Join Paul Nevin for an unforgettable experience as he guides you through the incredible Safe Harbor Petroglyphs!

Paul has been visiting, experiencing, researching, and educating people about the Safe Harbor Petroglyphs for more than 40 years and is acknowledged as the leading authority on the rock art of the lower Susquehanna River.

Boat Expeditions - These personalized tours are tailored specifically to you, with up to four hours allowed for the experience you desire. You are transported from the departure point to the sites via a “classic” 1963 Seacrest motorboat. This small (13-foot) boat is necessary to safely navigate among the many barely submerged rocks on this part of the Susquehanna River. Consequently, there is a strict 4-passenger maximum and 525-pound total weight limit.

Kayak or Canoe Expeditions - As with the expeditions by boat, these personalized tours are tailored specifically to you, with up to four hours allowed for the experience you desire. For these expeditions, you must supply your own kayak or canoe. Up to 9 vessels can participate.

Gift certificates are redeemable for one Youth (ages 6 - 17) tour of the Safe Harbor Petroglyphs. 

Tours are offered mid-May through mid-October (Subject to weather and river conditions), and must be scheduled in advance. 

You will receive your gift certificate(s), including scheduling instructions, via the United States Postal Service.

Tour Information

First off, calling this a tour is a little bit misleading. It’s more of an adventure, an expedition, an experience. Safe Harbor is a magical place. And at magical places, things happen. It’s also a spiritual place. Rock art sites are sacred to Native peoples. Experiences range from awe-inspiring to life-changing.

About the Safe Harbor Petroglyphs

The Safe Harbor Petroglyphs, located on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, PA, are part of what is likely the largest concentration of ancient American Indian rock art sites in the eastern United States. Unfortunately, most of the sites are now hidden under water impounded by hydroelectric power plants. Even with the loss of those sites, the petroglyphs at Safe Harbor still constitute the most significant example of Native American rock art in the northeast United States that is accessible to the public. However, they are not easily accessible. The petroglyphs are carved on rocks that can only be reached by kayaks, canoes, or small boats. Among hundreds of bedrock exposures, seven can be found that contain, in total, more than 400 petroglyphs – if you know where to look.

The act of creating petroglyphs was a sacred practice. Creating them demanded a significant investment of time and energy. And to carve capriciously on the bosom of Mother Earth would be to desecrate her. Petroglyphs are not prehistoric graffiti. They are messages left by the Ancestors to be “read” by those who would come in the future.

What to expect

The petroglyphs at Safe Harbor are unlike those in the American Southwest. There, images are scratched through a thin, dark, desert varnish exposing the lighter stone underneath. Here images are laboriously pecked using a river cobble as a hammer and a hard stone such as quartz as a chisel. The surface itself is extremely hard. These exposed rocks are the survivors of hundreds of thousands of years of erosion of the river’s bedrock by forces of water, tremendous floods, ice flows, and water and ice-born debris – everything from rocks to trees.

Six rock art sites can be visited along a half-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River. Most spectacular are Little Indian Rock, with more than 150 petroglyphs carved into its surface, and Big Indian Rock, with dozens of petroglyphs in an amazing setting. 


Participants must have the ability to climb onto the rocks.

There is no shade or shelter on the rocks.

Tours may be cancelled due to weather and/or river conditions.

In the event of cancellations, tours may be rescheduled, or full refunds issued.