SCENIC TOURS

SCENIC TOURS

updated 4/12/2012

 26 Carefully Planned Tours for Bicyclists

Prepared for public use by the

 

Lancaster Bicycle Club

P.O. Box 5112

Lancaster, PA. 17606

www.lancasterbikeclub.org

 

 

The Lancaster Bicycle Club is pleased to offer to the public this 25 ride series, showcasing the beautiful Lancaster County’s rolling farmlands. The tours range from 11 to 58 miles in length.

 

These are all new rides, replacing the previously offered Scenic Tours rides.  The rides now have starting points from popular tourist destinations.   Three popular Pennsylvania State owned museums are the starting point for 17 of these rides.  The Lititz Springs Park, in Lititz, PA is the start point for 8 rides and the Clock and Watch museum the start point for one more.

 

The Heritage rides are based on a ride developed for the Pennsylvania Department of Tourism.  Since this ride originally featured the three museums it was easy to adapt it to accommodate the quaint town of Lititz.  The 4 versions of the Heritage Ride are the same and differ only in their start locations.

 

All rides take you through picturesque, rolling farmland, generally on lightly traveled roads.  The terrain is varied from flat easy loops to rolling farm country to challenging hilly rides.  There are many covered bridges in Lancaster County and where possible the rides pass through these structures of years past.  Lancaster County is known for its Amish and plain Mennonite sects. It is not uncommon to see horse drawn carriages and teams of mules working the fields. 

 

Each ride is rated according to its difficulty. The "Difficulty" classification system is:

 

A.    Difficult terrain. Very Hilly. May include hills of 8% or steeper gradient. Some long (up to three miles) hills may be encountered.  Multi-speed bikes with low gearing are advised for comfortable riding.

B.    Moderate terrain.  Hilly, usually short and less than 8% gradient. Multi-speed bikes with moderate gearing are suitable.

C.    Rolling terrain. Some rolling hills. These are good rides for those new to cycling.

D.    Flat. Some rolling hills Good for beginning bicyclists.

 

Each ride is on publicly traveled roads, and where possible, routes were chosen with low traffic counts.  In Pennsylvania the bicycle is a legal vehicle and riders are expected to know and obey all traffic laws.  There are certain dangers that riders should be aware of and be prepared to meet.  Also be advised that road conditions can change.

 

Conditions of your use of the Scenic Tours Rides

 

Except as stated below, the Scenic Tours Rides may not be copied, reproduced, distributed, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior express written permission of the Lancaster Bicycle Club.

 

You may download and copy for personal use only, any of the Scenic Tours Rides on this Website. The distribution other than for personal use to third parties without the prior express written permission of the Lancaster Bicycle Club is prohibited and the Lancaster Bicycle Club is clearly identified as the owner and originator.

 

 

Online information for the ride starts locations.

 

These web sites show the ride start location and provide information for their attraction.

 

Landis Valley Farm Museum

 

Ephrata Cloister Museum

 

Strasburg Railroad Museum

 

National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors Museum

 

Lititz Springs Park

 

Map of Lancaster County

 

The Lancaster County Planning Commission has a map available that shows the suitability of roads for bicycling in Lancaster County.  A copy can be ordered here.  It also may be available at some bicycle shops.

Lancaster County Bike Map

               

 Online Resources for Visiting Lancaster County

 

The Pennsylvania Dutch Visitors Center travel guide contains a listing of all the things to see and do and places to stay in Lancaster, Gettysburg and Hershey areas.  They also list Hotels and Motels for your stay. 

Your free travel guide. http://www.padutchcountry.com/index.asp

 

Pennsylvania Bicycle Drivers Manual

 

The PA. dept. of transportation publishes a Bicycle Drivers Manual that is available to down load on line.

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/docs/pamanual.pdf

 


LANCASTER COUNTY BICYCLE SHOP LISTINGS

Bicycle Barn

839 Reading Rd.

East Earl, PA.            

717 445-8508

Bike Line                              Bicycle Rental

117 Roherstown Rd.  

Lancaster , PA.          

717 394-8998  

http://bikeline.com/articles/lancaster-pg78.htm

Bicycle Outfitters                 Bicycle Rental

51 S. Market St.         

Elizabethtown, PA.    

717 361-8100

http://www.etownbikeshop.com/

Cycle Circle

131 N. Plum St.

Lancaster, PA.

717 295-3193

http://www.tompodcycles.com/

Era Bike & Ski                   Bicycle Rental

830 Flory Mill Rd.     

Lancaster , PA.          

717 560-9000

www.erapro.com      

Green Mountain Cyclery   Bicycle Rental

285 S. Reading Rd    

Ephrata, PA.  

