Holtwood swallowtail


The Holtwood Environmental Preserve provides lakeside recreational opportunities and facilities for camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, sightseeing, fishing and hunting on more than 5,000 acres on both shores of the lower Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York Counties. The Holtwood hydroelectric plant and Lake Aldred demonstrate the successful combination of power generation, recreation, environmental education and land management.

PPL Holtwood also continues its support of a broad public-private initiative to preserve this beautiful land for generations to come by transferring land to the Lancaster County Conservancy. Read more…


Volunteers and staff at the preserve have created an extensive demonstration butterfly garden at the preserve, which also serves as a certified Monarch Way Station. The preserve also hosts annual butterfly counts for southern Lancaster County.

Learning About the Environment

Next to Holtwood Recreation Area is an arboretum that has mature, labeled trees commonly found in Lancaster and York counties. An arboretum booklet is available.

The map shows important trails and special places at the Holtwood Environmental Preserve.

1. Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve 9. Pinnacle Overlook
2. Pequea Creek Nature Trail 10. Kelly’s Run — Pinnacle Trail System
3. Pequea Creek Campground 11. Holtwood Recreation Area
4. Urey Overlook Trail 12. Face Rock Overlook
5. Otter Creek Nature Trail 13. Holtwood Dam Overlook
6. Otter Creek Campground 14. Lock 12 Historic Area
7. Conestoga Trail 15. Indian Steps Museum
8. Mason-Dixon Trail


Hours of Operation

The Holtwood Environmental Preserve’s office is open by appointment only. Please call 1-800-354-8383.

Rules and Regulations

  • Picnic areas are open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash.
  • All Pennsylvania boating, fishing and hunting laws apply and are enforced by the appropriate state agencies.
  • Swimming is not permitted at PPL recreation facilities.
  • The use of motor bikes or all-terrain vehicles is not permitted at PPL recreation areas.
  • A river warning system operates for the safety of visitors below the Holtwood dam. Be alert — heed the warning signals. Leave the riverbed area when the alarm sounds. For further updates on river and fishing information,  call the Susquehanna River Hotline 1-800-692-6328 or visit www.shwpc.com.

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