I like to hike to high places. Simultaneously, I get a rush of adrenaline and a sense of peace. I feel like Queen of the World! From those high places, I can see for miles all around me and take in the vast landscape. I’ve hiked to the King & Queen Seat in Rocks State Park, Maryland. I’ve been to the top of Sentinel Dome at Yosemite National Park, California. And I’ve hiked to Gertrude’s Nose in Minnewaska State Park, New York. But a favorite overlook spot of mine is right in my backyard, in fact, I used to live only 2 miles from the trailhead.
|View from the Susquehanna River
One of the best Susquehanna River overlook spots is driven past by Lancaster County commuters every day crossing over Chiques Hill by way of Rt. 441. The overlook trail is part of Chickies Rock County Park located between Marietta and Columbia boroughs. According to the park website, the “name is derived from the American Indian word Chiquesalunga meaning ‘place of the crayfish.’" While the park has several features, including remnants of iron furnaces, the Breezyview Overlook with Gazebo, and access to the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, my favorite place is Chiques Rock.
Jutting out more than 100 feet above the river, Chiques Rock provides impressive views of the river, Marietta, York County, and the Wrights Ferry Bridge. The hike up is only about a half-mile, but the beginning stretch is pretty steep. The trail levels out at the top of the incline before turning towards the river. For those concerned with safety, there are log fencelike barriers. It is so peaceful, resting against the fence looking out over the moving water.
|lower portion of trail as it begins to incline
|Park Map c/o Lancaster County
Some interesting facts I learned from the website Uncovering PA:
There once was an amusement park at the overlock accessed by a trolley.
During the Civil War, Union soldiers used it to observe Confederate soldiers in Wrightsville.