This is the first place I go when I land in PA, schedule permitting. It’s my sanctuary of storts. I go to rest, to pray, to reflect. I go to read, to write, to hike. And I go to share it with others. My favorite place is Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. The name sounds less than thrilling, but I promise it is the the closest I’ve found to peace on earth in the Lancaster area.
When I was younger, my mom would take my brother and I to Middle Creek. We’d go and walk on the nature trails, watch the snow geese, or enjoy a picnic on the hill. I even took a field trip here at one point in school while we were studying birds. I don’t really remember much from the field trip, except that I got to stand in front of the big bay window and see the lake, and that I got some snacks out of the vending machine. Priorities, right?
As an adult, I learned to love Middle Creek even more. I love to hike on the trails, sit and watch the sunset behind the mountains, watch the sunrise over the lake, and just be still.
What you’ll find below are my 3 favorite ways to enjoy Middle Creek. I know, you’re thinking, “there’s more than 1 way?” Yes. There absolutely is. Pick one of the below options to do with a friend, or go solo! I’ve done them all and love it no matter if I’m alone or with other people.
ONE: A CAFFEINATED SUNRISE
- Head to Copper Cup Coffee in Manheim and order yourself a big cup of caffeine and maybe a breakfast sandwich too. Or even a cupcake.
- Head to Middle Creek which is about 10 minutes away and head up the main road by the lake. Pull on the right side of the main road (there’s room) and park your car and roll your windows down.
- Sit and enjoy the sunrise with your coffee and find joy in a new day!
TWO: AN OUTDOORSY TREAT
- Drive to the Pretzel Hut off the Lititz Pike. It’s a bit north of Lititz and has old diner type vibes but is 100% one of my favorite places to eat. They also have a petting zoo. Weird, but cool. Their chicken tenders are delightful as are their cheeseburger subs, and fries. Eat inside or outside, your choice!
- Drive a few minutes over to Middle Creek. There’s a bunch of different trails here but I would recommend either the Short Conservation Trail or Valley View trail. Both are about 1-2 miles and easy walking. If you want something a little more difficult, the Elder’s Run trail is about 4 miles.
- After your hike, head over to Fox Meadows Creamery (closed on Sunday). They have the best ice cream and so many flavors. My personal recommendation is a baked fox (either brown or cookie or a seasonal specialty) with ice cream on the inside and warmed from the outside. I dream of these.
THREE: SUSHI AND SUNSETS
- Order call ahead Sushi from Mojo’s in Lititz. I HIGHLY recommend the Blushing Lava Roll. Don’t read the description. Just order it. It’s incredible.
- Drive up 501 toward Middle Creek and find a spot to lay out your blanket and watch the sunset. I recommend going to the parking lot across from the visitor’s center where the sunset shows the best light. If it’s cold outside, you can eat it in your car like I do. No shame.
I hope you enjoy Middle Creek as much as I do. If you have any recommendations of how to spend your time here, please share!