#19 - West Manheim Township Park
Property Manager: West Manheim Township (717) 632-0320
GPS address: 255 St Bartholomew Rd, Hanover, PA 17331
Hours: Dawn until Dusk
Parking: There is a large stone parking lot that is available at the end of the stone driveway.
Restrooms: There is a portable toilet available in the back of the parking area.
Safety Reminders: Please practice good birding habits at this multi-use community park.
Best Birding: Birding is best May through October, dawn until dusk.
Site Description: This park has a small meadow, edge habitat, open forest, and is surrounded by agricultural fields. The area is lightly visited by birders. It is a popular recreation location with two multipurpose ball fields, playgrounds, a 5 acre dog park, and horseshoe pits. In addition to birding the trails are used for hiking, running, and mountain biking. According to the township’s website future plans for the park include disk golf, and additional ball fields, volleyball courts, and pavilions.
Upon entering the park you will see the meadows that run from the road to a hedgerow. There are trails through this area. A Purple Martin nesting house is active in the warm months. By mid-May the birds are easily viewed foraging for insects over the meadow near the park’s entrance. The martin house is on private property, but the martins and other swallows often forage over the meadow each morning. It is likely the best public area for viewing martins in the county.
The park has trails through open woods. Red-headed Woodpecker breeds in this area. Orchard Oriole is common in the hedgerows. There are a decent amount of cherry trees which tend to have many caterpillars feeding on them. This makes the area good for vireos, warblers, and cuckoos. During the summer Blue Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, and more await in this small community park. Winter and fall are less birdy, but Fox Sparrow and other winter visitors are possible here.
Another advantage of birding at West Manheim Township Park is its proximity to Sheppard-Meyers Reservoir and Long Arm Reservoir. Even if you don’t have time to visit the lakes, many flyover waterfowl species and raptors are possible here because of the parks position between the two reservoirs.