This is a habitat managed preserve
Approximately 202.308 acres
Historically, this area was an early staging area for Native American tribes traversing the Susquehanna River from the settlements surrounding Conestoga and present day Manor Township. The harbor is actually an inlet where the Conestoga River from the rest of Lancaster County meets up with the Susquehanna River proper. It was known throughout the region for its plentiful bounty of fish and wildlife that sustained the Conestoga Native Americans for centuries.
This preserve is comprised of a rich, moist hardwood forest. The dominant species in the canopy are tulip trees, but there is also an abundance of maple, birch, hickory, beech, ash, elm, and sycamore trees. Safe Harbor Nature Preserve has an overall good habitat, but many different species of invasive plants are well established. Low herbaceous plants like ivy-leaved speedwell, mock strawberries, purple deadnettle, Tree of Heaven, garlic mustard, Japanese barberry, and Japanese honeysuckle are some invasive species in need of removal on the preserve. In the springtime, Dutchman’s breeches form an almost contiguous ground cover, and about 300 leaves of spurless orchid were found on the south facing slope in areas void of Dutchman’s breeches.
At Safe Harbor Nature Preserve, there have been numerous sightings of finches, raptors, warblers, woodpeckers, swallows, sparrows, vireos, and other songbirds throughout the year. Fauna surveys within the preserve boundaries show that there are at least 50 different species of vertebrates.
This nature preserve is open to hunting and has designated hunting and no-hunting zones. All Pennsylvania Game Commission Rules and Regulations apply.
Address: 117 Observation Site Rd, Conestoga, PA 17516
Observation Rd. parking area coordinates (decimal degrees): 39.931937, -76.401153
From Lancaster, follow PA 999 west to River Road in Washington Boro. Turn left on River Road route 441 (southeast) for 2 miles
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.
In case of emergency, call 911
Nearest Hospital: UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster – 11 miles away
250 college avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603
Blue Rock Fire Rescue, non-emergency number: (717) 684-8287
Manor Township Police Department, non-emergency number: (717) 299-5231