Donated by the Kent, Hale, and Ryder Families.
Planning Your Walk
There are several logging roads, grown up in brambles, tall grasses, and ferns. A well-marked trail circumscribes the area.
The original main access road slopes gently downward for about 300 yards. It is grown up in St. Johnswort, pokeweed, ridge-run daisy, grapes, heal-all, boneset, wild carrot, and tree seedlings. This preserve is t-shaped and the left portion continues downward almost to the east branch of Trout Run at 700 feet elevation. The right extension climbs to about 900 feet. The trail length is estimated at 0.8 of 1 mile.
What to See & Do
Ray’s Woods is on high ground at the headwaters of Tucquan Creek, Fishing Creek, and both east and west branches of Trout Run.
46 acres of young woodland. One of the highest spots in the county, rising about 600 feet above Lancaster City. Wildflowers may appear a week later here.
A fairly dense population of small, mature trees, with limited variety. Dominant species are sweet birch, red maple, and chestnut oak. A few tulip trees, red oaks, beech, and tupelo are scattered about.
The understory is typical with spice bush, laurel, dogwood, sassafras, mapleleaf viburnum, a few pinxter flowers (Rhododendron nudiflorum), and witch hazel.
Brambles, mostly alien wineberry and blackberries, and hay-scented ferns have invaded the open areas among the trees. Spring wildflowers are sparse due to the paucity of moisture, although cucumber root, false Solomon’s seal and spotted wintergreen can be found.
Excellent habitat for deer and other wildlife. Recently logged, there are few trees with diameters greater than 12 inches. A virtual carpet of apparent seedlings is actually the regrowth of tree saplings cropped almost to ground level by an overpopulation of deer.
Laurel Drive, Providence Township.
From Lancaster, follow PA 272 south through Willow Street, past WDAC-FM to top of hill, then right onto Truce Road. Continue west on Truce Rd to Rawlinsville. Right onto Rawlinsville Road, then right again at first turn onto Laurel Drive, somewhat obscured by trees. Proceed to end and park on cul-de-sac while not blocking any driveways; look for Conservancy sign.