunnel. Photo by Carl R. Knoch.

 

Oversize bicycle trailside art built and installed by a local small business near Seven Valleys. Photo by David Brown.

Oversize bicycle trailside art built and installed by a local small business near Seven Valleys. Photo by David Brown.

The Howard Tunnel is known as the oldest continuously operating railroad tunnel in the nation. Photo by David Brown.

The Howard Tunnel is known as the oldest continuously operating railroad tunnel in the nation. Photo by David Brown.

 

Steam into History tourist train leaves Hanover Junction Train Station. Photo by Tim Senft.

Steam into History tourist train leaves Hanover Junction Train Station. Photo by Tim Senft.

Ghost riders pass Hanover Junction Trail Station. Photo by Tim Senft.

Ghost riders pass Hanover Junction Trail Station. Photo by Tim Senft.

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