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Best Places for Bird-Watching in Lancaster, PA


Lancaster, Pennsylvania, features the breadth of what the state offers all within one county. All kinds of people visit Lancaster, and so do a wealth of diverse creatures — especially birds. Lancaster's sprawling farmland, winding mountain ranges and dense forests are home to various bird species, and there are several locations where you can see them for yourself. In this list, we'll cover a few of the best places for bird-watching in Lancaster, PA. 

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail is home to one of the most diverse bird populations in the region. Bird-watchers have spotted over 229 species along the 14-mile trail since 1980. The Yellow-rumped Warbler, Killdeer, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Carolina Wren are a few seasonal staples. 

Muhlenberg Native Plant and Wildlife Meadow

All sorts of birds feed and take refuge within the various wildflowers and other vegetation at the Muhlenberg Native Plant and Wildlife Meadow. You'll find everything from the Baltimore Oriole to the Indigo Bunting and Sharp-shinned Hawk. 

Speedwell Forge Lake

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's 106-acre lake is a great place to spot Lancaster's unique waterfowl and many migratory shorebirds. Bird-watchers at Speedwell Forge Lake find Osprey, Great Blue Heron and even the occasional Bald Eagle. 

Holtwood Environmental Preserve

The Holtwood Environmental Preserve covers 5,000 acres along the Susquehanna River, where various species come to breed in safety. Visit Holtwood to find species like Cerulean Worm-eating, Northern Parula, Louisiana Waterthrush and many more. 

Chickies Rock County Park

In addition to being one of the most scenic photo opportunities in Lancaster, Chickies Rock County Park is a great place to spot Snow Geese, Tundra Swans, Bald Eagles, and many migratory songbirds. Watch out for hunters in specific areas during the season. 

Conewago Recreation Trail

Bird-watchers can venture down this 5-mile trail near route 743 to find a host of unique birds like the Eastern Kingbird, Bobolink, Red-tailed Hawk, or Great Horned Owl.

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

The Pennsylvania Game Commission owns this 6,254-acre area, where as many as 280 bird species reside — 104 being breeding birds. Middle Creek watchers will find around 23 duck species, five types of geese, multiple Herons, and even a nesting Bald Eagle. 

Make Your Nest at The Warehouse Hotel

Planning a bird-watching trip to central Pennsylvania? You can stay at the Warehouse Hotel to be within chirping distance of the best places to bird-watch.

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