Overlooking the Susquehanna River from The Pinnacle in Lancaster County

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Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful areas of Pennsylvania is the southern reaches of the Susquehanna River in York and Lancaster Counties.

This area is home to miles of incredible hiking trails, waterfalls like Mill Creek Falls, and beautiful vistas. One such vista worth checking out is the Pinnacle Overlook in Lancaster County.

The Pinnacle Overlook, which is often referred to simply as The Pinnacle, is located just north of Holtwood Dam on the eastern banks of the Susquehanna River. It sits on a bluff nearly 400 feet above the river and offers excellent views north along the river.

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The Pinnacle Overlook and the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
The Pinnacle Overlook from the trail.

The Pinnacle Overlook is easily reached by walking along a flat and paved path for about a tenth of a mile.

The overlook itself is a wide and open area. Parts of it are crushed gravel while other sections are well-maintained grassy areas. There are even a few benches for those that want to sit for a bit and enjoy this spot.

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The views here are quite incredible and you can see over three miles north along the Susquehanna River.

Duncan Island, which sits in the middle of the river is a focal point of the view from the Pinnacle. A study done in the mid-20th-century found items dating back to 8,000 B.C. on this island.

Bench in front of the view from the Pinnacle Overlook in Lancaster County PA
The views from here are worth taking a seat and enjoying.

While the views from the main viewing area are great, I definitely recommend spending a bit of time exploring the area.

The Conestoga Trail, a 60-mile trail that runs along the Lancaster County shores of the Susquehanna River, passes directly through the park. Heading south along the trail will bring you to the popular Kelly’s Run Nature Preserve while hiking north will take you to the Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve.

While you quickly enter into the forest when you head south, heading north across the open field provides continuing views overlooking the river. You can even see the point where Duncan Run flows into the river on the York County side just downstream of the waterfalls on the stream.

Rocky outcropping near the Pinnacle Overlook in Holtwood PA
There is a great rocky outcropping that offers great views.

If you continue hiking south a few hundred yards, you’ll come to a path that heads to the left as the main trail turns right and into the woods. This leads to a great rock outcropping that offers majestic views of the river.

If you opt to head out onto this outcropping, use extreme caution and make sure to stay back from the ledge.

Views of the Susquehanna River from the Pinnacle Overlook in Holtwood Pennsylvania
Looking south from the overlook.

While the southern PA shores of the Susquehanna River feature many incredible spots, few can rival the views that you’ll find at the Pinnacle. Don’t’ miss this spot when exploring the region.

How to Get to the Pinnacle Overlook

Trail to the Pinnacle Overlook in Lancaster County PA
The trail to the overlook is wide and flat.

The Pinnacle Overlook is located near Holtwood in Lancaster County, PA. It is part of Susquehannock State Park, though the majority of that park is several miles further south.

The parking area for the overlook is at the end of Pinnacle Road at the following coordinates: 39.845544, -76.342315.

From the parking area, head past the gate and down the paved trail for about 500 feet until you reach the overlook.

Looking for more places to visit nearby? Check out the White Cliffs of Conoy, Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve, and the covered bridges of Lancaster County.

[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]

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