Breaking News
More () »

Meet York County's newest state park: the Susquehanna Riverlands

Another state park has been added to Pennsylvania's collection, and it's right in our backyard.

HALLAM, Pa. — A new nature escape was acquired in south-central Pennsylvania. 

The Susquehanna Riverlands in York County were recently added to the 121-state park system in Pennsylvania.

While the park isn't quite ready for visitors just yet, Phil Wenger, president of the Lancaster Conservancy, said he's excited for what the future of the Riverlands holds.

“We think that some places along the river are so special that they should not be developed and should be shared by everyone and that’s what’s cool about this project,” said Wenger. 

With the help of the Lancaster Conservancy and Pennsylvania State Parks, Governor Wolf announced the addition of the Susquehanna Riverlands in York County to Pennsylvania’s State Park collection on Sept. 27.

“We own nature preserves about 1000 acres right adjacent in Hellam Hills and now we have this new beautiful Susquehanna Riverlands State Park and so together we are going to basically have these 2,000 acres available for hiking, fishing, for hunting,” says Wenger.

He said he also hopes to incorporate campgrounds and several docks for water access.  

“What is unique about this is that it is along the Susquehanna. You’ll have water access, so you can paddle craft, kayak, you can go down the river to John Wright, you’ll be able to maybe do some whitewater rafting along the Codorus where it falls down into the river, but it's mostly sightseeing and outdoor recreation.”

Work still needs to be done before the official opening of the park.  

“The nature preserves are more open to the public, the trails are more identified, there are parking areas, but this new state park they just acquired it two weeks ago, and so it will take them a while to build out that infrastructure,” said Wenger.

Officials say once Pennsylvania State Parks develop parking lots, trail markers and comfort stations, the Susquehanna Riverlands in York County will be the park to see.  

“In the middle of the York, Lancaster, Harrisburg triangle this is quite a tremendous asset to nature enthusiasts,” said Wenger.

Wesley Robinson, press secretary with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said while the park is accessible to the public now, if they plan to visit, they should take care to be safe as trails lack markers, signs and other safety features.

Robinson said he expects the Susquehanna Riverlands to officially open around 2026, though no specific date is set.

More information on the Lancaster Conservancy and the nature preserves along the Susquehanna river can be found here

Download the FOX43 app here.

Before You Leave, Check This Out