About the Park
Located along the banks of the Susquehanna and at the base of Blue Mountain, Fort Hunter Park consists of about 40-acres with a variety of activities to enjoy. Throughout history it has served as a war fort, a hub for frontier commerce, and an exclusive private estate. Now it is open to the public and preserved by the Friends of Fort Hunter.
Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking and walking by the river or along the old towpath of the Pennsylvania canal. Birdwatching and nature observation can be enjoyed at several natural areas along Fishing Creek, the Susquehanna River, and the old Pennsylvania canal. Those who wish to enjoy the river first-hand can also put in a canoe, kayak, or small boat from the nearby boat launch.
Located within the park are ten historic buildings, two picnic pavilions, two sets of playground equipment, and a play field. In season, tours of the park and mansion are available. Educational opportunities teach visitors about mansion life in the 1800s and allow them to examine old artifacts and tools used over 100 years ago. Hands-on workshops on how Native Americans lived in the Fort Hunter/Harrisburg area are also available.
Other sights in the area include the Rockville Bridge, which is the world’s longest stone masonry arch railroad viaduct, as well as the Susquehanna Statue of Liberty located in the Dauphin Narrows section of the Susquehanna River.
The latest expansion to the Capital Area Greenbelt now connects Fort Hunter Park to Wildwood Park. The 20+ mile long Greenbelt, runs through five municipalities throughout the Harrisburg area in Dauphin County and is a popular route for walkers, runners, and cyclists.
For those looking for some more traditional hiking paths, the Fort Hunter Conservancy–a 153-acre area of wooded land donated to Fort Hunter in 1986–is located about a mile northeast of Fort Hunter Park. It is open to the public for day hiking only with overnight camping and fires prohibited and includes a 1-mile lightly trafficked loop trail. This trail offers views of beautiful wildflowers and is also good for birdwatching. The Fort Hunter Conservancy is located very close to State Game Lands, so hikers should wear bright colors and be on the lookout during hunting season.
Park information courtesy of Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
Parking and Trail Access
Fort Hunter Park is located on North Front St. along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg PA.
Fort Hunter Conservancy is located off of Fishing Creek Valley Road (Route 443), which is about one mile northeast of Fort Hunter Park. From US 22/322, visitors should exit at Route 443 and proceed east for another 3 miles. The trailhead can be accessed by making a left turn onto Camp Reily Road. Parking spaces can be found next to a wooden staircase after passing two YMCA camp entrances. The road ends in a gravel parking lot with the wooden staircase serving as the trailhead.