June 2, 2014
Summertime in Lancaster County is a fantastic time to bring out your bicycle. Whether you’re an avid cyclist
or just looking for something fun and active to do in the area, you’ll find some great bicycle routes and trails.
When guests ask me for recommendations on where to go on two wheels, I point them to the Lancaster Bike Club website. It offers information about a number of “Scenic Tours” that start at various tourist destinations and then take you through some of the most picturesque areas of Lancaster County.
The site even offers several tours – ranging from 12.25 miles to 58.5 miles long – that start at the Ephrata Cloister Museum.
One of the easiest ways to bike in the area is to hit one of the rails trails. My favorite is the Lebanon Valley Trail. You won’t need a map to stay on course because it’s well marked. Just get on your bike and go! It’s made with crushed gravel and is quite flat, wide, and LONG. This trail begins in Lebanon and goes all the way to Elizabethtown – a one-way trip of 22 miles!
On the route, you’ll discover many towns and other destinations where you can stop along the way. For example, Mt. Gretna with its famous Jigger Shop and The Hideaway! Some of my other favorite stops include the Cornwall Iron Furnace and the Blue Bird In.
Although most guests bring their own bikes and gear, we’ve got a wonderful bike shop within 5 minutes of the Historic Smithton Inn. Green Mountain Cyclery rents out bikes if you don’t have one or don’t want to haul yours with you. I recommend you make arrangements with them ahead of time.
Cyclists enjoy that we have a shed available to keep bikes safe and out of the weather. And we have a garden hose outside so you can clean your bike if needed. We also have laundry facilities you can use, just ask!
Plus, we have a Dairy Queen, Rita’s, and Yogurt Works all within walking distance so you can treat yourself to a well-deserved reward after a long day of riding!
By Rebecca Gallagher
Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net