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Londonderry Township looking at new hiking trails

By Laura Hayes

Posted 4/17/19

By Laura Hayes

Outdoor lovers and hikers will soon have an opportunity to hike through Londonderry Township.

The township wants to construct hiking trails …

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Londonderry Township looking at new hiking trails


Outdoor lovers and hikers will soon have an opportunity to hike through Londonderry Township.

The township wants to construct hiking trails that would start in Sunset Park — one trailhead across from the clubhouse at Sunset Golf Course and the other near the public works facilities.

The plan was introduced during the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 1.

In an email, township manager Steve Letavic said the township hopes to go through the design process this year with some construction depending on the weather and permit requirements.

“We wanted to create the trail, in a general sense, so that our residents that visited Sunset Park would have the opportunity to get out and hike in a natural setting,” Letavic said.

According to township engineer Andrew Kenworthy, there will be 2.4 miles of trail and sidewalk.

Letavic said the township wants to dedicate the trail to veterans.

“We have heard from DCNR that many veterans have said that the paving allows them to use trails in scooters or motorized wheelchairs, and it gives them a great opportunity to get out into nature,” Letavic said.

In the past, the township’s public works employees have started a path through the woods in the park. The trail would run along the new Harrisburg Rugby Football Club field. Ground broke on the field in November.

The trail would continue along the western edge of the golf course, behind the second hole, up Sunset Drive, along Hillsdale Drive and connect to the potential Lytle Farm housing development on Foxianna Road.

Along the trails will be picnic tables and benches.

Phase one will include constructing the trailhead near the future rugby field along with signs, restrooms and a parking lot, Kenworthy said. Some work might be done in conjunction with the rugby field construction.

Eventually, they plan to connect with other regional trails such as the Conewago Recreation, Jonathan Eshenour Memorial and Northwest Lancaster County River trails.

Portions of the trail will be ADA accessible.

“Essentially, we’re going to split the trail into a couple of different phases. The intent is that this will be a paved pedestrian path as much as possible, but there will be areas that are very steep and kind of take a side route to having better views or getting to a picnic cover or something like that,” Kenworthy said.

The township was awarded a $200,000 Commonwealth Financing Authority grant for the project, which includes $170,000 grant dollars and a $30,000 match from the rugby club.

Kenworthy said the township is applying for a $150,000 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant, using the CFA grant as the matching dollars. The supervisors voted to pass a resolution to apply for the DCNR grant during the April 1 meeting.

Kenworthy said the first phase of the project is estimated to cost $300,000. Cost estimates haven’t been provided for the future phases, and Kenworthy said each phase would be completed as funding sources and partners are identified.

The trail would be maintained through a combination of volunteers and public works employees who Letavic said would keep the trail clear of tree limbs and maintain any stormwater management features.

After it was said that the township would maintain the trail, Supervisor Bart Shellenhamer said, “OK, so ultimately in the long run, this will cost taxpayers money to maintain it.”

It’s part of the park system as it is, Kenworthy said.

“Certainly there will be some maintenance associated with it. The intent is to make it as low-maintenance as possible,” Kenworthy said.