Side Quest: Can you find the Ents living in the River Hills?

If you know where to look, metal munching Ents hide in plain sight among trees of the River Hills. For those not steeped in Tolkien Lore, Ents are sentient tree-like creatures that act as “shepherds” of the woods. They are typically friendly but can become violent if threatened or feel like man is damaging their flock.

Treebeard, an Ent of Fangorn Forest from 'The Two Towers.'
Treebeard, an Ent of Fangorn Forest from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Two Towers.’

Ents of Shenks Ferry

At least four Ents can be found in Shenks Ferry. The first is easy to spot. As you hike the wildflower trail, look north after passing these stone abutments.

Stone Abutment
When you pass this stone abutment, begin looking for an ent on your left.

He is less than 20 feet off the trail, slowly chewing this old power sign. Click here for the exact GPS location. The hard to read marker once said, “Property of Penna Water and Power Co. Holtwood, PA.”

Shenk Ferry Ent

You can find the second Ent deeper in Shenks Ferry past the location of the exploded dynamite factory that claimed the lives of 11 men. It’s taken over 100 years, but this Ent has almost completely absorbed the Holtwood power sign.


As you can see, someone attempted to remove it with a chainsaw. I doubt this went over well with Treebeard.

This Ent marks the actual property line between Shenks Ferry and private property. Here’s the GPS location so you can find it.  Please respect private property by not going any further.

The third Ent is around 25 feet off the wildflower trail a short distance before reaching the culvert. Here’s the GPS location so you can find it. Check out the second image to see how the tree has completely grown around the sign from the back

The fourth Ent is on a high ridge that overlooks the southwest end of the tunnel at Shenks Ferry. Here’s the GPS location so you can find it.

Enola Low-Grade Ent

The third Ent can be found between Shenks Ferry and Safe Harbor Dam east of the Enola Low-Grade Trail. If you hike north from Shenks Ferry on the rail trail, there’s a path in the hollow that follows a stream. It eventually leads to this Ent. Click here for his GPS location.


Ents of Martic Forge

There are two more at the Martic Forge The first Ent is located just a few feet off the Trolley Trail near a bend along the Pequea Creek. He’s snacking on what appears to be a Conestoga Trail System sign. Click here for the GPS location.


The second is eating another Holtwood, Pa sign and can find nearby. Click here to reveal the location.


Before You Go

The first two locations are located inside Lancaster Conservancy’s Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve. For the most up-to-date information about parking and accessing the preserve, be sure to visit their website by clicking here.

More Ent Locations

If you know the location of other Ents eating old signs that you are willing to share, please contact me.

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