A brief history of the Martic Township Park

History of the Martic Township Park

Southern Lancaster County has always been abundant with limestone, iron ore, and forests. These natural resources lead to the building of small foundries throughout the region as early as the 1750s.

During this time, the lands of the future Martic Township Park were clearcut by European settlers to produce charcoal to feed the nearby Martic Forge.  The forge manufactured metal farm implements, domestic goods, and, during the Revolutionary War, cannons.

Martic Forge ironmaster’s house

Later, metal goods continued to be manufactured there even after the furnaces closed. All operations at the Martic Forge ceased in 1872, and the land of the future Martic Township Park was sold to the Paragon Nut and Fruit Corporation. They planted apple and chestnut trees on the property.

Later, the company sold the land to a Lancaster attorney in 1954. He allowed the forest to grow back. Over the years, he sold several tracts of land along Marticville Road for residents to build homes. In the 1980s, when the lawyer was older, he decided to sell the property. Initially, a developer attempted to purchase the property and convert the land into a golf course with upscale houses.

Environmentally-minded citizens of Lancaster County objected to the sale, and, after extensive legal deliberation, Martic Township bought the property in 1993. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Lancaster County’s Community Parks Initiative assisted in the land purchase. In 2006 the park contained about 360 acres of land.

Planning Your Visit

Martic Township Park. This 360-acre property is located at 1092 Marticville Rd, Pequea, PA. Click here for directions.

Martic Township Park Map

Download the Martic Township Park Trails Map

martic township park map

Before You Go

Be aware that the township does permit hunting on the property. The park closes at sunset. According to park rules, dogs should be leashed. Please access the property only from the parking lot on Route 324. Please leave no trace.


Adventure Awaits!

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Now you can own a beautiful reproduction map of Martic Township.

Learn More

Unlock the secrets of Kepler Lodge—Martic Forge’s ironmaster mansion, YWCA, and Jewish Community Center

Image 560: View from Filter Plant. August 22, 1930

This is your chance to own a piece of American history! Built in 1735 and used by millionaire ironmaster Robert Coleman between 1793 and 1805, Kepler Lodge is the Martic Forge’s crown jewel and is currently for sale. This former ironmaster’s mansion was also home to the YWCA in the 1930s and the Jewish Community Center in the 1950s. Unlock the secrets of 5,400 square foot Kepler Lodge and how to purchase the historic property when you click the link.

How did this Martic Forge property end up with 300 millstones? Learn the history of Flory’s Mill.

If you have ever driven down Route 324 towards the Martic Forge, you may have noticed a brick wall with at least five embedded millstones near the intersection of Hilldale Road. After years of driving past them, myself, I wonder two things. Why are they there? Where did they come from? Click the link to answer both questions.


6 thoughts on “A brief history of the Martic Township Park

  1. I know this story well. PPrOMPT (People for the Preservation of Martic Township organized to save it. The Goberman tract. Goberman wanted to put a golf course on it. The National Park Service granted money for tract purchase.

    1. I too know this property well. I was fortunate to be able to be part of the acquistion and preservation of this wonderful resource!

  2. I was so happy to see Linda Gurtler’s name on this response, because I was about to mention it! People of Martic Township and Lancaster County need thank her for the preservation of this beautiful piece of land. She spearheaded the effort to make it happen. One correction though: money for the acquisition came from DCNR and Lancaster County’s Community Parks Initiative. Two of my all-time favorite conservationist come from Martic Township: Francis Bear and Linda Gurtler!

    1. Michael. Hello. I am just now seeing your comment. How kind of you. To think that my name is used with that of Frances Bear, is an honor beyond compare.

      1. And I’m just seeing this comment now while researching my Grandma Bear. I remember helping her put up campaign signs for a Phil Veath (spelling?). I’m not sure if he had involvement or not. But nonetheless, thanks Linda! Last time I saw you I was 13 🙂

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