Fitness and everything else

Point Rock Tunnel

I am always on the lookout for interesting things to see and places to check out. Years ago I was looking at historical maps of Lancaster County and saw a “Point Rock Tunnel” on one. It was close by, so we went to check it out. Sure enough, and to my girlfriend’s surprise, there was a tunnel there. We hid a cache there until there were some no trespassing signs put up. Now it’s a public trail. There really isn’t much information about it online. Some sources have had it named Rock Point Tunnel instead. I’m not sure what the proper name is or if anyone rally knows these days. I saw “Point Rock Tunnel” on that old map.

We were out on the trail the other day and I got some good pictures of it. I thought I should make a post about it. It’s kind of surprising that I never did before.

Here’s a picture of it.

Point Rock Tunnel

This picture a tunnel through rocks along what is now a trail.

I have never been able to find that much information on it, but here is what I have. In the mid-1850s, when Pennsylvania Railroad was constructing the Columbia Branch that was here, they had no space to go around the rock because the canal was still there. They had to blast through the solid rock. Later they moved the railroad by filling along the river.

The tunnel is 180 feet long and actually curved slightly. It’s fascinating to check it out because unlike most tunnels you’ll see there’s no lining. It didn’t have to be lined, given that type of rock it was blasted through.

There’s always some water dripping through the rocks, so it’s really cool to see it during cold spells in the winter. There are some big icicles that form then.

It’s easy to get to now, with the Northwest River trail going right through it. A short walk or bike from parking gets you to the tunnel, and you can’t miss it. It’s worth a visit to see it in person.