Disclaimer: Caution must be used at all times as hazards exist in the wilderness of Governor Dick Tower Trail and in the tower. Please hike wisely and follow the applicable state guidance for travel and safety considerations.
Governor Dick Park is located in Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania, and the park is home to the Governor Dick Tower. This small town in Central Pennsylvania is known for their art show, music concerts, and historic homes and cottages. There’s also Mount Greta Lake & Beach and a popular ice cream shop, which makes it a great summer destination.
Mount Gretna Observation Tower Trail
Mount Gretna also features hiking trails in Governor Dick Park. One popular trail leads to a unique observation tower. To hike to the Mount Gretna observation tower, start at the Clarence Schock Memorial Park Environmental Center. The Environment Center is located at 3283 Pinch Road, which is close to the Lebanon / Lancaster exit of the Pennsylvania turnpike.
Upon arriving at the Environmental Center, you’ll see a sign and a drive way leading to the building and large parking lot. Keep in mind, even though the parking lot is large, it was full on a nice, spring weekend. The parking lot includes some nice benches and picnic tables. If the Environmental Center is open, it houses restrooms.
The trail head to the tower is obvious, as it is well-signed and starts from the parking lot. The beginning of the hike is a bit strenuous, as it is mostly up hill. However, it’s a wide, gravel path. After about a half mile, the trail becomes more flat and more manageable.
Trail maps are available on the Clarence Shock Memorial Park website and in the Environmental Center, however the trail signage is easy to follow. After the trail becomes more flat, the observation tower will come into view. While it looks like a typical lighthouse-type structure that would have a spiral staircase to reach the top, that is not the case!
The observation tower has several ladders that allow you to access the tower. I was not brave enough to ascend the tower. Please use your discretion with determining who should climb the tower.
The trail continues beyond the observation tower, but we turned back and headed along the same trail back to the parking lot.