From meadows and streams to mature deciduous forests, there are a variety of ecosystems to explore. This 411-acre park is a gift – figuratively and literally. Detweiler is the largest of the Dauphin County-owned parks and was opened to the public in 2017 after the landowners turned it over in a donation/sale transaction. The family’s vision was for the land to be enjoyed by the public for generations to come. As you walk the park’s nearly 7 miles of trails and take in its beauty, be sure to give a nod to its history and philanthropic purpose.
The trails at Detweiler Park are moderate, with both easy loops and more challenging treks. The David’s Field Loop is a 1.6-mile moderate trail that provides a beautiful panoramic view and takes you around a pine area that’s home to forest wildlife, who are most active in the morning and evening. From the David’s trail, the Meade’s Mountain Loop is a 1.6-mile difficult hike with a steep slope climb that avid hikers will enjoy. Those looking for an easier walk can take the shortcut from Stackpole Trail to the Airstrip Loop, a 1.5-mile easy hike around a field.
Hikers will traverse varied terrain. Stretches of trail are along open fields with little shade, other sections are hidden under dense canopy. With natural springs flowing from nearby Peters Mountain, it’s a good idea to have the right footwear especially during the spring and after moderate to heavy rains. There is a wooden bridge close to the trailhead that’s perfect for a photo spot, and several Adirondack chairs placed throughout the park where hikers can sit for a moment to enjoy the peaceful surroundings
Deer are often seen grazing or running throughout the park’s expanse. There are birdboxes placed throughout the park, so hikers will also see a wide variety of birds including turkey, hawks, woodpeckers, and bluebirds. In mid to late summer, it’s common for hikers to see hundreds of Monarch butterflies feeding on milkweed plants growing in the large field.
Detweiler Park is accessed through a single parking lot located at 1451 Peters Mountain Road, Dauphin, PA 17018. From US 322, take the Peter's Mountain Rd (SR 225) exit. The parking lot will be 1.8 miles ahead on the right. This parking lot provides access to Stackpole Trail, which branches into the highlighted section for this park.