Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick
Address: 3283 Pinch Rd, Lebanon, PA 17545
Latitude/Longitude: 40.232850, -76.456238
Web site: click here
Phone: (717) 964-3808
If you’re looking for a hike that’s a bit more challenging than walking one of our local rail trails, then these are ones you might want to consider.
Set in the hills of Lebanon County and just a quick jaunt from the adorable town of Mt. Gretna, the Governor Dick natural area is a favorite spot for local hikers and naturalists, especially the trail that takes you to the 66 foot observation tower with sweeping panoramic views of FIVE counties on a clear day!
The history of the area is almost as interesting as the views. The area was named after a collier by the name of Dick who worked in the woods in the late 1700’s. The trees in this forest were burned to make charcoal for nearby iron furnaces, and Dick, a former slave, was particularly good at it! Dick’s nickname among his fellow workers was “Governor”, and because of the quantity of charcoal he produced and his personal popularity, the hill where he worked came to be called “Governor Dick” after his death!
In addition to the wonderful tall trees which provide the habitat for a number of animal species, the park is known for it’s geology and rock formations, which provide something like nine great boulder-climbing areas (well marked on the park’s trail map).
The park covers more than 1100 acres and has more than 14 miles of hiking, biking and horse trails. The trail to the observation tower is probably the most well known/traveled, but be warned that it’s challenging in spots, especially because it can be a bit “loose.” So be sure to wear decent shoes to do any of these hikes… if you want more of a ‘stroll’, stay close to the Environmental Center, or hike the nearby Lebanon Rail Trail instead.
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