Hiking Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.

Andy Rooney

Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve is a place we’d heard about since moving to Lancaster, but for some reason or another we’d never ended up going. There are so many hiking trails near us and we’ve been to quite a few. Taking the dogs out for a long hike or walk in nature is something we love and they love to do as much as possible.

Our neighbors and really good friends are super outdoorsy, so of course they planned the ultimate day outside. The occasion? Their son’s first birthday. They hiked this trail days before she gave birth, so she wanted to commemorate his first year with the same trek. There were about 26 of us from adults to kids to babies and roughly 5 dogs. We were a posse ready to get into nature. We came a little early for the full wildflower bloom, but it was such a beautiful hike regardless.

Earlier in the day, it was pouring down rain, cold, and windy. Somehow, it cleared up to no clouds in the sky, 70 degree temperatures, and the most beautiful day you could imagine. About 30 minutes after we got home it cooled off again and stormed like crazy. I’m going with nature really wanted us to enjoy this hike and pulled out all of the stops on the weather…literally.

Below you’ll find just a few pictures from the day. The trail is less than 2 miles total and is an out-and-back trail. It’s a super easy hike, so it’s really for anyone. If people can wear their babies on their backs and our 13 year old dog can do it, you absolutely can. The main trail follows the stream and it really is a beautiful view then entire walk. The trail ends at the stream where you can go down and dip your feet in. This was by far my dog’s favorite part. There’s even a tunnel down there you can walk through!

We did come a little bit early in the year for the full wildflower blooms, but we are definitely going to make it back there soon to experience the flowers in full bloom. What flowers we did see I enjoyed and, of course, got pictures of!


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