“A hillside loop on the Turkey Hill Trail with a return on the rail-trail along the scenic Susquehanna River.”
— Justin Evans
Birding · River/Creek · Views
This pleasant loop leads through meadows, woodlands, and along the scenic Susquehanna River. Begin above the Susquehanna River, descend to the Enola Low Grade Trail
, and return via a steep climb - all with varied, spectacular views of the river valley.
You can park at either lot at Chestnut Grove and make your way along the meadow trails to access the Turkey Hill Trail
at the northwestern edge of the property. This route starts from the southernmost parking area and heads northwest after crossing a gated gravel road. Highlights include seasonal waterfowl at the large pond at Chestnut Grove, and often merlins, kestrels, and northern harriers can be seen hunting over the meadows.
As the trail enters the woods, it dips to Mann's Run (crossing is on rocks) and ascends again, steeply, to follow the top of the ridge as it parallels the river. To the east, the trail borders the LCSWMA landfill and affords interesting views of it and the two windmills on Turkey Point. As one emerges from the trees, hikers may choose to head out across the lawn to the windmills and a scenic overlook with interpretive signage.
If you forego the windmills and overlook, a sign directs you back into the trees to your left. This relatively short steep trail leads to the parking area for the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail. Hikers may then proceed along the Rail Trail for approximately 2.5 miles. This section of the Low Grade line is packed gravel with wonderful views of the Susquehanna River (technically Lake Clarke here) and the river cliffs.
A short connector trail that heads up the slope is marked, but with less-than-obvious signage. If you pass the small picnic shelter and bathroom, you've gone just a shade too far. The connector trail leads to the southern side of Chestnut Grove Natural Area. Turn left at the intersection at the top of the ridge - you'll leave the trees again, too - and proceed up a moderate slope to return to the large pond. A right turn at the first intersection, onto a gravel road, will return you to the southern parking area.