722 E. Market St. Marietta, Pennsylvania 17547
Northwest Lancaster County River Trail stretches nearly 14 miles along the east bank of the Susquehanna River between Falmouth (near the Dauphin County line) and Columbia, Pennsylvania. Along the way, you can stop to view relics of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal towpath, which the trail follows, including abandoned canal locks, iron furnaces, and an old quarry at Billmeyer. In 1833, the canal began operations but ended in the 1860s when the Pennsylvania Railroad arrived.
The northern piece of the trail, located between Falmouth and Bainbridge, runs along the Conewago Canal, which is part of the original Mainline Canal. It was built to bypass Conewago Falls on the Susquehanna River. On this route, you’ll be able to see original stonework such as old bridges and locks.
The trail’s southern half runs through Marietta to Chickies Rock County Park. This park offers more than 400 acres of woodlands and meadows. This section goes by the name of Susquehanna Heritage Trail and at the very end you can take a trip through an old railroad tunnel called the Point Rock Tunnel. Don’t miss the 100-foot-high rock outcropping for spectacular views of the river and the Norfolk Southern Railroad below.
When you come to stay at B.F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast, rest assured that we will help you discover something fun to do as you head outdoors! We’ve got plenty of maps and brochures, and we also provide bike locks and a bike storage area on our property.
Take a Hike: Explore the trail via foot. You’ll immerse yourself in nature and are sure to witness some amazing flora and fauna along the way.
Take a Ride: Jump on your bike and and take a ride. Bike paths are often shared with pedestrians, so be sure to share the road.
Take a Dip: Looking for an up-close and personal view of the water? Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard and hit the water.
Take a Skate: Strap up your inline skates and zip along the paved sections of the trail. Old railroad trails make great skating surfaces because they follow an even plane and there is generally less than a 3% grade change.
Take a Climb: Climb one of the highest walls in the Southeast Pennsylvania area! Visit Chickies Rock Park to test out your rock climbing skills.
Cast a Line: Bait up your hook and throw in your line. Rail-trails have excellent fishing access because they are built along existing rivers, canals and towpaths.
If you see an outdoor activity you’d like to try, but don’t own the gear, we will help you find a reputable rental company, so you can get outside and enjoy Pennsylvania! Two of our favorite rental companies include:
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What could be better than a relaxing stay at the B.F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Pennsylvania? How about a relaxing stay coupled with our Wine & Brew Tour?
The Lancaster, York, and Hershey, Pennsylvania area is rich with wineries that produce beverages and ambiance of surprising quality. Our fun-loving innkeeper, Dallas, will chauffeur you around the area, providing you a relaxing tour experience. You will enjoy sprawling vineyards, boutique tasting rooms, and welcoming winemakers.
As you travel from winery to winery, or winery to brewery (you get to choose!), you’ll learn about the history of the region. The tour explores the art of wine and beer making and includes a picnic lunch. The best news is that you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving!
The Wine & Brew Tour is offered Thursday through Saturday and begins at 12:00pm and concludes around 5:00pm. Your tour includes:
Wine tasting at four (4) select wineries,
A gourmet fruit, cheese, cracker and chocolate platter to be enjoyed at your second stop,
Bottled water available throughout the tour, and
As you travel from winery to winery, you’ll learn about the history of the region.
Here are just some of the wineries and breweries we include in our tours from the many located around Lancaster, York, and Hershey, Pennsylvania. We’d love to treat you to a Wine & Brew Tour on your next visit with us!
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March was such a warm month here, and we were so excited to get outside to start cleaning up our flower and raised vegetable beds. Dallas started growing pansies, spinach, and lettuce in the basement under the grow lights. He has since started tomatoes and peppers. The fruit trees were pruned. We purchased flats of alyssum, pansies, petunias, begonias, and geraniums at our favorite Amish greenhouse, Conestoga Valley Greenhouse in Lancaster. New cocoa mat liners for the hanging baskets were found at Rohrer’s Seeds in Smoketown as well as all of the organic seeds needed for our vegetable garden. We also bought 25 new everbearing strawberry plants to put in this year. We’ve been so busy!
A cold snap happened in the first two weeks of April that caused us to come to a complete stop. We even had SNOW on April 9th, which is so hard to believe! We are now scrambling to get everything planted. Dallas and Mike (our part time helper) spent the better part of the past two days cleaning up and planting the flower beds. Dallas planted the spinach and lettuce in garden, but his pansy seedlings didn’t do too well. We are worrying about our peach trees, as they had bloomed prior to the late freeze. The apple and pear trees are just beginning bud break, so they should be okay. Guests can look forward to some amazing organic fruit, herbs, and vegetables coming from our garden over the next few months!
We are hoping to have a good crop of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, pears, cantaloupe, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, peppers, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, (oops, that reminds me, I still have to order my sweet potato slips and organic potatoes!), garlic, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, chives and lavender! If anything fails, we are so lucky to live in Lancaster County where there are many roadside stands and farmers markets to fill in the gaps!
