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Visitors get guided look at Native Lands Park

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

A small group of visitors to the Zimmerman Center for Heritage in Lower Windsor Township braved the chilly, rainy weather Sunday to take part in a short, guided hike in Native Lands Park.

Led by center manager Paul Nevin and York County Parks naturalist Kelsey Frey, the group hiked to the site of the last known Susquehannock Indian tribe village, part of the 187-acre Native Lands Park.

Nevin explained the history of the Susquehannock and their meeting with explorer John Smith in the early 1600s. He walked the group to where village stood almost 300 years ago.

York County Park naturalist Kelsey Frey, right,  shows visitors pictures of the life stages of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly during a short hike in Native Lands Park, Sunday, April 15, 2018.  John A. Pavoncello photo

Naturalist Kelsey Frey highlighted some of the flora and fauna found in and around Native Lands park, including native butterflies and three species of gulls that migrate through the area.

Native Lands Park was created after the land was purchased by York County in 2008. The park features an approximately 1 mile-long walking trail, with several vistas overlooking the Susquehanna River. 

The Zimmerman Center for Heritage was donated by Jerry and Katheryn Zimmerman, who restored the historic river-side home. The center is the headquarters of Susquehanna Heritage and serves as Pennsylvania’s Official Visitor Contact and Passport Station for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, part of the National Parks system.