5 Winter Things to Do in Lancaster PA

December 3, 2021

Wondering if there’s anything to do during the winter months in Lancaster, PA?  Here are 5 Winter Things to Do in  Lancaster PA from a Lancaster PA Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper, Rebecca Gallagher, owner of the Historic Smithton Inn.

5 Winter Things to Do in Lancaster PA, Historic Smithton Inn

1.  Covered Bridges Quest:

Lancaster County is known for having a large concentration of covered bridges scattered throughout our rolling hills and farms of Amish country.  There are a few clusters of bridges that are easy to put together as a “loop”.  Searching out these historic covered bridges will set you up to see some incredible sights.  You’ll see lovely countryside, farmland and forests..  This particular group of four covered bridges in the southern tip of the county is basically my favorite: (bridge descriptions are from Wikipedia)

This post is all about Winter Things to do in Lancaster PA

Southern Lancaster Bridges Tour:

  • Mercers Mill: The Mercer’s Mill Covered Bridge or Mercer’s Ford Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the East branch of the Octoraro Creek on the border between Lancaster County and Chester County in Pennsylvania, United States. Plug this address into your GPS:  3771 Bailey Crossroads Rd, Atglen, PA
  • Pine Grove: The Pine Grove Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the East Branch of Octoraro Creek on the border between Lancaster County and Chester County in Pennsylvania, United States. It is the longest covered bridge in Lancaster County. The bridge was built in 1884 by Elias McMellen. Plug this address into Google Maps:  Pine Grove Covered Bridge, Nottingham, PA
  • White Rock: The White Rock Forge Covered Bridge or White Rock Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the West Branch of the Octoraro Creek in southeast Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. A county-owned and maintained bridge, its official designation is the West Octoraro #2 Bridge.  Plug this address into GPS:  248 White Rock Rd, Kirkwood, PA
  • Jackson’s Mill: The Jackson’s Sawmill Covered Bridge or Eichelberger’s Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the West Branch of the Octoraro Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. A county-owned and maintained bridge, its official designation is the West Octoraro #1 Bridge.  Plug this address into GPS:  1128-1198 Mt Pleasant Rd, Quarryville, PA

Pro-tip:  If you have any difficulty finding any of Lancaster County’s covered bridges, simply open a web browser on your phone.  Type in “Covered bridges near me” and you’ll be directed to the bridge closest to you.

covered bridges book

If you’d like to read more about these bridges or even include more into your quest, you can purchase this terrific book from the Historic Smithton Inn’s Gift Shop.

RELATED:  Covered Bridges in Lancaster PA

2. Ephrata Craft Beverage Pub Crawl:

Lancaster County has a fantastic variety of craft wine, beer and spirits venues.  If you’d like to check some out, the best place to focus your efforts is Ephrata, PA.  This small town boasts SIX venues within 2 miles of one another.  These pubs & bars are all small and privately owned.  Odds are, you’ll meet one of the owners when you’re there, they may even be your bartender!

 

Related:  Craft Breweries in Lancaster PA & Guide to the Best Wineries in PA

3.  Ride the Rail Trail:

We’re having a pretty mild winter in Lancaster County, so it’s a great time to either  bring your own bike or rent.  We have a number of rail trails to choose from.  Our favorite is the Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail.  The trail  basically connects downtown Ephrata to downtown Lititz (you’ll have to jig off the end of the trail and ride on the road for the final half mile into downtown Lititz).

No matter where you choose to start, there are rewards at either end.  Coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and beautiful streetscapes and parks are in both Ephrata and Lititz.  In between you’ll find a trail that cuts through farms and neighborhoods, crosses a creek and even has a gnome village along the way!  The trail is well traveled and tended.  Only the Ephrata section (2 miles) is paved and lit, the rest is crushed gravel.  If you’d like to rent a bike, here’s a great option:

 

  • Lititz Rail Trail Experience is available from sunrise to sunset at Warwick Municipal Park, 315 Clay Road, Lititz, PA 17543. There’s ample parking, no reservations, bikes are first come-first-served and rented with a credit card.  Bring your own helmet.  Pricing is $10 for 2 hours and $15 for 4 hours.  There are port-o-potties spaced out along the trail.

RELATED:  5 Great Hikes & Walks in Lancaster PA

4.  Get back to Live Theater:

We’re so excited to have our live theaters open again for business.  Each venue is uniquely wonderful and the volume and quality of live theater is one of the things that makes Lancaster PA such a special place to visit.  Check each theater for current shows, showtimes & policies.

RELATED:  2021 Live Theater in Lancaster PA

5.  Shop Small & Unique:

Lancaster County has some wonderful small / unique shops and winter is a great time to check them out.  If you’re able to hit all 5 stores in Lancaster from our list below, you be treated to gifts, home furnishings, unique clothing and handcrafted jewelery.  In addition you’ll be crisscrossing the county , so you’ll be taking in plenty of sites and even pass an Amish buggy or two!  Even more, every one of these shops has restaurants, coffee shops and other sights nearby to boot!

 

RELATED:  15 Amish Shops in Lancaster PA

BONUS:  Visit a Museum

Lancaster’s rich history dates back to the late 1600s when German immigrants were drawn to the rich farmland and promise of religious liberty.  There are a number of wonderful museums that celebrate this history as well as other topics important to our area.  Check each museum’s hours of operation before visiting, as they’re reduced from what we were used to in the past.

BONUS:  Attend a Special Event!

Special Events are BACK and you should consider planning your trip to Lancaster County around one of these special experiences:

Book Your Visit!

5 Winter Things to Do in Lancaster PA, Historic Smithton Inn As you can see, there are some great things for Lancaster PA visitors to see and do during a winter getaway.  If you’re ready to book your trip, go to the Historic Smithton Inn’s website and book direct for the best rates and availability.  The innkeepers can give you even more ideas for things to do while you’re here.  Or, you could choose to just stay inside and cuddle in front of our working fireplace, glass of wine in hand, while you binge-watch your favorite series on Netflix! (our WiFi is GREAT!)

We hope you liked our post about 5 Winter Things to Do in Lancaster PA!  Here are some other related posts you might enjoy as well.

 

Like what you see? Save any of these pins (or possibly all of them) to your travel planning board(s).  This will give you an easy way to find your way back here!  Also check out our other blog posts  for more ideas and pins! 

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