Boyer Nature Preserve was donated by the Boyer Family between 1973 and 1980. The surrounding area is rich in history. A group we call the Shenk’s Ferry Indians had villages along the Conestoga streams. This preserve is probably part of the area where conflicts took place between the Susquehannock Indians and Senecas from upstate New York.
Planning Your Walk
The trail on this preserve can become impassable in summer due to the dense foliage of multiflora rose. Even in winter and early spring, the steepness of the hillside makes walking challenging. The total trail length is estimated at 0.4 of 1 mile.
What to See & Do
Boyer Nature Preserve is located along the Little Conestoga Creek, which flows to the Conestoga River, Susquehanna River, and Chesapeake Bay.
This preserve includes 9.6 acres along an important wildlife corridor and is relatively undisturbed, wooded and overgrown with thickets. Walnut Hill Road divides the preserve into a larger steep hillside area of mature hardwoods, and a smaller part west of the road which runs steeply to the narrow floodplain and stream bank of the Little Conestoga Creek. Mature second growth trees were typical of Lancaster County a generation ago. The lower hillside and floodplain have several large sycamores and black walnuts, along with silver maple, box elder, and tulip poplar. The upper area contains beech, sugar maples, sweet birch, red oaks, white oaks, hackberries, elms, and tulip trees. A rock cliff provides additional habitat.
Boyer Nature Preserve is a great place to observe brightly colored songbirds relying on streamside corridors for and cover while avoiding predators during their migrations. Many birds, including scarlet tanagers, orioles, redstarts, and yellow warblers can be seen here.
Spring: The ground is covered with many ephemeral wildflowers.
Walnut Hill Road at Stehman Church Road, Manor Township, ADC Map 47, Block F4.
From Lancaster, follow PA999 south from Millersville for two blocks. Turn left (south) on Duke Street to Frederick Street, then take a slight left and continue south on Duke to Walnut Hill Road. Follow Walnut Hill Road to junction with Stehman Church Road.