Lancaster, PA Attractions

Lancaster is a city located in Pennsylvania. With a history dating back to the colonial era, Lancaster was once the USA’s largest inland city. Today, the historic city is a worthwhile stop on any Pennsylvanian itinerary. 

Preparing for your trip to Lancaster, PA

If you’re planning a trip to Lancaster, an excellent place to start is figuring out how to get there. For the travelers that live in Pennsylvania or surrounding states, a road trip might be a good option. Throw your bags in the car, and you’ll be on your way!

People coming from further across the country or even an international destination will need to put some extra time into their planning. Most people will choose to fly into the state. The closest airport is Lancaster Airport, a small domestic airport only 15 minutes away from the city. There are three options for international flights, with Harrisburg International being the closest at a 30-minute drive away. The other two options are Baltimore Washington International Airport (60 minutes away) and Philadelphia International Airport (90 minutes away).

If you are flying into Philadelphia on an international flight, you will be required to meet specific entry requirements to enter the USA. For some people, this will be getting an approved electronic pre-screening called an ESTA. An ESTA online application is easy to complete and should be done well in advance of your departure date. That way should any problems arise, you’ll be able to deal with them without wondering if you’ll be ready in time for your flight.

An ESTA USA check is only available to individual citizens of specific countries. Always do your research with reputable sources so that you know precisely what entry requirements apply to you. You should always keep a copy of all relevant documents to hand as you pass through the airport so that you can present it whenever you need to.

Waterfalls near Lancaster, PA

Lancaster County is known for its beautiful countryside with picturesque hills and vast farmlands. The best news is that a lot of this is easily discoverable from the city. To see some of the best attractions Lancaster has to offer, add these waterfalls to your itinerary.

  • Conewago Falls – This waterfall is located on the Susquehanna River and is created by a river barrier. It’s a great spot to get some fresh air and experience tranquility.
  • Manns Run Waterfall – Located in Turkey Hill Nature Preserve, Manns Run Waterfall is a scenic stream that is well worth a visit. For the best views, take the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail.
  • Gilpin’s Falls – Escape the city with a trip to Gilpin’s Falls. Wander through the woods, admire Gilpin’s Bridge, and be mesmerized by the waterfall.

Lancaster Bike Trails

If you’re an active individual, get out and explore Lancaster on the bike trails. There’s an extensive range around the city and surrounding area that are suitable for various abilities. You’ll cover more ground, get some exercise, and experience Lancaster in a whole different way.

Consider going for a cycle on one of these impressive bike trails:

  • Enola Low Grade Trail – At 27.6 miles in length, the Enola Low Grade Trail runs between Atglen and Susquehanna River. There are plenty of towns to visit on the way, which also makes it easy to break up the distance or only bike a short section if you have lower fitness levels. Expect picturesque scenery consisting of jagged cliffs, a flowing river, and a historic trestle bridge.
  • Lancaster Junction Recreation Trail – This well-maintained trail is a popular option for all fitness levels and biking abilities. Passing through expansive farmlands, the trail has passages that have been highlighted for the preservation not to lose the area’s exciting history. You’ll be able to enjoy the views and get a glimpse into an era gone by!
  • Northwest Lancaster County River Trail – This trail showcases some of the best remaining archaeological sites in Lancaster County. Spot old furnaces, canals, and quarries as you make your way along the 14 mile track.

Lancaster Fishing  

For fishing enthusiasts, you have several options when visiting Lancaster. With an array of lakes, rivers, and creeks on your doorstep, the biggest problem you’ll face is choosing where to go!

  • Lake Aldred – This lake is a scenic fishing spot that is known for its Panhead Catfish. Head out on a boat with some doughballs for your best chance at catching some of them!
  • Susquehanna River – The river is a popular fishing spot, with two favorite areas being Bainbridge, Middletown, and Haltwood. Expect to catch Walleye, Smallmouths, and Largemouths. 
  • Hammer Creek – If you’re looking for trout fishing, there’s no going past this spot. In fact, you’ll likely have to catch-and-release some due to the numbers you get.

Kayaking near Lancaster, PA

If you’re a keen kayaker, Lancaster County has a few right spots that you should definitely try. The best part is that they are all in the vicinity of Lancaster City, so use this as a base to explore the surrounding area!

  • Susquehanna River – The river is a popular choice for all water sports, and you won’t be disappointed if you choose it for a kayaking adventure. You can even do a multi-day adventure if you feel like taking along the camping equipment.
  • Muddy Run Power Resovoir – For a relaxing kayak spot, head to Muddy Run Power Resovoir. The lake covers an area of 100 acres where you can paddle and float to your heart’s content. 
  • Pequea Creek – With many places to launch your kayak, Pequea Creek makes for a great day out on the water. Much of the creek consists of small rapids and calm patches. However, there is a Class III rapid section for those looking for a bit more of a thrill.
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