Conewago Recreation Trail
Notice: Work on-going at Conewago Recreation Trail to remove trees infested by the Emerald Ash Borer. Click here for more about this insect.
Conewago Trail at Route 743 Crossing
Notice: Work planned to be completed at the Conewago Recreation Trail and SR 0743 (Hershey Road) intersection.
In July 2020, PennDOT conducted a public survey in order to gather input from trail users regarding the safety concerns at the SR 0743/Conewago Recreational Trail Crossing.
Approximately 1/3 of trail users responded that when utilizing the trail, they do not continue across SR 0743. More than 75% of these users cited safety concerns as their reason for not continuing through the crossing. Regarding trail access at this location, users indicated that their main concern was a lack of available and safe parking, especially along SR 0743.
A study was then completed by PennDOT in order to identify potential treatment options associated with the SR 0743 / Conewago Recreation Trail crossing. , A study presentation, summary report, and public comment form were posted to the PennDOT District 8-0 project Public Meeting Page following completion of the survey. The documents presented three (3) treatment options, including improved signage, post-mounted flashing beacons, and overhead flashing beacons, to address the concerns identified by survey respondents.
One-hundred and forty-eight (148) responses were received with respect to the treatment options, with the overhead flashing beacon being the preferred improvement. The three (3) treatment options, along with the results of the study and the survey, were then presented to Lancaster County and Mount Joy Township. PennDOT secured funding through their Multimodal Transportation Fund in order to proceed with the design and construction of the preferred alternative: the overhead flashing beacon.
In 2022, PennDOT began work with the project engineering team to finalize construction plans and obtain project-specific clearances and permits. During the course of the design process, additional traffic data was collected and a signal warrant analysis with more recent information was conducted. The warrant analysis concluded that overhead flashing beacons proposed in the original study were no longer sufficient and that the trail crossing of SR 0743 warrants full traffic signals.
As a result of the additional study and design work, the intersection improvements now include new traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings. The traffic signals will be used to stop oncoming traffic after the signal has been triggered by approaching trail users so that they may cross safely. Trail users will activate the signal via automatic detection sensors or by manually pressing push button activators. Advanced warning signs will be installed along the SR 0743 approaches to alert motorists to the trail crossing. In addition to the signal installation, the trail will be reconstructed and paved with asphalt on both sides of SR 0743 to provide level areas near the roadway.
Work is scheduled to begin in Late Summer 2023 and will be conducted during nighttime hours. The trail will be open for use during regular daytime hours.
The conceptual plans can be viewed at this link. Click Here for Plan
Feedback on the proposed design can be submitted here: SR743Crossing@RVE.com
In 1979, the county acquired the Conewago Recreation Trail, located between Route 230 and the Lebanon County line, northwest of Elizabethtown. This 5-mile trail, formerly the Cornwall-Lebanon rail line, connects to the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail, and follows the Conewago Creek through scenic farmland and woodlands.
The Conewago Recreation Trail has well-graded, level surfaces and six street crossings that are marked for safe trail use, making it ideal for hiking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. The trail crossing that intersects with Mill Road is the only paved, sloped section of the trail - please use caution in this area.
Lancaster County has made a commitment to conserving greenways, including abandoned railroad lines suitable for hiking trails. Because of its rich history of railroading, Pennsylvania is one of the leading states in the establishment of rail trails. In fact, Pennsylvania boasts over 100 such trails representing more than 900 miles.
These special corridors not only preserve an important piece of our heritage, they also give park users a unique view of the countryside while preserving wildlife.
Rules & Regulations
Please note these rules and regulations when visiting Conewago Recreation Trail:
- Enjoy the trail from dawn to dusk.
- The trail is designed for non-motorized vehicles.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- Leave no trace - carry out what you carry in.
- Pets are permitted, but they must be kept on a leash.
- Remove all horse / pet waste from the trail.
- Ride your horse at a walking pace.
- Walk / ride single file past other trail users.
- Keep right, announce your intent, and pass with care.
- Discharging firearms from or across trail is prohibited.
- Please stay on designated trail.