Receive a commanding 180-degree view of the Susquehanna River and its surrounding landscape from atop the Star Rock Overlook. You can reach the hidden rocky outcropping after less than a mile of hilly walking from the Chestnut Grove Natural Area parking lot at 43 Chestnut Grove Rd, Conestoga, PA 17516.
Side Note: Star Rock Overlook was one of the stops (Week 3) from this year’s Jewel of the Susquehanna treasure hunt. Click here to read more about the treasure hunt with $2,000 in cash prizes.
Chestnut Grove has only been open to the public since 2015, when Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority created the 170-acre natural area on former farmland next to the county landfill in Manor Township.
On a clear day, you can see Safe Harbor Dam when looking downstream.
Planning Your Trip
From the main parking lot, follow the trail highlighted in red on the map below. I my first visit, I parked at the equestrian parking area by accident and struggled to find the overlook. Don’t make that same mistake. Along the way, there are a few signs that help point you in the correct direction. The park is open from dawn to dusk.
Side Quest: How to Access the Safe Harbor Bridge Trestle
I’ve received many questions asking how to access the Safe Harbor Bridge Trestle best. As I see it, you have four options. They are from shortest to longest Safe Harbor, Shenks Ferry, Colemanville Church Road, and Turkey Hill Overlook Trail. Happy adventuring! Click here for their exact locations.
Brief History of the Atglen & Susquehanna Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad
Cutting through the southern end like a demarcation line is one of the most remarkable feats of engineering marvels in Lancaster County—the Atglen & Susquehanna (A&S) Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) commonly referred to today as the Enola Low Grade. The goal of this ambitious project? Create a low grade railroad line with no slope steeper than one percent and no curve sharper than two degrees. Easy on paper. Difficult in reality. Click here for a brief history of the Enola Low Grade.
1864 Map of Manor Township, Lancaster County, PA$24.99 – $25.99