Friday, August 27, 2010

Amish Country in Lancaster, PA

While you’re vacationing in Adamstown at a luxury Lancaster Pa bed and breakfast, the Amethyst Inn, you’ll find yourself so close to Amish Country, PA that you won’t be able to resist a visit! From buggy rides, to visiting an Amish village, to seeing an Amish film, you’ll experience a fun day while learning about the customs and beliefs of this close community.

A buggy ride will give you first hand experience of how the PA Amish travel throughout their community. With the wind in your hair, you’ll get to learn why buggies are gray and why some buggies have electric lights on them.

If you’d prefer to learn more about the Amish beliefs and customs before your buggy ride, the Amish Village is a great place to visit! You will receive a guided tour through an 1840s farm house that is furnished as a Lancaster County Old Order Amish house. This setting will allow you to ask plenty of questions and prove to be very educational. Children love this trip as there is a farm and a working water wheel!

The Amish Farm and House is a similar attraction that is filled with history and takes you back in time to learn about blacksmiths, tobacco stripping, quilting, wood carving, the school house, and the farm. You’ll have many of your questions answered by the knowledgeable guides and learn the “whys” to many of the Amish traditions. 

Another way to tour the Amish in PA is to have the Amish Experience. With a variety of options, you’ll be able to choose the tour that fits you best. You can visit the Amish Country Homestead and learn about clothing, living without electricity, and the schoolroom. Or you can visit in person with the Amish during milking time, learn about a unique handcraft, and have an informal chat in their home. If it’s a rainy day, or just too hot to be outside, but you still want to learn about the Amish Pennsylvania Dutch, you’re in luck! The Amish Experience also has a theatre which shows a 40 minute film of the history and the Amish today.
When you’ve finished all your tours and have all your questions answered, you’ll want to stop at one of the many Pennsylvania Dutch restaurants and smorgasbords to taste the local favorites. Then after a long day on your feet head back to the Adamstown Inns & Cottages, a Lancaster Pennsylvania bed and breakfast, to soak in a jacuzzi tub and get a restful nights sleep before a delicious breakfast the next morning and your next adventure.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hiking in Lancaster and Berks County

Are you ready for an inside scoop on more hikes near Adamstown Inns & Cottages?  Whether you want to travel down the road to Berks County, or stay within Lancaster County to enjoy nature, there are many options available.  Last week I mentioned my adventure at Hawk Mountain that was a bit more rugged, but you'll find that these hikes are a bit more leisurely.  Both Blue Marsh Lake and Chickies Rock County Park have various hiking trails and other facilities that will keep you busy all day!  Again, I hope my hiking trips will encourage you and help you find the right trail!

Located in Berks County, Blue Marsh Lake has many outdoor activities in addition to hiking .  With sixteen miles of hiking trails and several other nature trails, there are plenty of ways to keep you busy all day!  Obviously I've not had the chance to hike every trail, but the one that I did hike was very enjoyable.  What I liked about this place the most was hiking alongside the lake and seeing all the wildlife.  Even thought I went on a warm day in March and there were no leaves on the trees or flowers, it was still very pretty.  The leafless trees allowed for a better view of the lake and there were interesting birds and bugs all around.  The trail was relatively easy with only hills in the beginning.  Although that could have been due to our lack of map reading ability...  We didn't start at a trail entrance, but somehow managed to meet up with a trail along a road that happened to be quite steep.  I'd suggest stopping at the  visitors center first to pick up a map and plan a route that is the right distance for you.  I would also recommended that this lake would be wonderful for boating.  I could just imagine kayaking around all the nooks and crannies to find the hidden wildlife!  Whether you're more of a hiker, or a boater, i think you'll be quite satisfied with the facilities at Blue Marsh Lake.

I heard great things about Chickies Rock County Park and what a great view there was, so I had to check it out for myself.  It is located in Lancaster County between Marietta and Columbia and just a 30 minute drive from Adamstown Inns & Cottages.  We started out on the Chickies Rock Overlook Trail because it is accessible right from Route 441, so it was easy to find!  The trail head out to the Susquehanna River and overlooks the water at a peak with giant rocks.  It was a very short and easy hike, not at all strenuous, which was a nice change from our usual hikes.  Sadly it was a foggy day, so when we reached the overlook the view wasn't as spectacular as promised.  Of course I could see the potential of the amazing view, so I wasn't entirely disappointed!  We sat on the giant rocks for awhile and enjoyed the views before wandering through the woods on trails that we weren't sure where they went.  We decided that they were little bunny trails that eventually dropped us off on the main trail.  That was all the hiking that we did, as we weren't aware of the Susquehanna Heritage Trail or the day use area.  I hope to hike the Heritage Trail one day, as that follows the river for a little more than a mile.  On our way out we did  stop by the Breezy View overlook, which allowed for other great view since the weather started to clear!  Overall it was a nice day, but perhaps with a bit more planning and clearer weather it would have ranked higher on my list of favorite hikes and overlooks!  I encourage you to hike it and let us know if you had better luck with the weather.

So whatever reason you decide to visit the Adamstown Inns & Cottages, just remember that there are plenty of outdoor opportunities located nearby.  I hope you will freely explore the nature of Lancaster County, knowing that you have a comfortable room, friendly staff, and delicious breakfast to help you refresh and great ready for another day!  Happy Trails!