York County is full of picturesque landscapes and breath-taking scenery. Throughout all seasons, York County offers scenic views that are like no other. Residents and travelers are lucky to have these beautiful landscapes accessible from the York County Heritage Rail Trail.
The York County Heritage Rail Trail is 21 miles long and runs from downtown York, Pennsylvania to the Mason-Dixon Line bordering Maryland. The linear trail is 10 feet wide and follows a historic rail line. Built in 1999, the trail is a reasonably level gravel path with two lanes for bikers, walkers, runners, joggers, and horseback riders. The trail is maintained with facilities like benches, picnic tables, and restrooms, making it a great choice for both experienced nature wanderers and people who want a simple, relaxing nature walk.
Running along the abandoned Northern Central Railway line, the Heritage Rail Trail County Park features many historic places. The National Register of Historic Places lists the Howard Tunnel, Hanover Junction Train Station, the Colonial Courthouse, and New Freedom Train Station as a few examples.
New Freedom is a town of beauty in York County. Located at the southern end of the York County Heritage Rail Trail, New Freedom is a popular destination for many travelers on the rail trail. The New Freedom Train Station is a museum full of artifacts, displays, and lots of history. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the museum is a must-see for every passerby.
As the highest point on the rail trail, New Freedom is a popular starting point, as the rail trail is downhill in both directions. New Freedom offers multiple parking lots for travelers to easily hop on and off the rail trail, and the town is a quiet, yet accommodating destination full of rich history for many York County Heritage Rail Trail travelers.
Travelers enjoy stopping in New Freedom for the town’s many high points. Seven, for example, is a local restaurant and sports bar where travelers can stop in for lunch and a nice, refreshing break. For a sweet treat, Bonkey’s Ice Cream and Snoballs is a fun mom-and-pop shop with many varieties of homemade ice cream, snowballs, and old-fashioned candy. For a hearty meal, Paesano’s is an Italian eatery that is perfect for rail trail travelers on the go; they can stop by and have a piece of pizza or hoagie sandwich. New Freedom offers a local park right off the York County Heritage Rail Trail that is great for kids to cool off and play.
A few short miles away from downtown New Freedom, the York County Heritage Rail Trail connects with the Northern Central Railroad Trail in Maryland and extends for another 20 miles into the northern part of Baltimore. New Freedom is a central location to connect various parts of the York County Heritage Rail Trail together.
The York County Heritage Rail Trail is a scenic and beautiful showcase of South Central Pennsylvania. During every season of the year, the rail trail offers breathtaking scenes and eye-opening views of nature. New Freedom is just one of the 11 municipalities the York County Heritage Rail Trail travels through, but New Freedom is unique in that it offers a wealth of culture, history, and beauty as travelers pass through the small Pennsylvania town.