Locals of Lancaster County can soon be looking forward to warmer weather and longer days. This means it’s time to explore the great outdoors.
For those who prefer to explore the area on a charted path, the Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail is a great place for walking, jogging, bicycling and more! The trail is open year round from dawn to dusk, but it is a more popular destination once winter ends. The best part about the trail is that you can pick how far you’d like to travel, so it’s perfect for both a short stroll and a long run.
The Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail is located on an abandoned section of the original Reading and Columbia Railroad. It originally connected the Schuylkill River Valley and the Chesapeake Bay, providing an avenue for passengers, coal and other goods to travel. There was once up to 10 passenger trains per day in addition to the freight trains that traveled the line.
The Lititz portion of the trail begins on North Broad Street, across from the Lititz Springs Park, putting it in a great central location. The trail twists through Warwick Township, Ephrata Township, Akron Borough and Ephrata Borough. Along the trail, you’ll find restrooms, parking, mile markers and covered bridges.
The trail is mostly asphault, but there are also sections of crushed stone and undeveloped trail, along with parts of the trail that are not yet completed, and thus not open to the public.
As with any public space, there are rules all visitors should abide by.
Aside from emergency and maintenance vehicles, all motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trail, but individuals with mobility disabilities can use devices with an electrical output of 300 watts or less. Horses and buggies are also not allowed.
Personal behavior is also important for the enjoyment of all visitors. Soliciting, disturbing the peace and harassing wildlife are all against trail rules. Visitors traveling with a pet should keep them leashed at all times and remove all pet waste.
The trail coincides with some roads, bridges and railways that are actively used, so it’s important for personal safety that everyone proceeds with caution.
The trail is meant to be a positive experience for all who use it, which is why there are plans to further develop the trail, adding more parking, restrooms, etc. in the coming years.