717 859-2422

www.greenmtncyclery.com

Gretna Bikes

928 North Prince St.  

Lancaster, PA.           

717-945-6497 

gretnabikes.com

Horning’s Bike Shop

941 Martindale Rd.

Ephrata, PA.

717 445-4305

Jack’s

525 Hopeland Rd.

Stevens, PA.

717 733-6042

Lancaster Bicycle Shop       

1138 Manheim pike   

Lancaster, PA.           

717 299-9627

www.lancasterbicycleshop.com

Martin's Bike Shop  

1891 Division Highway         

Ephrata, PA.  

717 354-9127

http://martinsbike.com/

Orange Street Velo  

31 E. Orange Street         

Lancaster, PA.  

717 715-9660

http://www.orangestreetvelo.com/

Rails to Trails Bicycle Rental

411 Hershey Rd.      

Elizabethtown , PA.           

717 367-7000

http://www.railstotrail.com/

Shirks Bike Shop

1649 Ligalaw Rd.      

East Earl , PA.           

717 445-5731

The Village Bicycle Shop

Stoudburg Village        

7 South Village Circle - Reinholds, PA.     

610 742-4786

 http://www.myvillagebike.com

Weavers Bike Shop

Schaeffers School Rd.         

Ephrata, PA.     

717 656-9385

 http://www.weaversbikeshop.com/

This listing is for information only.  The Lancaster Bicycle club does not make any recommendations for a specific bicycle shop.  Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet, gloves and sun screen.  You should be equipped with a water bottle, spare inner tube, tools, and a pump to repair a flat tire.  Personal ID with an emergency contact name and number is helpful in case of emergency

 

 

   

Riding in Lancaster County

 

Lancaster County’s back roads may not be ideal for larger vehicles, such as tractor-trailers.  These rural roads are a bicyclist's dream. The Amish farms and covered bridges that dot the county can be experienced up close.  Bicycling also allows for easy discovery of the many interesting things that you might see.  Amish and Mennonite cottage industries might rouse your desire for a visit.  Please note these cottage businesses will be closed on Sundays. 

 

Bring your camera so that you can make brief stops to take pictures and watch the cattle grazing. There are many points of interest on these rides.  On some of the cue sheets I have made notations pointing out a few of them.

 

In the area we chose for the rides, you can expect to encounter Amish and Mennonite buggies. You might also see farm implements drawn by mules working in the fields. Sharing the roads with horse drawn buggies, you may want to be aware of the horse droppings (road apples) on the roadway.

 

Amish and Mennonite Sects

 

The Amish strive for a simple life with a strong focus on community, family and their religious beliefs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are relics of the past. LED lighting is now evident on their buggies.  Many of their newer buggies use composite construction for the wheels and bodies. A young gentlemen’s courting buggy can sport a very plush interior with an in dash sound system. On a closer inspection you might be surprised to see a Cateye computer to record speed and distance.

 

Solar panels are now being used on their farms and businesses, and they have long used wind power to pump water for their farm needs.

 

The Amish prefer not to be photographed, especially close up. Their religious belief interprets being photographed as making graven images. Please be respectful of their wishes.

 

A question can arise as to the best way ride when encountering a horse drawn vehicle.  Horse drawn vehicles are slower than bicycles. Just use common sense when passing and do not cut back into your lane too close causing the horse to spook.  Oncoming horse drawn vehicles are usually no problem. You might want to keep in mind that they could be turning into a farm lane or field rather than at an intersection. They cannot be relied upon to use turn signals.  As a bicyclist you should be able to relate, as the situations will resemble the problems that you experience while riding. Since you are now a little higher on the speed chain, being faster you now will be dealing with slower moving vehicles.  Just as bicyclists can be unpredictable a horse might take control particularly when turning into their farm lane at feed time.

 

Young Amish youth might decide to have their horse pick up the pace to see if you’re up to a challenge. Young Mennonite youth on their bicycles might also want to pick up their pace to see what you've got. 

 

Many times tourists and locals confuse all buggies as Amish buggies. Actually the Amish buggies are gray and black. Conservative Mennonite buggies are all black.  Mennonite dress in mostly black, The Amish will usually incorporate purple and green in women’s dresses.  Their beards identify married Amish men. Amish single men and Mennonite men are clean shaven. Lancaster County Amish do not drive cars or ride bicycles. Instead will roller blade or use scooters, where as Mennonites will ride bicycles and may drive cars.

