We spent a week exploring New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania before heading towards Washington, DC.
We found a cozy forest clearing amongst the white mountains in New Hampshire to ride out the several days of heavy rain forecasted. It was a perfect opportunity to plan the rest of the east coast as we head for warmer weather in Florida. Sasha is studying on the road so she smashed out a few full days of work while we waited for the weather to improve
While still overcast the pouring rain had subsided so we headed to Vermont with one thing on our mind! Ice cream! It would be wrong of us to not pop our heads into the Ben & Jerry’s factory. A great little tour of the factory before getting to the all-important sampling part of the tour. We settled on a tub of pumpkin spiced ice cream to take with us (it didn’t last very long) before heading on our way.
With a stopover in the Green Mountains we headed for Kinzua Bridge in Pennsylvania. Half the old railway bridge which spans a large valley still remains standing allowing you to walk out to the centre of the valley. While this provides beautiful views, we really enjoyed the short but steep hike into the valley where the other half of the bridge lies mangled and overgrown with vegetation. When the bridge was destroyed by a storm in 2003, they left it to be, it is incredible to walk throughout the twisted metal and shattered concrete. It was somewhere we had popped on our bucket list with the intention of ducking into Pennsylvania before heading back to Canada near Detroit but we didn’t get the chance. So, we found ourselves in Pennsylvania for much longer than we expected and we are so glad we did.
We headed for Rickets Glenn State Forest to the Falls Trail which is renowned for several waterfalls along the trail. This is one of our favourite hikes so far, this trip and you won’t need to see waterfalls for a while afterwards. The loop trail takes you up cliff faces right beside the falls, it was spectacular. The massive amounts of rain in the last few days meant the falls were flowing faster than usual, so there was an upside to the cold wet weather we had been having.
Next stop in Pennsylvania for us was York as we had been recommended a heritage bike trail. The York Heritage Trail follows the old train line for 21 miles, winding its way through mountains, old railway tunnels and bridges. We can highly recommend this bike ride, especially in Autumn with the leaves beginning to fall we were blown away by the vibrant scenery.
Last stop in Pennsylvania was Lancaster to explore the Amish community. When you find yourself in Lancaster, the tourist built Amish houses, markets and restaurants with parking lots bigger than the attraction themselves are unavoidable. We continued driving, just choosing at random what streets to drive by, this is where we began to see the Amish communities in action. Unfortunately, we weren’t in season so the small roadside stalls were unmanned, but we could visualize the high season here. We found a smaller restaurant run by Amish women and sat amongst other Amish people (and some other tourists as expected) for a delicious lunch. Our sandwiches and pies (shoofly pie is now a favourite of ours) were some of the best we’ve ever had. Highly recommend visiting the Lancaster area, but be prepared to drive around in circles for a while to avoid the bigger tourist spots.
Pennsylvania surprised us with a lot more to do than we realized and definitely recommend heading to PA if you get the chance.