New walkway under Shock's Mill Bridge. Photos courtesy of LCSWMA
This section of the NWLCR Trail will open Nov. 1, 2014.

New River Walkway for Lancaster County!

October 29, 2014

LCSWMA and Conoy Township Announce Opening of Walkway Under Shock’s Mill Bridge

Bainbridge, Pa. – Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) and Conoy Township are pleased to announce the walkway under Shock’s Mill Bridge will officially be open for public use on Saturday, November 1st.

In close partnership with Conoy Township, LCSWMA took the lead with this project, investing more than four years on planning, design, permitting and construction efforts. The walkway cost $425,000, with LCSWMA investing $325,000 and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) providing a $100,000 grant.

“Conoy Township has been a tremendous host community for our Waste-to-Energy Facility,” says Jim Warner, LCSWMA’s CEO, “and this walkway was an opportunity for us to enhance the lives of those who live, work and visit the area with a unique trail experience that features the Susquehanna River and its beautiful corridor.”  

The 330’ long, 6’ high walkway represents a critical component of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail (NWLCRT), connecting the sections between Bainbridge and East Donegal Township. Previously, these two sections of trail abruptly ended at an impasse, with no way around Shock’s Mill Bridge. Now pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy the trail continuously from Decatur Street in Marietta to the riverfront park in Bainbridge, a distance of 6.5 miles.

Stephen Mohr, Conoy Township Supervisor, says that the completion of walkway “addresses a major missing link of the NWLCRT.”  He reflects that his family had a vision for a river trail over three decades ago. “It took many players, much time and hard work to bring it to fruition,” says Mohr, “and if it weren't for all the folks at LCSWMA we would still be waiting. But now, it’s something for all to enjoy.”

The Southern Conoy section of the NWLCRT is approximately 3.15 miles long. Trailhead parking for this section is available at the Race Street Overlook in Bainbridge, at the East Donegal Riverfront Park on Vinegar Ferry Road and on Decatur Street in Marietta. 

The NWLCRT is a 14.25-mile, multi-purpose, public recreation trail that passes through five municipalities: Columbia, West Hempfield Township, Marietta Borough, East Donegal Township and Conoy Township. Parts of the trail are also owned by LCSWMA. The trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal and uses some of the original towpath that remains along the corridor. This provides ample opportunities to interpret the numerous industrial archaeological remains such as abandoned canal locks; the iron furnaces at Chickies Rock and the old quarry operation at Billmeyer. The trail also connects the historic river towns and villages of Columbia, Marietta, Bainbridge and Falmouth.

See a map of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail here:  www.susquehannaheritage.org