 

Online information on the Amish

 

http://www.800padutch.com/amish.shtml

 

Cell Phone Signals

 

Since some of the routes will be in very rural areas with a spotty cell phone signal

 

Covered Bridges

Lancaster County has the most covered bridges in Pennsylvania.  Please use caution when entering a covered bridge, as they are only single lane. Your eyes are adjusted to bright sunlight and entering a darkened bridge with sunglasses on can cause you to misjudge the wooden bridge riding surface.

Online information sites for Covered Bridges

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_covered_bridges_in_Lancaster_County,_Pennsylvania

 

http://www.padutchcountry.com/Presentation/ConsumerPage?PageID=1118

 

http://www.coveredbridgesite.com/pa/pa_co_lancaster.html

 
Cue Sheets

 

Every attempt has been made to insure the accuracy of these cue sheets.  Bear in mind that your mileage might vary slightly.  We used Google Maps to establish the distances.  Road signs can be damages or vandalized so pay close attention to the cue sheet directions and symbols.  Road surfaces can also vary and gravel can accumulate at intersections causing a fall.  Pay attention, ride safe and enjoy your ride.

 

If you want to report an error on the cue sheet, please send a note via the bike club web site contact page. Please refer to Ride Name and the Cue Number where the problem is..

 

Column #1   references the order of the cues.

 

Column #2  GO” is the distance between the numbered cues

 

Column #3   “AT” refers to the total distance traveled from the ride start.

 

Column #4:  “DIR” refers to the direction to be taken at that cue.

 

     R = RIGHT

     BR = BEAR RIGHT

     L = LEFT

     BL = BEAR LEFT

     S = STRAIGHT

     TRO = TO REMAIN ON

     POI = POINT OF INTEREST

 


Column #5  KEY” shows a symbol that pictures the type of intersection.  

 

 

 


Column #6  ROAD” Gives the road name to follow

 

Bicyclists fare best when they act like and

are treated as operators of a vehicle.

 

Scenic Tours Rides
Listed by Ride Start Location

 

 

Ephrata Cloister Museum

 

Ephrata, PA.  Ephrata Cloister (717) 733-6600. Admission Charge. The Cloister is a cluster of buildings dating from 1732 when a Protestant communal society was founded by Conrad Beissel, a German Pietist. The Cloisters date back to the time of the American Revolutionary War. Costumed guides direct visitors through the buildings, which illustrate the austere simplicity of these people's unique lifestyle. Call for schedule and hours.  Location: 632 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522

 

Ephrata Loop Ride (12.25 miles) (D) Flat

 

DESCRIPTION: The Ephrata Loop Ride is generally flat terrain but with some moderate rolling hills. A sampling of the northern Lancaster County farmlands can be had on this short scenic ride.   Food and drink are available in Ephrata.

 

Oregon Dairy Ice Cream Ride. (26.64 miles) (D) Flat

 

DESCRIPTION: The Oregon Dairy Ride is generally flat terrain but with some moderate rolling hills. A sampling of two covered bridges and Lancaster County farmlands can be found on this scenic ride. A brief stop at 14.37 miles at Oregon Dairy makes this a perfect addition to the Lancaster County countryside.  Food and drink are available in Ephrata.

 

Kitchen Kettle Ride (42.75 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Kitchen Kettle Ride is gentle rolling terrain but with some moderate hills.  A sampling of the Lancaster County Amish farmlands present themselves to be photographed and enjoyed.  Kitchen Kettle Village was started in 1954 in a backyard garage, This collection of Pennsylvania Dutch Shops now includes a craft shop, tobacco shop, cafe, fudge shop, bake shop, herb and flower shop and many other food and craft shops. Open: Daily from 9 a.m. Closed Sunday.  Food and drink are available in at Kitchen Kettle Village and Ephrata.

 

Heritage Ride (Ephrata Cloister Start) (58.5 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Heritage Ride is mostly gentle rolling terrain but with some moderate hills.  A great cross-section of the Lancaster County Amish farmlands and points of historic interest.  The ride incorporates the Ephrata Cloister, Strasburg Railroad, and Landis Valley State operated museums, and includes the town of Lititz.

 

Pennsylvania Railroad Museum

 

Pennsylvania Railroad Museum: (717) 687-8628. Admission Charge. Famous steam engines, plush passenger coaches and restored service cars are displayed on 1,300 feet of indoor track in the United states first building designed for rail museum purposes. Railroad memorabilia is on display and a slide show documents the evolution of the train from the earliest steam locomotives to the sleek speeding trains of today. Open: Call for schedule and hours.  Location: Route 741, Strasburg, PA 17579.

