Route: 23, Lancaster County
Entering upon the east end of the Conestoga Valley with its picturesque hills and little vales on each side of the state highway, Route 23, we find it dotted with cozy homes, delightful streams, and tilled farms with broad meadows.
Annals of the Conestoga Valley 1942.
Following the ridge, overlooking sweeping views of the Conestoga River and valleys, one quietly travels back in time. Rolling hills with small Amish and Mennonite farmland landscape valleys bordered by forested hillsides. Visit the lovely Churchtown, originally called Bangor Church Town, with its soils rich in limestone and iron ore deposits, settled by Welsh immigrants and became a community of craftsmen serving the farmers and forge employees. Although predominantly an agricultural community today, Caernarvon is still home to a wealth of craftsmen and the architecture of the region remains evidence of its unique Welsh heritage and the roots of the iron ore industry.
Leaving Churchtown, stop at Historic Poole Forge Park to explore one of the remaining iron ore mansions and enjoy a stroll through the gardens and one of the region’s lovely covered bridges.
Plenty of shopping along the way to the town of Goodville. Local farm stands abound with fresh produce and locally made craft items. Quilting, wood crafting and harness shops pepper the corridor, along with several antique barns. Quaint Bed and Breakfasts and a variety of campgrounds provide quiet havens for the night or adventurous weekend retreats.
View the southern side of the valley with a hike to the Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve, a long bike ride through the countryside or arrange for a glider or balloon ride to experience the beauty of the region from above.