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Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve

Preserving 554 acres in Fairfield County

Undoubtedly the most spectacular feature at Christmas Rocks is the scenic vista from the top of the formation known as Jacob’s Ladder. This Black Hand Sandstone formation towers some 250 feet above the valley of Arney Run. The preserve also serves as home for several rare species including a population of Bradley’s spleenwort (Asplenium bradleyi). Also present is an excellent example of a dry chestnut oak (Quercus prinus) ridge top with associated Appalachian species. This site has also been a favorite of birders due to the diversity of habitat and frequent use of the oak stands by neo-tropical migrants.

Local Directions

From Lancaster travel west on U.S. Rt. 22 approximately 4.3 miles and turn left onto Delmont Road. Continue on Delmont Road for 0.5 miles and stay left at the split onto Stony Hill Road. Continue on Stony Hill Road for 0.8 miles and turn Right onto Hopewell Church Road. Continue on Hopewell Church for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Meister Road. You will cross Hamburg Road at 1.1 miles. Follow Meister Road for 0.7 miles. At bottom of hill, turn left into the small parking area. Overflow parking is available at the covered bridge. Turn right onto Crooks Road and park in the paved lot.

Special Features

Geologic Features
Bird Watching
Spring Wildflowers

  • Black Hand Sandstone
  • Bradley’s spleenwort


  • The three mile long trail contains two separate loops of moderate difficulty due to steepness of terrain.
  • Small gravel parking area

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