Did you know that there are over a dozen completed Rail Trails in Lancaster County? One of our favorite weekend activities is to ride the Rail Trails together as a family. Our hope in sharing these posts is to give you a glimpse of what you’ll find on the trail, show you what its like to travel the trails with kids, and share any tips and hidden secrets we learn.
The Rail Trails in Lancaster County range from 1 mile to over 14 miles in length! The Ephrata Rail Trail is our hometown favorite and will be 4.1 miles in length when it is finished and connects to the Warwick Rail Trail in Lititz. It’s almost completed!
While we wouldn’t recommend riding the backroads between the two trails with little kids, it is definitely possible to ride through the Millway area taking Millway Road, Cocalico Road, East Meadow Valley Road, Millway Road and Erb’s Bridge Road.
If you’re starting your trip in Ephrata, we recommend parking either in the parking lot on Fulton Street or the parking lot just off of Main Street at the Shopping News building (across from the Rail Station).
The trail is nicely shaded making it perfect to ride on, on those hot summer days, but also beautiful on cool, autumn days too. If you’re riding at dusk, the trail is very well lit. Expect to see squirrels and rabbits, that may even hop on the path with you!
There are numerous places to stop and rest on a park bench.
Children will love the lit pedestrian tunnel underneath Route 272 as you enter Akron. Most of the trail is through residential neighborhoods, but you will find some paintings on older factory buildings that say things like smile.
Just after the tunnel is a good break point where your kids can enjoy a cute little playground for a change of pace. There is also a public port-a-pot nearby.
One thing you definitely won’t want to miss on the Ephrata Rail Trail is something known as Gnome Village. You won’t find information about this on the official Rails to Trails website, because its just a neat little area that a property owner has set up. Definitely a hidden secret in Lancaster County!
At the end of the trail is a beautiful stretch of trail through farmland and a gravel parking lot. Follow the instructions above if you want to venture out on the backroads for about a mile and connect to the rest of the Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail.
It takes our family about an hour to ride just the Ephrata portion of the Rails to Trails from start to finish.
To find out more about the trail, visit the Warwick to Ephrata TrailLink webpage.