One of our favorite places to visit is Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We chose the Ben Franklin RV Park in York as our destination for a spur-of-the-moment camping and bicycling trip over the 4th of July weekend.
Ben Franklin RV Park is a small campground located on the west side of York, right off Route 30. It’s a great location for touring, but not the quietest campground with its close proximity to Route 30. However, each site has 50 AMP service and high-speed Wi-Fi; and the bathhouse and laundry facilities are clean. With our Good Sam discount (which they don’t advertise, but do accept), we had a full hook-up site for around $31 a night.
After getting set up, we drove to Browns Orchard and Farm Market. We picked up some zucchini, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, a small German chocolate cake, and six ears of delicious local sweet corn. Needless to say, dinner was a veggie delight!
The morning of the 4th, we traveled to Columbia, east of York, to ride the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. This 14-mile, completely-paved trail winds its way north along the Susquehanna River, through the historic towns of Columbia, Marietta, Bainbridge, and even corn fields. On a hot day, this trail is perfect because it is primarily in the shade. While it is not flat in the traditional rail trail sense, the small undulations, as well as twist and turns, give the trail character.
Sights from Marietta
Friday morning, we woke up to rain. Instead of riding like we’d planned, we went to The Lyndon Diner, for breakfast. This is one of our favorite places to treat ourselves to a delicious breakfast. I ordered the ham omelet with hash browns and wheat toast, while Mike ordered eggs benedict with hash browns. Both meals were under $10, including unlimited coffee. Our meals were so large, we only eat half and took the rest to go!
Since it was still raining in York, we drove east toward the sun, past Lancaster, to Intercourse. This town was founded in 1754 and used to be called “Cross Keys” after a local tavern. The name was changed to Intercourse in 1814, and there are several theories of how this became the name. I’ll let you look that one up! I’ll have more to share about this town after we visit again at the end of July.
Saturday morning, we left early (to beat the heat) and rode part of the York Heritage Rail Trail. We’ve ridden this trail before, starting in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on the North Central Rail Trail and riding toward York. They meet just south of New Freedom, Pennsylvania, at the Mason-Dixon Line.
If you decide to start at either York (25.5 miles) or Hunt Valley (20 miles), know that you will be riding a gradual uphill grade all the way to the Mason-Dixon Line. Of course, then it will be all downhill on the way back! Riding on the trail’s crushed limestone was definitely a good workout. For this trip we rode a 34-mile round trip loop on the York side.
There are interesting sights in the small towns along the way.
After a shower, and grilled pork chops and corn on the cob for lunch, we treated ourselves to homemade ice cream at Perrydell Farm Dairy. With flavors like peanut butter swirl and maple pecan, who could resist!
Along with ice cream, this family-owned dairy also produces and sells milk and butter. We always know a place is good by the number of cars in the parking lot, and Perrydell was packed! Seemed only fitting since York is the birthplace of commercial ice cream!
As is usually the case, our trip to Lancaster County didn’t disappoint. We can’t wait to come back at the end of July.
Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Check out her Amazon Page for all the details.