Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in York County, PA

  • Published 2023/11/05

York County is more than just a location – it is a sensation of warmth, comfort, and endless adventure.

From the lush farmlands to the bustling city streets, the county pulses with a rhythm that harmonizes with its myriad attractions.

Prepare to be captivated by the irresistible allure of York County.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Elaine Manuel, Gregory Evans, Briana Wiley, Sharon Spiker, Juliette Gibson, Nicole Chambers and Andrea Causey.

Visit Samuel S. Lewis State Park

Sign of the Samuel S. Lewis State Park

Gerry D, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I know every inch of Samuel S Lewis State Park, and it’s safe to say that it is my favorite place in the world.

The beauty of its landscape is unparalleled, and it offers so much more than one can imagine.

I remember the first time I laid my clawfoot at Mt. Pisgah. Itthtaking!

My family and I often venture to the park for our weekend picnics.

We pack a basket of schemes and fruits and eat up blankets in the field.

This is where we fly our kites, with the wind guiding them higher and higher.

On a clear day, you can see them soaring clear acre stunning vista that stretches forever.

It’s like having a front-row seat to nature’s most awe-inspiring show.

When the snow falls, the park transforms into a winter wonderland.

We grab our sleds and slide down the slopes of Mt. Pisgah.

With every slide, you can feel the rush of cold air, and the thrill is incredible.

Plaque at the Samuel S. Lewis State Park

Gerry D, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park is also perfect for stargazing.

Occasionally, it hosts stargazing programs where you can gaze at the stars and learn about constellations.

It’s a magical experience that you’ll never forget.

One of my favorite spots in the park is the rock field.

It’s an adventure playground for kids and those who love climbing and exploring.

A hilltop trail winds around the rock field and through scenic woods, offering a tranquil escape from the city.

There’s also a baseball field, a playground for kids, and a disc golf course.

The park’s pavilion at the peak is the perfect spot for picnics, lawn games, or just enjoying the view.

It’s strategically located to let you admire the breathtaking scenery while you eat or play.

Even in winter, there’s one parking area always open near the main views.

For anyone interested in what’s happening at the park, check out events dcnr pa for a list of scheduled activities.

You can visit parks and forests for more information about the park.

Samuel S. Lewis State Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and outdoor activities, making it a perfect destination for locals and tourists.

Grab a Taste of Childhood at Turkey Hill Experience

If you’re ever looking for a place that brings out the kid, immerse yourself in the delightful world of ice cream and iced tea at Turkey Hill Experience.

It’s like walking into a giant playroom; only it’s filled with ice cream and iced tea instead of toys.

The highlight of the experience for me was the “Taste Lab.”

It’s a chance to create your ice cream flavor with all the toppings and flavoring syrups you could dream of!

They give you a chunk of plain ice cream, and then you go wild.

Adding your flavors and toppings is surprisingly fun, even as an adult.

But beware – the portions are large, so large that I couldn’t finish mine.

While the kids will indeed be charmed by the activities, they’re not the only ones who get to have fun.

If you’re a tea lover like me, you’ll enjoy sampling the different varieties of iced tea.

After the intro video, I’d recommend heading straight to the ice cream and then taking your sweet time exploring the second floor.

That’s where all the magic happens.

Another must-visit spot is their gift shop.

It’s an absolute haven for anyone with a sweet tooth, just like their ice cream.

There’s so much to see and do that it might get overwhelming.

But it’s all part of the fun and excitement of the Turkey Hill Experience.

Hang Out at Cousler Park

“There’s no place like home,” they say; if one is near Cousler Park, you can’t help but agree.

Nestled in our town, this expansive park has been a favorite weekend spot for many families, including my own.

First, this first strikes you about Cousler’s immaculate cleanliness.

Walking along the trails is a delight, the serenity allowing you to unwind and forget the momentarily fast-paced city life.

Children’s wooden playgrounds cater to all age groups – toddlers, young children, and bigger kids.

I fondly remember my children’s laughter echoing across the park as they played on the swings, ran up and down the climbing walls, and made friends with other local children.

The park isn’t just for kids, though.

For sports enthusiasts, Cousler Park has tennis and pickleball courts and soccer fields almost always bustling with activity.

And for an idyllic day out, there’s nothing quite like having a picnic in one of its several pavilions.

