Craigs Corner Road and Stafford Road at Stafford Bridge. ADC Map, Page 13, Coord C6.
Very limited parking is available on Craigs Corner Road near the bridge. If full, look up stream on Craigs Corner Road or if all else fails, at the Susquehanna Park Picnic Area which is down stream on Stafford Road.
This is a gorgeous area which is under used. This is a part of a "Greenway" which currently extends from Stafford Bridge to the Susquehanna and then North to the Conowingo Dam. This discussion deals only with Stafford Bridge to the Susquehanna.
One of the parking areas on Craigs Corner Road is the entrance to a long gone bridge across Deer Creek. The abutments remain on both sides of the creek and I am always amazed at the distance of the span. How did they do it?
Cross Stafford Bridge to the north side of Deer Creek and follow the trail down stream.
Almost immediately, there are ruins in very good repair. My understanding is that this was a flint mill. I think the general idea was to grind flint and work it into pottery so as to create china. But, don't quote me as I am none too sure. However, the ruins alone are worth the trip.
The trail follows Deer Creek and then bends away as the creek turns southerly. It is about 1/2 mile to the abandoned Tidewater Canal (1840s) and an abandoned rail line built on the tow path in the 1920s to haul materials to the Conowingo Dam upstream. The Susquehanna is a few hundred feet further.
At this point, the trail intersects with the Mason Dixon Trail which is marked with blue blazes. The Mason Dixon Trail runs from Havre de Grace to somewhere in Pennsylvania. Although some of this is along roadways, the trail from Havre de Grace to Route 1 and from Route 1 north to Broad Creek runs along the Susquehanna.
I hiked south along the Mason Dixon trail, following the Susquehanna downstream and crossed Deer Creek via a pedestrian bridge and returned to my car by hiking upstream along Deer Creek on Stafford Road.
The canal ruins are impressive. Note that the section of Deer Creek which bends sharply south was a part of the canal.
The Susquehanna is second only to the Ohio River in terms of flow. However, it is very wide and shallow and was not navigable and the canals were dug in the 1840s to ship freight between the York and Lancaster areas an Baltimore. In fact, York was more closely linked to Baltimore than to Philadelphia.
The canal system was quickly replaced by rail. However, to my knowledge, the rail line along this canal tow path was used only to haul materials for the construction of the Conowingo Dam in the 1920's.
There is also a canal on the Cecil County side of the Susquehanna.