September 22, 2020

Pinnacle Overlook & Fire Line Trail Hike

Designated as a National Recreation Trail by the US Department of Interior, this 139 acre nature preserve is managed by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR). The hiking trails are part of the Kelly’s Run - Pinnacle Trail System in Holtwood, PA.  The land that makes up the Pinnacle Scenic Overlook Nature Preserve was donated by PPL Holtwood, LLC.  The Conestoga Trail overlaps and runs concurrently with parts of the Kelly’s Run Trail.  


I enjoy the Pinnacle Overlook vista point. The view of the Susquehanna is stunning!  The overlook along with day-use facilities is accessible from the visitor parking area.  Be aware that this access is closed from October to April, and hunting is allowed during those months. This stretch of the Susquehanna River is just north of the Holtwood Dam and gets quite wide.  Two islands poke up out of the water here: Duncan Island & Reed Island. The river valley is surrounded by rolling hills on both the Lancaster County and York County sides.  

From the main overlook spot, I hiked along the river on the Fire Line Trail. 
I took my dog, Rissy, with me on this hike and she loved it.  On this trail, I found a more private spot to sit on a rock outcropping where I had a snack and watched the river from up high.

This trail is marked with yellow blazes. At approximately .75 mile, it intersects with the Pinnacle Trail.  Bear left and follow the alternating yellow and white blazes for approximately .25 mile back to the day-use area.  It’s difficult to be exact with the distance based on the map I have (see below), but it is definitely no more than 1 mile.  This link offers more details about trail milage:

To get to Pinnacle Overlook from Columbia, PA, drive 40 minutes south on River Rd past Washington Boro, through Safe Harbor & Martic Forge, then past Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve to Pinnacle Rd.  Other notable nature spots in the area are the Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve, Lock 12 Recreation Area (the old lock is still there to see!) and Muddy Run Park. 

*All photos taken and owned by me

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