Cousler Park holds a special place in the hearts of locals, a hub of activity and peace, and a testament to the town’s strong sense of community.

It endures, much like the spirit of this town, and continues to be a haven for families and sports enthusiasts alike.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at John C. Rudy County Park

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve laced up my walking shoes and made my way to John C. Rudy County Park.

Tucked away in the heart of York County, this little gem is a haven for dog lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and sports fans at the park.

A coffee bar serves an excellent brew, a perfect companion for my leisurely hours.

The park is an idyllic setting if you’re a fan of hiking.

It has a network of trails, each offering a unique experience.

My dog and I have shared numerous adventurous walks exploring these trails.

The park’s dog area is something to be admired.

It’s thoughtfully divided into different sections for large and small dogs.

I’ve had some delightful conversations with fellow dog owners, although I’ve noticed that some need to be more responsible regarding their pets.

John C. Rudy County Park has something to offer for everyone.

Whether you’re there for the dog parks, sporting fields, or just the serene environment, you will have a memorable time.

Places like these make York County a wonderful place to live.

Enjoy an Unforgettable Day at Springettsbury Park

There’s just something about Springettsbury Park that keeps pulling me back.

It’s a gathering spot, a community hub, a place where memories are made.

If you’re looking for the best local secret, this is it.

Early mornings are my favorite time to visit when the dew still clings to the grass and the sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon.

The playground is an adventure waiting to happen.

It’s got everything a kid, or a kid at heart, could hope for.

There’s no shortage of fun, from swings and slides to climbing bars.

The best part? A handy fence that keeps the children safely inside the playground boundaries.

And don’t worry; there are plenty of benches for those who sit back and watch the fun unfold.

You’ll find a pristine set of basketball courts just a stone’s throw away from the playground.

These courts have seen their fair share of friendly games and heated rivalries.

But that’s not all. The park is also home to several pavilion-style buildings, which are always worth exploring.

Once a year, I make it a point to attend the Fairies Festival held here.

It’s a magical event that truly showcases the beauty of our park.

The whole area transforms into a whimsical wonderland, a day I look forward to every year.

But perhaps the most exciting part of Springettsbury Park is the theater.

With a full calendar of varying shows lined up for the year, there’s always something to look forward to.

Whether it’s a local band performance or a touring theatre show, the theater is the place to be.

Step Back in Time at the Golden Plough Tavern

Street view of Golden Plough Tavern

Joe Zlomek, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every time I pass by the Golden Plough Tavern, I feel a deep connection with the rich past of my beloved city.

This 18th-century German-style home and tavern, now a treasure trove of a museum, always leaves me in awe.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing period artifacts up close, each telling its own story.

My favorite part of visiting the tavern is that I walked the very floor of Gen. Gates and the Marquis de Lafayette once did.

Not every day you get to feel so closely connected to history.

Every corner of the Golden Plough Tavern whispers tales of our colonial times and the complex realities of our nation’s founding.

Information plank about the Golden Plough Tavern

Joe Zlomek, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps what captivated me the most was the unique ground-floor wall construction.

It’s a rare blend of timber framing with log buildings, a mark of historic carpentry and vernacular architecture.

Seeing the walls, hewn beams chinked with stones and mud like a log cabin makes you appreciate the meticulous craftsmanship of our forefathers.

And the guided tours are not to be missed!

Each visit has always been an experience, a journey back in time, and a reminder of the history that shaped my city.

Spend the Day at York Township Park

I often laced up my sneakers for a good run at York Township Park.

The paved walkways stretch out under a clear sky, allowing a perfect cardio workout.

Moreover, the trails are a hidden gem that transports you away from civilization, even though the fields and courts are just a stone’s throw away.

I can’t resist the pull of nature as I allow my feet to guide me along the trails, away from the hustle of everyday life.

The park is a haven, sitting close to the police station and offering a clear view of the area.

It’s a comforting thought, knowing help is near if need be. But I’ve never had any reason to worry.

The park has always been a peaceful retreat.

There’s always something to do at York Township Park.

The hills, fields, and courts beckon sports enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

You might catch a glimpse of a basketball game in action or see friends competing in a friendly volleyball game.

But don’t be surprised if you find a soccer match or a baseball game underway.

The park caters to all kinds of sports lovers.