 

Strasburg Railroad: (717) 687-7522. Admission Charge. Chartered in 1832, the Strasburg Railroad is the oldest continually chartered public utility in Pennsylvania. Passengers take a 45-minute ride through beautiful countryside in wooden coaches pulled by a steam locomotive. Call for schedule and hours. Location: Route 741, Strasburg, PA 17579.

 

Intercourse Quickie Ride (18.93 miles) (D) Flat

 

DESCRIPTION: The Intercourse Quickie Ride is generally flat terrain but with some moderate rolling hills. A sampling of the southern Lancaster County farmlands can be had on this short scenic ride.   Food and drink are available in Strasburg and several convenience stores on the route

 

Back Country Ramble (25.50 miles) (B) Hilly

 

DESCRIPTION: The Back Country Ride is a little more challenging.  A picturesque low traffic, rural farmland rides.  Note the mosaic on the former garage wall at the 14.78 mile point.  Food and drink are available in Strasburg

 

Country Side Delight (28.7 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Country Side Delight Ride is typical Lancaster County rolling terrain but with some moderate climbs. It features a good sampling of the peaceful Amish Lancaster County countryside.   Food and drink are available in Strasburg and several convenience stores on the route.

 

Lapp’s Ice Cream Ride (28.73 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Lapp’s ice Cream Ride is must for ice cream lovers.  You will not only be treated to some of the best ice cream on a Mennonite farm, but you will also enjoy the rolling country side farm vistas.  Note Lapp’s is closed on Sunday’s.   Food and drink are available in Strasburg and several convenience stores on the route.

 

Witness Ride (36.55 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Witness Ride takes you past the filmed scenes where Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis appeared in the Oscar winning 1985 movie Witness.  Food and drink are available in Strasburg.

 

 Hunsecker Covered Bridge Ride (36.95 miles) (C) Rolling)


DESCRIPTION: The Hunsecker Covered Bridge Ride ventures into the eastern outskirts of Lancaster
City before entering northern Lancaster County countryside. The picturesque Hunsecker Covered Bridge
is the destination before returning to the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. Food and drink are available in
Strasburg and several convenience stores on the route.

 

Climbers Delight Ride (37.21 miles) (A) Very Hilly

 

DESCRIPTION: The Climbers delight Ride extends the challenge of the Back Country Ramble by venturing further into the river hills of the Susquehanna River. Food and drink are available in Strasburg

 

Heritage Ride (Pennsylvania Railroad Museum Start) (58.5 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Heritage Ride is mostly gentle rolling terrain but with some moderate hills.  A great cross section of the Lancaster County Amish farmlands and points of historic interest.  The ride incorporates the Ephrata Cloister, Strasburg Railroad, and Landis Valley State run museums, and includes the town of Lititz.

 

Landis Valley Farm Museum

 

Landis Valley Farm Museum: (717) 569-0401 Admission Charge. The Museum is a collection of over 30 original buildings and their contents assembled to represent small town life in the country from 1750 to 1900. Especially interesting are the spring and fall craft days when the entire museum is filled with crafts people and demonstrators. Call for schedule and hours Location: 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

 

Covered Bridge Ride (11.50 miles) (C) Rolling


DESCRIPTION: The Covered Bridge Ride is gentle rolling terrain with some short moderate hills. The
ride features both, farm scenes, as well as lovely suburban areas. The Hunsecker bridge is one of the areas
most photographed covered bridges. Food and drink are available at convenience stores on the route.

 

Lititz Ice Cream Ride (18.79 miles) (C) Rolling

 

Description: The Lititz Ice Cream Ride is gentle rolling terrain with some short moderate hills.  Your short jaunt to the town of Lititz is rewarded by not only one, but two ice cream shops next to each other. Food and drink are available in Lititz, or convenience stores on the route.

 

Lititz Chocolate Ride (23.65) (C) Rolling

 

Description: The Lititz Chocolate Ride is gentle rolling terrain with some short moderate hills.  Along the way a genuine thirteenth century castle overlooks the route.  Wilbur Chocolate and the shops on Main St. is the destination.  Food and drink are available in Lititz.

 

Ephrata Cloister Ride (35.2) (C) Rolling


Description: The Ephrata Cloister Ride is gentle rolling terrain with some short moderate hills.  Along the way a genuine thirteenth century castle overlooks the route.  The Histroric Ephrata Cloister Museum on Main St. in Ephrata is the destination.  Food and drink are available in Ephrata.


Heritage Ride (Landis Valley Farm Museum Start) (58.5 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Heritage Ride is mostly gentle rolling terrain but with some moderate hills.  A great cross section of the Lancaster County Amish farmlands and points of historic interest.  The ride incorporates the Ephrata Cloister, Strasburg Railroad, and Landis Valley State run museums, and includes the town of Lititz.

