Indian Steps Museum (York County)

copyright, Peter H. Anderson, Baltimore, MD, Oct, '99

Location. PA Route 74 North to PA 425 to Indian Steps Road near the Susquehanna. York County ADC Map 34, Coord K12 to Map 44, K12.

Parking. I parked at the York Furnace Boat Launch and hiked south along Indian Steps Road a short distance to the Museum. The launch is parallel to the north side of Bair Island and the museum is parallel to the south side.


The museum is significant as it is the only site that I know of in the Baltimore and York area which houses a significant collection of Native Amercian artifacts. The museum and the collection was the work of a York Attorney.

From what I can gather, there were natural steps from the bank down to the Suquehanna and most probably many rocks in the river which created good fishing opportunities and thus the site was extensively used by Native Americans for centuries. The steps are for the most part now flooded by Lake Alfred created by the Holtwood Dam. However, there is an outcropping of rock which offers a pleasant place to sit in overlooking the river. I assume this was a part of the "steps".

The architecture of the museum is interesting with some 10,000 artifacts set in masonry.

There is a self guided nature trail on the 9.5 acres with over 60 species of trees. This is definitely the place to go to quickly learn to identify trees in the local area.

The museum building closed while I was there, but no one seemed to have any objection to people walking around the grounds.

The Dimer-Root-Haines Memorial Park is located directly across the road from the museum and includes a self guided horse shoe shaped trail which requires about 30 minutes. There are a number of exhibits including charcoal mounds, an Umbrella Magnolia and evidence of glacier movement. There is also a trail to a waterfall.

Field Trips in Pennsylvania