Turkey Hill Trail, Lancaster County, PA
The Turkey Hill Trail is a 3.3 mile hike with great views of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The highlights of the trail are the overlook perched two-hundred feet above the river, the four-hundred foot tall wind turbines, wildlife, and the world's biggest paw-paw patch north of thirty-nine degrees north.
There are two trailheads. The northernmost parking area is located along route 441/River Road about 6 miles south of the town of Columbia, PA. Route 441 is accessible via U.S. Route 30. The small parking area is marked with a Lancaster County Conservancy sign. If you reach Turkey Hill Dairy, you've passed it. The southern trailhead is currently closed, but is located about one mile south on River Road behind the fire station.
The hike is 3.3 miles through decidous forest along the Susquehanna River. From the north, the trail runs up Turkey Hill towards a viewpoint over the river. It is marked with blue blazes (yellow blazes mark the southern portion of the trail). The path is narrow and a little steep in some spots. Next to the overlook are two wind turbines which provide thirty percent of the power used by the nearby Turkey Hill Dairy (the fourth biggest ice cream maker in the U.S.). They are almost 400 feet tall with blades that are 125 feet long. From the top of Turkey Point there are sweeping views of the Susquehanna River. York County, Columbia, and the Veterans Memorial Bridge can be seen from the vantage point. Many times Turkey Vultures can be seen circling the area. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle, Osprey, or hawk.
At the time of publishing this hub (8/24/12), the southern half of the trail is closed. Only the section between the north trailhead and the overlook is open (described above). For more about the entire trail, see this information provided by the Lancaster Conservancy.