 

Lititz Springs Park

 


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Millport Conservancy Ride (10.88 miles) (D) Flat

 

DESCRIPTION: The Millport Conservancy Ride is a delightful short ride showcasing the beauty of the Warwick Rd. as it takes you by the Conservancy. Adding to the ride is the surprise of seeing a genuine 13th century castle brought over from England and reassembled on the hillside at the 5.65 mile point. Food and drink are available in Lititz

 

Scenic Overlook Ride (19.17 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Scenic Overlook Ride ventures over a ridge north of Lititz, and heads westward. Along the way back to Lititz you ride by a bird sanctuary and are treated to a great view overlooking the Penn Valley Farms. Food and drink are available in Lititz

 

Short Lititz Loop (21.40 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Short Lititz Loop Ride ventures over a ridge north of Lititz, and follows it down the other side.  From there you sneak back into town by doing an end run that avoids the climb back into town. Food and drink are available in Lititz.

 

Udder Choice Ice Cream Ride (25.13 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Udder Choice Ice Cream Ride ventures to the flat lands, at the base of the Blue Mountains before a rewarding stop at the Udder Choice for a bite to eat and some ice cream. Food and drink are available in Lititz

 

Brickerville Ramble (28.12 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Brickerville Ramble Ride ventures over the ridge north of Lititz, and parallels the PA turnpike.  Note: the quaint old church on Reifsnyder Rd. and heed the stop sign warning on the Reifsnyder Rd. downhill. Food and drink are available in Lititz and convenience stores on the route.

 

Long Lititz Loop (29.69 miles) (C) Rolling

 

DESCRIPTION: The Long Lititz Loop Ride starts the same as the Short Lititz Loop Ride and joins up with the Millport Conservancy route before returning to town. Adding to the ride is the surprise of seeing a genuine 13th century castle brought over from England and reassembled on the hillside at the 24.50 mile point. Food and drink are available in Lititz

 

Cornwall Furnace Ride  (45.16 miles)  (A) very hilly

 

DESCRIPTION: The Cornwall Furnace Ride is a challenging ride that takes you into southern Lebanon County.On the way the ride passes through Mt. Gretna. The town of Cornwall is the home of the Cornwall Furnace Museum. The quaint mining town houses are a picturesque reminder of earlier times in our nation’s history. Food and drink are available in Lititz, Mt. Gretna and convenience stores on the route.

 

Mount Gretna.  In the 1890's, the Pennsylvania Chautauqua Society founded Mt. Gretna, attracted by the region's natural beauty. The landscape is still just as inviting -- gently wooded mountains, a stream, and a lake. Throughout the summer, the Chautauqua's educational and cultural tradition is carried on with first-rate events in music, theater, and art. As cooler weather sets in, the area displays some of the most stunning foliage of the Northeast. When snow flies, cross country skiers enjoy expertly groomed, picturesque trails. Spring brings a green-dusted calm to the acres of protected Gamelands, crossed by miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking.

 

Cornwall Iron Furnace 717 272-9711 Admission charge.  The Cornwall Furnace has been designated a National Historical Landmark, and is an extraordinary example of the furnaces that dotted the Pennsylvania landscape. In operation from 1742 to 1883, it is one of the world's best-preserved 19th-century charcoal ironmaking facilities. The massive stone furnace, steam-powered air-blast machinery, and several related buildings survive intact. Primarily a producer of pig iron products, Cornwall Furnace cast cannon for the American Revolution. Call for schedule and hours. Location: 94 Rexmont Road Cornwall, PA 17016


Heritage Ride (Lititz Springs Park Start) (58.5 miles) (C) Rolling

DESCRIPTION: The Heritage Ride is mostly gentle rolling terrain but with some moderate hills. A great cross section of the Lancaster County Amish farmlands and points of historic interest. The ride incorporates the Ephrata Cloister, Strasburg Railroad, and Landis Valley state operated museums, and includes the town of Lititz.

 

National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors Museum:

 

National Clock and watch Museum  (717) 684-8261. Admission Charge. The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Museum displays time keeping devices from various time periods. There are also displays of watch and clock making tools. Guided tours are available and visitors can watch a clockmaker at work. Open: Call for schedule and hours. Location: 514 Poplar Street, Columbia, PA 17512.

 

A Timely Short Ride (19.45 miles) (B) Hilly

 

DESCRIPTION: This ride offers gently rolling hills through farmlands, breathtaking views of the Susquehanna River, and the historic architecture of Columbia. There are some steep and long hills. Food and drink are available in Columbia.