My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Getting Around in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

When visiting Lancaster County, Pennsylvania recently, we were struck by the various ways the local Amish citizens manage to get around without cars.

The most familiar and most iconic means of Amish transportation is, of course, the classic Amish buggy.  In Lancaster County they are gray in color, and more boxy than the black buggies found in Ohio and Indiana.  One horse will pull a buggy, and as my Amish friends have told me, about 8 miles away from home is as far as a buggy horse wants to go. 

Although most buggies are enclosed, we also saw open-back buggies—the Amish equivalent of the pickup truck!

Buggies can also be entirely open—a nice option in the summer to stay cool and see the sights.  This type of buggy is also seen in Amish Indiana, but only recently has it become commonplace there.

We also saw these small, fast little two-wheel open buggies.  These, too, are common in Amish Indiana, especially with young boys and men.  They also come in a smaller size which is pulled by a pony.

We noticed right away that there were no regular bicycles in Lancaster County.  Rather, the locals got around on these no-seat, no-pedal push bikes.  We saw mostly children using these, but not always.  They were faster than walking, but didn’t look as efficient as a regular bicycle.  Our Indiana Amish friends, who nearly all own regular bicycles, confirmed that regular pedal bikes aren’t allowed in Lancaster County.

As we sat on the lawn in front of our hotel in Bird-in-Hand one evening, taking photos and videos of the locals (zoom is very useful for this task!)—I saw the most unusual means of transportation of the week—this Amishman zipping along in the buggy lane on his inline skates!

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