Likewise, it is family-friendly with playgrounds suitable for different age groups.

And let’s not forget the vast fields.

There’s enough space for children and adults to run around, enjoy a picnic, or fly a kite.

It’s always a pleasant experience to visit York Township Park, no matter what time of the year.

The park is well-maintained, and the views are lovely.

It’s a beautiful place to unwind and engage in some fun activities.

Explore the Wright’s Ferry Mansion

Whenever I visit the Wright’s Ferry Mansion, I feel like stepping into a time capsule from the early 1700s.

The authenticity of the place is captivating.

Unlike many historic sites I’ve visited, most of the mansion’s furniture and artifacts are original to the period.

The first time I walked into the mansion, I was instantly struck by the detailed craftsmanship of the furniture, the beautiful textiles, and the intricate artwork.

It’s not often you come across a place that has been so lovingly preserved and maintained.

This mansion has seen only two family lineages since it was built.

The mansion’s interior, complete with vases filled with fresh flowers, always leaves me spellbound.

It’s an extraordinary experience, like stepping into a painting of an 18th-century domestic scene.

I often find myself like Susanna Wright, the original owner of the mansion, who managed to accumulate these incredible artifacts in a small settlement that remains a small town to this day.

Every visit to the Wright’s Ferry Mansion offers a unique experience, so much so that I’ve ordered the book to ensure I don’t miss out on any of its rich history.

Even after multiple visits, there’s still som new to discover, making this historic gem a must-visit in our area.

Take a Walk Through Richard M. Nixon County Park

Feeling the crunch of fallen leaves under my feet, I once again found myself lost in the beauty of Richard M. Nixon County Park.

The park spans over 187 acres and is my go-to place for a slice of nature within the city’s hustle and bustle.

Each season brings a different hue to the park – the vibrant greens of spring, the fiery reds and oranges of fall, and the quiet hush of winter, each making every visit unique and special.

The shade provided by the sprawling trees makes it an ideal spot to escape the summer heat, while the nearby stream adds a soothing soundtrack to my walks.

Likewise, the trails, ranging from leisurely walks to more challenging hikes, provide a refreshing variety.

It’s hard not to feel a rush of excitement when you spot a deer grazing or a bird perched on a branch, going about their lives oblivious to the human world just beyond the park’s boundaries.

The park isn’t just for a quiet, solitary walk, though.

I often take my nephews and nieces to the park, and the squeals of delight as they spot turtles sunning themselves or tadpoles swimming in the water are a joy to behold.

We even adopted a small stuffed wolf from the park’s nature center on our last visit, much to my niece’s delight.

But perhaps what I love most about this park is the sense of community it fosters.

Everyone, from the park rangers to the locals, is committed to conservation and educating visitors about the wildlife and flora that call this park home.

So, if you’re looking for a place to unwind and reconnect with nature, Richard M. Nixon County Park is the place to be.

Explore the Nixon Park Nature Center

After a long week at work, there’s no love, nothing unwinding at the Nixon Park Nature Center.

This hidden gem right in central PA’s heart is just a park.

The indoor exhibit alone is worth the visit. It houses of species, each one more fascinating than the last.

From tiny insects to majestic birds, the diversity is awe-inspiring.

It’s like stepping into a natural history museum and a wildlife sanctuary all rolled into one.

But the true beauty of Nixon Park lies in its outdoor spaces.

Before you even step out into the wilderness, you’re greeted by the rich aroma of the surrounding forest.

As you head out, countless hiking trails of varying difficulties await.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenge or just someone who enjoys a leisurely nature, there’s a trail for you.

The scenery on these trails is breathtaking, with each season offering a different view.

But nothing quite compares to when everything is in bloom.

It’s as if nature is on a show, with vibrant colors and lively sounds enveloping you.

On top of that, Nixon Park Nature Center is a fantastic spot for group outings.

I remember when the local scouts had their trip here.

The joy and intrigue in their once as they explored the park are a testament to its appeal to all ages.

And let’s not forget about the practical aspects.

The nature center is free, and there are bathrooms on-site.

This means you can spend the whole day exploring without worrying about extra costs or facilities.

When it comes to the Nixon Park Nature Center, I can say that you have to experience it for yourself.

It’s a beacon of nature’s beauty and a must-visit spot in Central PA.

