Homewood Nature Preserve is situated on forty acres of former cropland. Eshleman Run is named for early settler Jacob Eshelman, III. The property was donated by Barbara Dunlap in 2000.
Planning Your Walk
A loop trail circles the property. In autumn, flaming red maples beckon you to walk the trail down through old meadows onto a wooded hillside, opening up on a cultivated field surrounded by woods. Continue downhill through beech and oak to Eshleman Run. The water quality in this stream is excellent, and you’ll find good places to sit and listen to nature. The total trail length is estimated at 0.82 of 1 mile.
The Conservancy manages Homewood for a natural succession of wildflowers and native plants, augmented by a reforestation effort using native species. Agriculture has been discontinued, allowing previously cultivated areas to regenerate into meadows or woods. This regeneration will be actively managed to establish a healthy native ecosystem and address several existing problems. Aggressive invasive plant species, including ailanthus, multiflora rose, oriental bittersweet, mile-a-minute weed, bamboo, and day lilies will be removed.
What to See & Do
Eshleman Run is a headwaters tributary of Pequea Creek, then the Susquehanna River, to the Chesapeake Bay.
This preserve includes early successional and mature forest areas. A section of Eshleman Run meanders through the wooded eastern edge of the preserve among mature beech, maple, and oak. Homewood offers a mix of forest and field, gentle rolling hills, cultivated and grassy fields, an old barn, and a woodland valley overlooking Eshleman Run.
Over 115 species of plants, 25 species of birds, and 30 other animal species can be found on the property. Established new natural habitats will increase plant and animal diversity.
Spring: Woodland wild flowers
Summer: Field perennial wildflowers
Fall: Gorgeous flaming red maples
Winter: Cross-country skiing
Keneagy HIll Road, Paradise Township.
From Lancaster, follow US 30 east to PA 896 East, to Strasburg. From the square in Strasburg, follow PA 741/896 east toward the Strasburg Railroad complex. Continue east on PA 741 for 3.2 miles. Turn right on Keneagy Hill Road, and continue south for 1.1 miles.
Look for a small red barn on the left. The barn and surrounding fields and woods comprise the Homewood Nature Preserve. Please park in the designated parking areas.