For those of you who have never been to Shenk's Ferry this is a must trip in April. Stunningly beautiful wildflowers and native plants are easy to view from this well-maintained short trail. The area is very tranquil, with rolling hills and a small stream. There is an ideal picnic spot at the end of the trail, less than 1 mile from the trail head. There are no fees to use this trail.
Many of the wildflowers are in full bloom and there are many species to appreciate. Shenk's Ferry is located on Green Hill Rd in Conestoga, Lancaster County. It was an hour and a half drive from our home in Media. I must warn you however, the last mile of the drive to get to the preserve is a rugged dirt road. We made it in our Camry but we were stop and go at many of the ruts and bumps.
As soon as we got out of the car we could hear a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher calling and quickly spotted him. One of the first wildflowers we saw upon entering the trail were hundreds of Virginia Bluebells which were spread all over the hillside.
Soon you come to the Trilium which are in full bloom and interspersed with the Bluebells
Along the creekside of the trail we were able to spot some Yellow Ragwort
|Picture of Grubb Creek which runs the whole length of the Preserve|
|You can have a picnic at the end of the trail pictured here|
The full length of the trail is an easy 1.75 miles round trip and we did the trip in about an hour with all the stops we made for photos and observations.
Some of you might be familiar with Dutchmans Britches from seeing them along Ridley Creek in the state park. Well, we found lots of them and the similar looking Squirrel Corn which was almost done blooming.
|Squirrel Corn - notice the shape of the flower is more like an elongated heart but the leaves are similar|
Blue Violets along with yellow and white violets were everywhere.May Apples were present but I didn't notice any that were blooming as of that date. There was also some Blue Cohosh blooming.
Of course any trip out to the Susquehanna River area includes a stop at our favorite lunch place. We always stop in Quarryville at the Lapps Restaurant for lunch and most times we get their Baker's Special, which is a bowl of soup and a large apple Dumpling. Yummy!
|Lapp's Restaurant - Home of the Apple Dumpling|