First leg of Hanover Trolley Trail officially open, with more planned

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

The first phase to expand the Hanover Trolley Trail is officially open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at Thoman Field in Spring Grove Borough marked the completion of the first phase to expand the trail program and to convert 8.5 miles of dormant rail line into a multi-use trail. The recently completed section adds 0.3 miles to the Spring Grove trail and creates links for cyclists to the borough’s parks and downtown district. 

Located east and west of Spring Grove, the rail corridor was purchased by the York County Rail Trail Authority in 2020, specifically to advance development of the Hanover Trolley Trail.  

Between 2008 and 2013, two sections of the Hanover Trolley Trail were completed in the Spring Grove and Hanover areas along a Met-Ed utility corridor known as the York Hanover Trolley Line. These sections are widely used by local residents for walking, cycling, and other forms of outdoor recreation. 

 The project is funded through grants from Explore York, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the County of York’s allocation of federal American Rescue Act Plan funds.  

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The Rail Trail Authority plans to add more phases to the trail as funds become available. Additional sections of the dormant rail line are currently under design for conversion to a trail, as the York County Rail Trail Authority continues efforts to expand the Hanover Trolley Trail. 

Developing the Hanover Trolley Trail is also seen as a benefit to the businesses in Spring Grove and Hanover.  

The York County Economic Alliance said every dollar the county invests in trails returns over $200 to our regional economy. The Hanover Trolley Trail is a prime project to spur this type of local redevelopment in this part of York County. 

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The Hanover Trolley Trail is a non-motorized, recreational trail project that primarily follows a 16.5-mile utility corridor owned by Met-Ed, a FirstEnergy Company, between Hanover and York, PA. Sections of the trail are completed near Hanover and Spring Grove. In 2020, YCRTA purchased 8.5 miles of dormant rail line located east and west of Spring Grove that will allow for these completed sections to be connected and expansion of the project into additional communities. 

Jeff Little, right, of Hanover, and his grandson James Chanon, 11, ride along the first completed section of the Hanover Trolley Trail following a ribbon-cutting ceremony held by the York County Rail Trail Authority at Thomas Field in Spring Grove, Thursday, June 2, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York County Rail Trail Authority (YCRTA) is a volunteer, 10-member authority formed in 1990 under the direction of the York County Board of Commissioners. The authority’s mission is to enrich York County communities and countryside through the development of a network of multi-use public trails. 

— Reach Anthony Maenza at or @atmaenza on Twitter. 

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