Come and visit...we promise there will be plenty of variety and colorful plates here at the B&B this summer and fall!
Did you know that St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, was not Irish? He was born in Britain, into an aristocratic family. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish Raiders and taken to Ireland. He was held captive for 6 years, working as a Shepard. During his captivity, he converted to Christianity. Though he returned to England and became a priest, he still longed to be in Ireland. St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary. It is said that he brought Christianity to the pagan people of Ireland. He explained the Holy Trinity by the 3 leaves of a “Shamrock”, which was really a Clover. It was said that he also drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. This was a myth, as there were never any snakes there in the first place! Saint Patrick died on March 17, 461. His passing became a holy holiday in Ireland. In the US, it’s an excuse to wear green and have a pint or two!
This area of Lancaster County was settled by the Scots-Irish, who were Protestant immigrants from Ireland. Many businesses as well as our School District have been named for County Donegal in Ireland. The Donegal Presbyterian Church was founded in the early 1700’s. There is quite a bit if history to be found at this still active church, which is on the historic registry of places. Check it out here: http://www.donegalpc.org/v2/history.html
Parades for St. Patrick’s Day began in America in the 1840’s. Many Irish immigrants came to the US during the potato famine, and they began marching in the streets of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston. To get into the St. Patty’s Day spirit, attend the York St. Patrick's Day Parade. The Parade will take place on Market Street in downtown York on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Step-off is at 1:00 pm. Information: http://www.yorksaintpatricksdayparade.org/p/about.html or the Harrisburg Parade sponsored by Capital Region Association of Irish and Celts, which begins at Walnut Street and Commonwealth Avenue. It proceeds south on Walnut to Second Street, onto North Street, ending at Commonwealth. 2-5 p.m. March 19 in downtown Harrisburg. Info: http://www.craicpa.org/
Some other fun things coming up in the next few weeks:
The Riches of Ireland's Past
An evening of illustrated history presented by historian Michael Geaney. He will talk about the high crosses of the monasteries, the Ardagh chalice and the awe-inspiring Book of Kells. Geaney also sings a few songs in Gaelic and English in the Irish traditional style. 6 p.m. March 14 at at Tellus360, 24 E.King St., Lancaster. No cover. Info: www.tellus360.com, 717-393-1660.
Rhythm in the Night: The Irish Dance Spectacular
Led by Justin Boros, former Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance" lead dancer, the accomplished cast featuring 20 of the world's most skilled Irish dancers and musicians.
8 p.m. March 18 at Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave. Tickets range from $30 to $55.
Info: www.hersheytheatre.com, 717-534-3405.
Rizzetta's Tones in Concert
The Fine and Performing Arts Department of Lancaster Catholic High School is sponsoring a concert by the American Celtic World Band, Rizzetta's Tones on Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 6:15 pm to 9:30 pm. The concert will also feature performances by accordianist Cody McSherry, bagpiper Sean Patrick Malloy and Irish dancers from the Encore Performance Company. Tickets are $40 which includes a lite buffet dinner and refreshments. For tickets or more information go to: http://events.lchsyes.org/event/fpa-concert-and-lecture-series-st-patricks-day-celebration/or call 717-509-0310. All proceeds benefit the Fine and Performing Arts Department.
3rd Annual King Street Seisiun
The all-things-Irish block party will feature live entertainment and Irish food, beer and other libations. Must be 21 or older. Proceeds will benefit local nonprofits: The Junior League of Lancaster, Lancaster Office of Promotion, Music for Everyone, Lancaster City Alliance, A Week Away and United Way of Lancaster. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. March 20 along East King Street, from Penn Square to North Duke Street, Lancaster. Tickets: $15. In addition, revelers must purchase tokens at designated stations to pay for food and drinks. Info: www.tellus360.com, 717-393-1660, or Annie Bailey's Irish Pub at 717-393-4456.
You can get a little bit of Ireland any day of the week at McCleary’s Irish Pub located here in Marietta. With a diverse menu, you will not be disappointed. Check them out: http://www.mcclearyspub.com/ Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub in Lancaster city will be having music and great food all day on March 17th. Check out the schedule and menu here: http://www.anniebaileysirishpub.com/events.html
During the 19th century, Magic Lanterns were the most popular form of entertainment in America. A Magic Lantern holds a hand painted glass lens that is projected onto a screen. Usually the paintings are of widely recognized stories. The "Showman", who operates the lantern would also tell the story and interact with the audience. The first lanterns were lit with candles. Then, limelight became popular. Limelight is created when limestone is heated in burning gas until it becomes incandescent. In the early 20th century, lanterns were switched to electricity. The showman traveled the country with their magic lanterns and as many as 30,000 showman performed 75,000 shows across the country in the year 1895.
