About the Park

Wildflower and Wildlife preserve is best known for its spring wildflowers, vast array of native trees, and other local flora like Pawpaw and Rhododendron. It was officially recognized in the National Natural Landmarks Program and granted Dedicated Forest status in the Old Growth Forest Network in 2017 for its maintenance of old-growth forest.

During spring, the preserve reveals a profusion of wildflowers, showcasing its exemplary River Hills woodland. The landscape is adorned with tulip trees, beeches, hemlocks, sweet birches, oaks, sycamores, maple, ironwood, redbud, and more.

Photos by Steven Higgs

In the fall, groves of pawpaw offer succulent, edible fruit, while rhododendron and mountain laurel thrive, contributing to a vibrant ecosystem. Birdwatchers can spot bald eagles soaring overhead from their nest and hunting grounds along the river.

Thanks to these environmental wonders, Ferncliff Wildflower and Wildlife Preserve is a playground nature enthusiast. As such, visitors can explore a trail that meanders through the preserve.

Embark on an initially easy, then challenging climb by following the blue-blazed trail along the unpaved road from Bald Eagle Road through the preserve. Proceed towards the sign pointing north, cross the stream to the Winter Overlook, and ascend the steep ravine on the white-blazed trail, switching back across the riverside ridge to reach the Winter Overlook. Note that a locked gate at the entrance prevents unauthorized vehicle usage. The hike to the river is pleasant, featuring one ford across the creek.

This map shows the profile of the Fern Cliff Nature Preserve.

Information and map courtesy of Lancaster Conservancy.

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