Located just north of Harrisburg, Fort Halifax Park offers a small network of trails located right beside the Susquehanna River. As the original site of an 18th century fort, this landscape is steeped in history. While you walk amidst the park’s gardens, picnic areas, and landmark buildings, there are opportunities to learn about the location’s significance to the French & Indian War.
Originally called “The camp at Armstrong’s,” the fort was established in 1756 to provide shelter along the Susquehanna River for passing pack trains and bateaux’s (shallow rowing or sailing boats), and to resolve conflicts encountered by settlers during the French & Indian War. Today, the park offers 174 acres of recreation, including picnic areas, walking trails, and gardens.
There are multiple walking areas within the park to explore, including two trails that loop alongside the Susquehanna River, two that loop around the adjacent farm fields just across PA RT-147, and a few additional loops beside Armstrong Creek.
The South River Loop is about a .5-mile and offers a pleasant walk through the greenery. Enjoy Susquehanna views as you explore this trail. Another key feature to look for while completing the South River Loop is the flourishing Colonial Herb Garden located at the heart of the complex.
The North River Loop is another great path to discover. The .7-mile trail will lead you past an information kiosk, a campsite, and an archaeology dig at the top of the loop. When looking at the river from this trail, a landmark known as “Becky’s Rock” is visible in the middle of the water. This path is also full of trees and plants surrounding you as you walk the loop.
Located between the two river loops is a kayak access, which is available for public use. Paddle routes for this section of the river can be explored here.
Across PA RT-147, there are more trails to explore. To the north, is a mile-long farm field loop that brings you past Sycamore Allee. To the south, is a .9-mile-long loop that leads to the Overlook Point Gazebo. A third, .4-mile loop is located just behind these fields and circles a meadow adjacent to Armstrong Creek (this can be picked up from the Sycamore Allee loop). An additional .7 miles of trail can be picked up from the Gazebo loop and also run alongside Armstrong Creek.
Fort Halifax Park regularly offers events for the community, such as the Colonial Fort Halifax Festival, bringing the history of the park back to life for a weekend each year. For 2 days, starting the first Saturday of each May, you can see live history demonstrations, battle reenactments, guest speakers, and more!
Parking and Trail Access
Coming from the North to Halifax Park, stay along PA Rt. 147/ N. River Road. Before entering the town of Halifax, Fort Halifax Park will be on the right-hand side of the road, along the river.
Coming from the South to Halifax Park, stay on Pa Rt. 22. Take the PA N. 225 exit towards Halifax and stay on Rt. 225 for 8.7 miles. Once getting to the town of Halifax, take a left onto Market St, followed by a right onto S. 2nd St. Turn left into Fort Halifax Park shortly after leaving the town of Halifax.