Explore the Agricultural & Industrial Museum

Vehicles displayed at the Agricultural & Industrial Museum

Klaus Nahr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I remember my first visit to the Agricultural & Industrial Museum like it was yesterday.

It was a Wednesday afternoon when the town was quiet, and the world seemed to slow down a bit.

I hopped on the city bus and headed towards the museum, just around the corner from my place.

Stepping off the bus, the museum’s striking entrance caught my eye.

The place was teeming with character and charm, even in the cold rain.

As the doors swung open, I was immediately taken back in time.

The museum’s eclectic collection told the tale of York’s rich manufacturing history.

Display at the Agricultural & Industrial Museum

IIP Photo Archive, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

First, I wandered into what appeared to be a room dedicated to transportation.

There were classic cars, a small plane, a refurbished trolley car, and a work train engine.

The diversity was quite impressive. Every piece of machinery had its own story.

Then, I moved on to the agricultural and farming area. It was like stepping into a time machine.

There were various implements and equipment, all of which befitted the rich agricultural heritage of York.

The local industry section was a particular delight.

It was a riveting exhibition of York’s industrial prowess, showcasing old lathes, drills, and other factory equipment.

Each visit to the Agricultural & Industrial Museum brings something new.

The interactivity, the diversity, and the rich history never cease to amaze me.

It’s a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn about York’s industrial legacy.

Enjoy Outdoor Adventures at William Kain Park

Not every day, you find a place like William Kain Park, which offers many outdoor adventures amidst a picturesque backdrop.

Whether it’s a day out with the kids, a solo hiking adventure, or a fun-filled bike ride, this park has always been my go-to.

My usual routine starts with a lovely hike on the meandering trails throughout the park.

The courses, suitable for hiking and mountain biking, offer varying degrees of difficulty so everyone can enjoy the park at their own pace.

If you’re a horse lover like me, these trails also serve as horseback riding routes.

You can’t miss the Water St parking area, where I often park my car before embarking on an excellent 2+hr loop hike.

The park has two beautiful lakes that have always been my pit-stop during biking sessions.

Moreover, the lakes, currently drained due to the extensive dam rebuild, are usually bustling with those who enjoy kayak rides.

Even though the water levels are low, the lakes still offer breathtaking views.

The boat rental service, a popular option, is temporarily closed but is a must-try when it reopens.

If you’re a fitness enthusiast like me, the park’s trails offer a great blend of exercise and scenic views.

I often take my bike out on these trails or enjoy a serene walk.

One of my favorite parts of the tracks is a small tunnel that adds an element of adventure to the whole experience.

The park also boasts a well-maintained playground, a haven for kids and even adults who are young at heart.

After a fun round at the garden, you can take a breather at the lakeside, soaking in the beautiful scenery.

While the park’s proximity to the highway does bring in some vehicle noise, it does not take away the park’s tranquility.

With easy access to and from I-83, ample parking spots, and beautiful rental pavilions, William Kain Park has always been a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

I know I’ll be back soon to explore more trails, and I can’t wait for the Dam repairs to be finished to enjoy the boat rides again.

Uncover the Past at York County History Center

Settling in York County has been an absolute joy, not only for its vibrant community but also for its rich history.

A personal favorite spot of mine is the York County History Center.

It’s an immersive journey into the past.

Despite its size, this museum packs a punch, boasting a diverse collection of artifacts representing our local history.

It’s a comfortable space, too, with plenty of seating areas to rest and take in the exhibitions at my own pace.

As someone who appreciates accessibility, I’m always pleased that the elevator conveniently connects all the floors.

But that’s not all. The York County History Center is also a charming venue for hosting events.

I attended a friend’s party last Sunday in the main room, which was enchanting.

The supply delivery was smooth, and the venue was spacious enough for all 45 guests.

Not to mention, the organ music that filled the room was a delightful addition.

I recommend looking into this venue if you’re ever looking to host an event. It’s cost-effective and adds a unique historical charm to any occasion.

If you’re a history buff like me or even looking for a unique day out in York County, visit the York County History Center.

You’ll get more than your money’s worth with entry to various exhibitions, including a captivating tour of Revolutionary Era houses and the agricultural museum.

It’s more extensive and more impressive than you’d expect from the outside.

I only wish I had more time to spend there.

If you’re planning to visit, make sure you allocate enough time. You won’t regret it.

