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. And in 2018, and additional 2.64 acres of contigious streamside land was added to the park, creating a 1.3-mile hiking path along the Quittapahilla Creek from High Street to Willow Street (see 2018 Park Expansion Project Details).
A map of the 36-acre park can be viewed and downloaded: Map of Quittie Creek Nature Park, 2018
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 on the right) that once produced lime from quarry limestone. A water-powered mill on the Quittapahilla Creek once slaked and ground the lime for use in fertilizer and cement. The mill site is noted by a brass historical marker on the main trail near the footbridge. See a slide show on the History of the Annville Lime Company and Bachman’s Mill which produced limestone and lime in Annville for many years in the location that is now in the Quittie Creek Nature Park.
In addition the park contains the remains of an old weir dam used to direct the flow of the Quittapahilla Creek through a water-wheel driven pump house that pumped water from the nearby Penryth Spring to reservoirs in the hills north of town. See a slide show about the history of the Annville Water Company and its relationship to the Quittie Creek Nature Park: History of Annville Water Company
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, ice skaters, 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 work day in the park, “Day of Caring,” usually on the Saturday in April nearest to Earth Day. Volunteers mulch trails, remove invasive plants, clear fallen trees, and clean up debris. 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 Creek Nature Park 2018 ) 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