Rolling farmland. Historic covered bridges. Authentic one-room schoolhouses. These are the treasures that make Lancaster County one of a kind. To see Lancaster county in its most peaceful, unspoiled state, visitors must take the roads less traveled. With a maze of back roads known best by locals, this experience isn’t an easy one to navigate alone. That’s why we recommend exploring with touring, and we’ve got lots of awesome options.
One of the best ways to discover the scenic back roads up close and personal is with a scooter tour hosted by Strasburg Scooters. This outdoor adventure will entice all the senses. Their most popular tour is a three-hour covered bridge tour led by fun and knowledgeable guides through over 30 miles of the county’s most beautiful countryside. Tourgoers hit the open road on a super comfy, easy-to-drive 50cc scooters or three-wheeled scoot coupes to enjoy several of the area’s most historic covered bridges. Other raved-about tours include the date night tour ending with wine and cheese pairings aboard Strasburg Rail Road’s first-class lounge car as well as the five-hour Amish Country mystery tour. Of course, if we told you what the mystery tour entails, we’d ruin all the fun! The guides have lots of tricks up their sleeves and there will be stops for shopping and tasting.
Have a tour with a different kind of horsepower in mind, say the kind that’s powered by an actual horse? We recommend Abe’s Buggy Rides. Located in the quaint town of Bird-in-Hand and in business since 1968, Abe’s offers private tours, for just you and yours, in an authentic Amish family buggy. Sit back and relax with the clickity-clack of the horse’s hooves in the background as your kind guide points out some of the area’s quintessential sites. Perfect for couples and families alike, tours range from two, four and five miles in length. The shortest distance takes just about 20 minutes, while the longer takes a bit over an hour and often stops at an Amish farm or Mennonite bake shop. Back at Abe’s, guests can relax in the picnic area or spend time playing with some friendly animals.
Perhaps your dreams of touring Lancaster County are a bit more... lofty. Turn your eyes to the skies and consider hanging with the fine folks of the United States Hot Air Balloon Team. These majestic tours give you literally a bird’s eye view of hand-cut fields, the quaint towns of Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand and Strasburg and, on a clear day, even a view to the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. The entire ballooning experience lasts between 2-1/2 to 3 hours and includes a hands-on launch, an hour in the sky, transport back to your starting point and post-ride refreshments. Rides are offered all year long, with the primary season lasting from April to November and you can choose between a dawn or afternoon ride. The United States Hot Air Balloon Team is proud to be the only company on the East Coast to offer wheelchair accessible flights and you can also get a 360° video of your bucket list experience.
If you want to adventure the old-fashioned way, you can hoof it on some of the county’s great trails. The Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail Trail, first envisioned in the 1990s, is a picturesque path along the former Reading Railroad. The 7-mile route is partially completed but will soon connect the communities of Lititz, Warwick, Akron and Ephrata. You can also head further west to Columbia Crossing River Trail Center located in Columbia River Park and experience the beautiful Susquehanna Riverlands. Bike or hike the 14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail which begins at the Columbia Crossing Trailhead. Maybe you’d prefer the water ways of the Susquehanna River. The park includes a boat and paddle craft launch as well as canoe, kayak and bike rentals seasonally.