York Pennsylvania was founded in 1741 on the banks of the Codorus Creek in south central Pennsylvania.

It was the site of the adoption of the Articles of Confederation in 1777 when York was hosting the Continental Congress as
British troops occupied Philadelphia. Because it was the first time the term "United States of America" was used,
many consider York to be the first capital of the United States. The first National Day of Thanksgiving was
proclaimed in York by the same Continental Congress in 1777.

Today, the city of York is the original start of the York County Heritage Rail Trail, a crushed stone surfaced
multipurpose recreational trail which now stretches 25 miles from John Rudy County Park in the north to the Mason
Dixon Line on the Maryland border in the south. There, it joins the National Central Trail which extends south to
Baltimore. Downtown York's historical buildings are within site of the Heritage Rail Trail, and include a replica
of the Colonial Court House, which housed the Continental Congress, and the restored General Horatio Gates House
and Golden Plough Tavern. It was in the Gates House that Marquis de Lafayette toasted the success of General
Washington and the new nation after the adoption of the Treaty of Alliance with France.

Parking is ample as is trail access at various points along the length of the Trail. A highlight of the Trail is
its passage through the Howard Tunnel, and passage by the Hanover Junction train station. On November 19, 1863,
President Abraham Lincoln's train passed by Hanover Junction on its way to Gettysburg to deliver the President when
he gave his famous speech. On April 21, 1865, the funeral train of Abraham Lincoln traveled these same rails on
its way from Washington D.C. to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Today, Steam into History operates a reproduction 1800s
steam locomotive and passenger service from the restored train station in New Freedom to Hanover Junction.