Rediscover the Beauty of White Cliffs of Conoy

Now and then, I wander towards the White Cliffs of Conoy, which always seems to offer a refreshing escapade from my usual routine.

With each visit, I’ve come to appreciate the serenity of the Susquehanna River and the rugged allure of the cliffs that line its banks.

Strolling along the well-groomed walking path is an excellent way to start the visit.

It’s an easy trail, made even more enjoyable by the diverse crowd it attracts – hikers, bikers, and herds of dogs out for a walk.

While some bikers seem to be racing against time, most are courteous enough to slow down when passing.

The cliffs, the main attraction, are a sight to behold.

They aren’t towering giants but stand out, adding a unique charm to the landscape.

Climbing isn’t an option here, but there’s plenty to explore and admire – the worn-out building remains, the occasional stop with lookouts, and the narrow trails descending to the river’s edge.

Another thing that I always look forward to is the breathtaking view from the top of the cliffs.

It’s a vantage point that offers a panoramic view of the river, winding its way through the lush greenery.

The beach area is shallow and perfect for wading, but one must be careful as it’s not too far from solid currents.

The White Cliffs of Conoy may not be a grand spectacle, but they offer a peaceful retreat amid nature.

Whether you’re looking to spend some quiet time by the river or seeking a leisurely hike, this place has something for everyone.

Just remember always to respect the surroundings and keep safety in mind.

Play in the Afternoons at Snyder Park

Among the many charms of the Hill-n-Dale community lies a hidden gem – Snyder Park.

Growing up in this part of the town, my childhood memories are filled with sunny afternoons and laughter echoing through the park.

Over the years, some things have changed, but the essence of this place remains the same.

When I was a kid, we used to have family picnics under the covered pavilion; unfortunately, it’s not there anymore.

But the park still offers a picturesque view with a small creek along its border and a wooden bridge arching over it.

The calm gushing of the Water never fails to transport me back to those carefree days.

These days, I find solace in the quiet corners of the park, on one of the many benches scattered around.

It’s a great place to catch up on a good book or watch the world go by.

There’s a baseball field and a basketball court for anyone looking for recreational activities.

The court is partially fenced, so you won’t have to worry about the ball disappearing into the woods on those enthusiastic shots.

Moreover, the playground is a favorite spot for the little ones.

I often see their gleeful faces, enjoying the swings and slides.

The park’s well-maintained condition speaks volumes of the township’s efforts.

There’s no broken equipment, and trash cans and recycling bins are placed conveniently, maintaining the cleanliness we all appreciate.

Snyder Park might not be grand or flashy, but it’s our little haven, a place of peace and play in our bustling community.

If you’re ever in town, do check out Snyder Park.

It might just become your new favorite spot!

Enjoy a Thrilling Day at Tyler Run Park

The first thing you notice about Tyler Run Park is its charm.

It’s a quaint little green spot nestled in the heart of the community and offers the perfect escape for a day of fun and relaxation.

Parking can get a little snug, especially during the weekend. But that’s only because this place is a hit with everyone.

I usually take my 5-year-old nephew there.

The small playground is tailor-made for him and his band of energetic friends.

Being there, watching them swing away on the swing set, chasing each other around the playground equipment, is pure delight.

And it’s not just for kids.

The park has plenty of amenities for adults, too.

I love taking my dog for a walk in the adjacent dog park.

Though a little confusing for first-timers, the running trail is excellent for a quick jog.

And then there’s the basketball court, where I’ve spent countless evenings shooting hoops with friends.

What I love most about Tyler Run Park is its versatility.

It’s a place where the community comes together.

The small pavilion often hosts local events, and the sprawling soccer field and picnic benches make it an ideal spot for family gatherings or informal get-togethers.

Likewise, the cleanliness of the park always amazes me.

A large trash can is in the parking lot, and I’ve never seen any litter.

There are also clean restrooms, a rarity in most public parks.

Tyler Run Park is a little hidden gem, a place of tranquility and fun, perfect for both kids and adults.

Whether you want a quiet afternoon or a lively gathering, this park is the place to be.

Final Thoughts

York County, Pennsylvania, is an adventure waiting to happen.

It’s truly a pleasure to enjoy the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty that York County has to offer.

So here’s to many more explorations and experiences in a place I am proud to call home.

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