I travel often to a lot of far out places in search of History. I’ve always been quite the history hunter, on a constant perpetual adventure in search of knowledge and to learn the stories of the people and places that existed hundreds of years ago. It’s actually become quite the addiction.
I was born & raised in a very historic community and I’m actually kind of surprised I didn’t write about my hometown sooner. I’ve lived in this small rivertown along the Susquehanna most of my life and I still discover things I’ve never known before. That’s why I love coming from a place rich with plenty of historic events.
So many people have made their way into Columbia (previously known as Wright’s Ferry) over the past 300 years – militia men, escaped slaves, bounty hunters, bootleggers, gangsters, and workers for the railroad, canals, mills and iron forges – all flowing in and out with the Susquehanna’s waters.
Earlier this week I walked the Northwest River Trail between Columbia and Chickies Rock. The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, tracing the Susquehanna River northwest from Columbia to Falmouth. While the majority of the trail is paved, the northern segment from Bainbridge to Falmouth is largely undeveloped and best suited for walking, hiking, or mountain biking. The route now contains a trove of historic iron furnaces and building ruins, a canal lock, sections of the original towpath and canal bed, and an abandoned railroad tunnel.
Located between the boroughs of Columbia and Marietta is Chickies Rock. At over 422 acres, it is the county’s second-largest regional park. Its most notable feature is the massive outcropping of quartzite rock towering 200 feet above the river. The vista offers impressive views of York County, the borough of Marietta, and farmlands of northwestern Lancaster County.
Bike paths and walking trails now lead visitors to the sites of interest in Chickies Rock County Park. But one thing seems to run through its long history, unbidden and dark: the supernatural. Locals will agree that the view from Chickies Rock is indeed spectacular and that the history and geology of the site are interesting. But along with the beauty, science, and history are tales that encompass the mysterious: legends of curses, ghosts and strange monsters.