House Rock Nature Preserve


This is a recreation managed preserve

Size 

Approximately 92.884 acres

History

In 1691, Germans settled in Martic Township. In the early 1800s, the Clark, McCreary, and Reed families build homes around present day House Rock Nature Preserve. Their descendents are still in the region today. During the 1930s and 40s, the property was used as a cattle farm. Farming continued on the property even after Elizabeth Morgan purchased it in 1959. Morgan hired John Wiker to farm the property. He continued to farm it when Stella Guion and Milton K. Morgan acquired the land after Elizabeth Morgan’s death in 1995. Both Elizabeth Morgan and Stella Guion left the wooded sections untouched. A section of the Conestoga Trail was cut across the woodland and goes to the House Rock overlook. This rock outcropping was nominated as a National Natural Landmark in the 1970s.

Planning Your Walk

Access from House Rock Road is not available at this time; please continue to check the Lancaster County Conservancy website for updates.


Currently, House Rock Nature Preserve is only accessible via the Conestoga Trail which may be accessed through the Reed Run Nature Preserve trail system (and then heading north on the Conestoga Trail, approx. 0.25 miles to House Rock Preserve) or at the Conestoga Trailhead on Bridge Valley Road (by following the Conestoga trail south, approx. 1.4 miles to House Rock Vista). Please note that parking at the Reed Run Nature Preserve is limited to three vehicles and that parking immediately at the Conestoga Trailhead on Bridge Valley Road is strongly discouraged (instead, park at the boat launch in Pequea, cross bridge and then follow the orange blazes for the Conestoga Trail along Maxwell Road and then Ridge Road before entering the woods and crossing Bridge Valley Road).

Land Management

Reforestation of fields is a priority. two parcels contain newly planted forests. The American Chestnut Foundation, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the National Wild Turkey Federation have supplied trees and time setting up two fenced areas to protect the young trees from White Tailed Deer. The trees includeAmerican/Japanese Chestnut Hybrids, Crab Apple, several species of Oaks, White and Red Pine, Spruce, Tulip Popular, and Hawthorne, with more species to be planted. The farmlands will be re-converted to warm-season grasses, providing rare habitat for a variety of wildlife.

House Rock 

What to See & Do

Geology

Approximately a half mile south of the Pequea Creek, this property is part of a massive ridge made of Octoraro Schist.

Watershed Facts

House Rock Nature Preserve is comprised of 95 acres of cropland and woodland along the eastern slopes of the Susquehanna River. Two beautiful river hills streams, tiny Brubaker Run, and the larger Reed Run, flow through the woods of the preserve with many small waterfalls as the streams descend to the Susquehanna River.

Flora

The 61 acres of woodland includes a mixture of healthy, mature dry oak, maple, tulip and beech trees.

Seasonal Info

Spring: Woodland wild flowers

Summer: Field perennial wildflowers

Fall: Gorgeous red maples

Winter: Cross-country skiing

Fauna

White-tail deer and wild turkey are abundant. House Rock Nature Preserve also presents a great opportunity to spot song birds and raptors, including eagles and ospreys, who enjoy the river hill’s thermal up-drafts.

Hunting Information

This nature preserve is open to hunting and has designated hunting and no-hunting zones. All Pennsylvania Game Commission Rules and Regulations apply.

Printable House Rock Hunting Map

Directions

Address: 400 House Rock Rd, Pequea, PA

Access from House Rock Road is not available at this time; please use access via the Conestoga Trail from the Reed Run Nature Preserve or the Pequea boat launch.

Reed Run parking area at House Rock Rd. coordinates (decimal degrees):  39.875809, -76.361319 (Limited Parking)

To Reed Run Nature Preserve: From Lancaster, follow PA 272 South through Willow Street and the Smithville tunnel to Truce Road. Right on Truce Road to Rawlinsville. From the stop sign in Rawlinsville continue straight onto Martic Heights Drive to the stop sign in Mount Nebo. Keep following Martic Heights Drive until it joins River Road. Bear left onto River Road for about 0.4 mile, then bear right on Delta Road. When Delta Road intersects with Westview Road, turn right on Westview. Take the first left off Westview onto House Rock Road. Follow House Rock Road for 0.9 mile to lot entrance on left at Conservancy sign on grassy hillside.

To Pequea boat launch: From Lancaster, follow PA 324 South through New Danville and Conestoga. Pass the Conestoga Wagon restaurant then turn left at 0.6 mile onto River Corner Road, follow for 1.3 mile to the intersection with River Road. Turn right onto River Road. At 1.1 mile, turn right onto River Hill Road and follow for 2.6 miles to the Pequea boat launch.

Prevent Tick Borne Illness!

  • Wear repellent 
  • Check for ticks after your visit
  • Shower soon after being outdoors
  • Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash

For more information: www.cdc.gov/lyme

Emergency Information 
In case of emergency, call 911

Nearest Hospital: Lancaster General Hospital – 15 miles away

555 N Duke St, Lancaster, PA 17602

Additional Resources:

Rawlinsville Fire Company, non-emergency number: (717) 284-3023

PA State Police, non-emergency number: (717) 299-7650

 

  • Hunting
  • Trails
GPS:
39.874439, -76.366485
Directions:
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