At Plain and Fancy Theater, located on Route 340 at Plain and Fancy Farm in Bird in Hand, PA, a three tiered restored 1890 Magic Lantern can be found. For the first time in over 130 years, America has a permanent theater offering Magic Lantern Shows. Now through New Year's Eve, A Christmas Journey-A Victorian Christmas show will be playing. The show includes the tale of the Christmas Carol, carol singing and the telling of the Night Before Christmas. In 2016, there will be a Bible Stories show and Patriotic show. For more information and tickets, check with the Plain and Fancy Farm Amish Experience @ http://amishexperience.com/magic-lantern-shows/.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, immigrants from Germany seeking freedom of religion settled in Lancaster County that offered a mild climate and rich soil ideal for farming. The Pennsylvania German word for Lancaster is Lengeschder. The dialect is Pennsylvania Dutch that is a derivative of the German language. And, you can still see old world farming on the many Amish farms throughout the county.
These immigrants also brought their German traditions such as Belsnickle. The traditional Belsnickle would make home visits one to two weeks prior to Christmas to see if children were behaving. He was ragged and disheveled and carried a switch to swat naughty children, but also brought cakes and candies for good children. While it may seem like a scary and harsh character, the tradition of Belsnickle is meant to be fun and amusing.
To celebrate this tradition, the Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County are hosting the Belsnickle Christmas Tour on December 4-5, 2015. You’ll have the opportunity to tour over 22 inns dressed for the holidays. As you tour the inns, be on the look out for Belsnickles. Find at least five and you’ll be entered to win the Grand Prize valued at $325. Visit the Belsnickle web page for a listing of local businesses that are offering holiday specials and/or treats.
Advance tickets are available for $15 by contacting the B.F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast or $20 at the door. Your ticket also includes entrance to the National Christmas Center located in Paradise, PA. All proceeds will benefit a children's charity that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
For the past 30 years, Mount Hope’s Theater in the Mansion has been performing Poe Evermore, which opens on October 31 and continues through November 15. Edgar Allan Poe is considered the father and master of psychological horror stories. Two talented casts will perform this year’s stories and poems as they take you back to 1844. Stories include:
The Tell-Tale Heart, a Poe favorite about a haunting heartbeat below the floorboards.
Berenice, a macabre story about a man’s obsession with a beautiful girls smile even though her face is being torn apart by disease.
Poe, listen to him recite one of his most popular poetic works “The Raven” and “Dream Within a Dream” and “To One in Paradise.”
Performances are about two hours and you can add a lunch or dinner to your show package. Enjoy a scrumptious meal at the Anchor & Mermaid Tavern or the Wharf bar has lighter fare options prior to the show.
Reservations are recommended since performances sell out. Tickets or show packages can be purchased online. Show times are weekdays at 7:30pm; Fridays at 6pm; Saturday and Sundays at 1pm, 4pm and 7:30pm. Visit the website for more information.
The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre is a year-round dining and entertainment venue. Decorated in beautiful rich colors, the 370-seat theatre offers unobstructed views of the stage. Each show performed is a top quality production attracting performers from around the country who have performed on national tours and on Broadway. Many of the directors, designers and choreographers are also nationally recognized creating stunning performances. A live orchestra adds a special touch to the evening.
Prior to the show, enjoy a delicious hot buffet that includes a salad bar, several meats, vegetables, pasta and potato dishes and a variety of desserts including shoofly pie and Turkey Hill ice cream. The choices change with each show.
Shows for this Fall and upcoming holiday season include:
Visit the website for more information about the shows and to purchase tickets. The 2016 season will bring several changes: more private seating with tables for two and four, more food choices such as a la carte items and lighter meals in addition to the traditional buffet. The theatre itself will have a more contemporary look. Shows for 2016 include:
Smokey Joe’s Café: January 14 – February 14
Clue, The Musical: February 19 – March 12
Menopause, The Musical: March 17 – April 30
Million Dollar Quartet: May 6 – June 19
Mary Poppins: June 24 – August 6
Yeston & Kopit’s Phantom: August 11 – September 24
Anything Goes: September 29 – November 12
Holly Jolly Christmas: November 17 – December 31
Celebrate the grape harvest during the annual “Wine Just Off the Vine” events scheduled for November 14-15 and 21-22, 2015. Hear first hand, from the 16 wineries along the Mason Dixon Wine Trail, the results of the just-pressed harvests. Sample a selection of wines and stock up for the holidays. Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $20 that includes: tastings at all Wine Trail locations during both weekends, light food items, a souvenir wine glass, and 10% discount on wine purchases. Hours are Noon to 5:00 pm.
The wineries along the Mason Dixon Wine Trail pour their passion and knowledge into making award-winning wines. The wineries are located in central Pennsylvania throughout Lancaster and York County. You’ll find a nice diversity of artisan wines as well as those using family-farming traditions offering a selection of premium wines to please every palate.
Wineries located in close proximity to the B. F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast include: The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey, Mount Hope Winery, Tamanend Winery and Moon Dancer Winery & Cider House. For more information about the wineries, visit the website.