In 1989 a group of concerned Annville citizens approached Annville Township about unregulated dumping near a wetland in an abandoned limestone quarry near the Quittapahilla Creek. The group suggested that the quarry and additional stream-side woodland, owned by the Township, be developed for recreation. In response, Township Commissioners designated the 23 acre woodland area and quarry as a passive recreation park, called the Quittie Creek Nature Park.
The Quittie Creek Nature Park Committee, now associated with Friends of Old Annville, was formed in 1989 to maintain the park through volunteer efforts and to raise funds for major park projects. The park committee raised funds to construct a wooden pedestrian bridge to connect the park to South Annville neighborhoods in 2007. In 2012, the park committee raised funds to expand the park by purchasing an additional 11 acres of stream-side woodland, contiguous with the park at its eastern end. A map of the park can be viewed and downloaded: Quittie Park Map.
The Quittie Creek Nature Park has become a point of interest in Annville and an attraction for Lebanon County and beyond. Its central walking path meanders beside the spring-fed Quittapahilla Creek, a restored trout stream. As you walk along the streamside path, at times your only company is the solitary great blue heron who fishes in the stream. Woodland trails take you past the century-old oak and sycamore trees, through blue hyacinths, jack-in–the-pulpits, and white bloodroot flowers in the spring, up a steep serpentine staircase made of railroad ties, and down into the deep quarry with a vernal pond filled with tadpoles.
History is evident in five existing lime kilns (one is shown under snow above on the right) that once produced lime from quarry limestone, the site of a water-powered mill on the Quittapahilla Creek that ground the lime for use in fertilizer and cement, and in the remains of a weir dam on the Quitapahilla that was used to provide deep water for pumping to elevated water tanks north of Annville.
And most certainly you will walk out onto the award-winning Raymond J. Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge, pausing to look at the Quittie from the unique vantage point it offers. The bridge was erected during the fall of 2007, connecting Annville and South Annville Township. The construction of the bridge was carried out under the Transportation Enhancement Program of PENNDOT and with grant support from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development. Additional funds were received through private donations to the Quittie Creek Nature Park.
You may even be one of the cross-country skiiers or showshoers who head to the park in winter. And none other than the Audubon Society recognizes the Quittie Park as an important birding site. In short, the Quittie Creek Nature Park is a local treasure: a place of nature, history, recreation, and serenity.
The Quittie Creek Nature Park Committee holds annually a spring park clean-up, usually on the Saturday in April nearest to Earth Day. A Pumpkin Walk is held annually on the last Friday in October from 7 to 9 PM, rain or shine. This Halloween event is intended for young children from 4 to 12 who are accompanied by a parent. The walk is free for the community, but donations which go to the upkeep of the park are welcome.
View a Presentation: Quittie-Park-Slide-Show of a photographic collage of the Quittie Creek Nature Park. You can also view a short video about the park that was developed by LVC students in 2013: Video About Quittie Creek Nature Park.
The park is part of a larger watershed that is monitored by the Quittapahilla Watershed Association.