Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.Greg Child
I’ve written about Kelly’s Run before and I’ll probably write about it again… and again. It’s that good of a hike. When my work friends asked if we wanted to take the dogs on a hike there we immediately said yes and it could not have been a better day. We had to delay a day because of rain, but the day we got was GORGEOUS so it worked out even better.
Getting There and Past Experiences
The trail head is about 35 minutes from where we live in Lancaster, PA. We always park near the pavilion since it has easily accessible parking and our favorite trail starts there. Make sure you get there early if you like having trails to yourself. It’s such a beautiful hike that we never want to go when it’s super crowded, so we always get there before 9.
I don’t think we’ve ever had a bad experience at Kelly’s Run. Yes, the trail markers could be clearer and we have gotten a smidge lost every time we’ve gone, but it’s always been fun. Our getting lost was more like a happy accident. Plus, it’s the most dog friendly trail we’ve found. More on that later! This was our 4th trip on the hiking trail and we always leave it feeling super happy. Tired, but happy.
Our Favorite Route
Yes, of course, we have a favorite route.
We start at the pavilion parking lot and go towards the field.
The trail is a loop, but we prefer coming back through the woods since it’s hotter by the time we finish and it’s shadier if you do the trail that way.
If you go this way, you’ll see some great views of the meadow and treelike with some flowers thrown in here and there.
Then, you’ll go right into the woods and down towards the creek/waterway.
You get to walk through some water or on rocks if you aren’t feeling like getting wet.
Yes, of course, we have a favorite route. We start at the pavilion parking lot and go towards the field. The trail is a loop, but we prefer coming back through the woods since it’s hotter by the time we finish and it’s shadier if you do the trail that way. If you go this way, you’ll see some great views of the meadow and treelike with some flowers thrown in here and there. Then, you’ll go right into the woods and down towards the creek/waterway. You get to walk through some water or on rocks if you aren’t feeling like getting wet.
At the middle of the hike we turn right at the point where you can go up somewhat steeply. This is well worth it since you’ll end up by more water, some small waterfalls, and overall great views of the forest. It’s also Atlas’s favorite part since he gets to romp around in the water, swim, and chase sticks.
Dog Friendly Trail Rating
10/10 no hesitation at all. I don’t know what it is about this trail, but most people are dog lovers. It’s safe to have your dog off leash if they’re trained well, no one leaves poop around, everyone is conscious of their dogs, and the trails are really well maintained. As far as hikes go, this is one I always feel safe taking my dogs on. Atlas is 9 and Mickey is 13 now and they are both able to do it. We had to carry Mickey over some larger rocks, but it’s not the trail’s fault he’s a small boy. As a dog mom, I 1000% recommend this trail to anyone with a dog who likes to hike.
Make sure to check your pups for ticks, especially if you go during the spring and summer. If you stick to the trails and your dog does too they’re much less likely to get any, but it is possible.
What’s a good hike without some great food after? Wish You Well is hands down the best bakery in Lancaster, maybe PA. From breakfast sandwiches to bagels to bialys and baked goods to quiches, pies and so much more, this bakery isn’t just inventive, it’s so freaking delicious I can’t stop telling everyone I know. Our friends had never been, so we suggested there. We’ve now converted another couple into Wish You Well lovers.
Lancaster City is going through a lot of renovations and building projects right now. My favorite is the new park with seating areas, a brand new location for the library (HELL YES), and they even have swings. It’s so cute and modern and the perfect breakfast spot to watch everything downtown. We took our food there, hung out, and put an exclamation point on an already amazing day.