Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

McKinney Campground

McKinney Campground at Allatoona Lake, Acworth, Georgia

Visiting Acworth, Georgia

We are back on the road! This is only our second camping trip of the year and it feels good to be camping again. Acworth, Georgia is not new to us. We lived in Kennesaw for two years and during that time, I came to love the Acworth area. It’s a beautiful, old town that’s located on Lake Allatoona. The old downtown area is so quaint! With the delicious food from Henry’s Louisiana Grill ( and a stroll around Cauble Park, you really can’t go wrong with a night out in Acworth!

Here is a map of the area:

McKinney Campground

Mckinney Campground is part of the Georgia State Park system. There are 150 campsites available at McKinney Campground. This is a large campground, but only a portion of it is open year round. In Winter, some of the sites are closed. Booking campsites for the weekend can prove challenging, as they can be reserved up to six months in advance. If you have a spontaneous weekday trip, like we usually do with travel for work, you will usually find last minute sites available only Monday-Friday morning. Having flexibility in our schedules makes these work trips a little less painful when we can still be together as a family. It’s definitely more effort than just staying in a hotel, but we prefer the camping life!

Here is the link to the campground map:

With 150 sites, there is a wide variety of campsites available at this park! You really have to be careful here, as most of the sites are NOT level. Depending on the length of your camper, it could be an issue when you get ready to level your unit. I try to look at pictures on the reservation site and check out reviews too. Even some of the pull through sites can be tricky! Just look at these photos of our current site here:

In the first photo you can see how close we parked to the right side of the pull through. The pull through is not very wide and has a steep drop off on the entrance side of the camper, so we had to park as far to the right as we could to be able to get into the camper. The steps just barely fit on the edge of the site, and they are right at the drop-off. It is not ideal, but it is just for two days so we will deal with it. If we had children with us, this site would not work. The step situation is not safe but we also can not open the bunk room slide. The reservation site photos and reviews did not mention any rv slide restrictions or limitations, so please be careful when reserving a campsite in an unfamiliar park. Because we have stayed here before, I knew to be careful but we still ended up with some issues. We will walk around the park and make a list of “good campsites” before we leave so that next time I make a reservation online, I will know which sites to look for.

Allatoona Lake

The lake here is beautiful! The campground is located beside a marina so boating is very common. The water is clear, so fishing and swimming here are both good.

Lakefront Campsites are always my first choice so here is our view from our campsite:

Our picnic area is located down a set of steps, and the water access is from a very short trail to the left of the picnic table. It is easily accessed. Some of the lake front sites don’t have good access for swimming because they have stabilized the shore with large rocks. These campsites have beautiful views but no swimming access. There are two “swimming beaches” here for campers to use that are roped off for safe swimming in the busy boating season.

Trains, planes, and boats!

Sometimes you will hear trains, planes and boats here because this is a busy little town!

If you want to check out the train museum in Kennesaw, look here for more information: For lots of Civil War history, I recommend a visit to Kennesaw Mountain National Park. The ranger led talk through the small museum was one of the best! Check out more here

Whether you are camping at McKinney Campground, or just looking for some fun things to do in this area north of Atlanta, Georgia, I highly recommend this beautiful part of Georgia!

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping · Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming · Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories · Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Big News from the Farm!

Just a dream…

Sanctuary Ridge Farm has reminded me of so many childhood dreams. I’ve always loved the outdoors, animals, working hard, writing and cooking. As I work, write, or cook, I truly hope that I am bringing glory to God. He has given me joy in the most mundane and joy in the most glorious moments too. Isn’t it amazing how HE can do that!

Psalms 118:24 NCV This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today!


So many times, the most precious moments we share are as a family gathered together for a meal. I love sharing food with friends, whether it’s a simple loaf of bread or teaching someone to decorate a cake. Naturally, I love to share recipes too and it seemed fitting to share my recipes on our Sanctuary Ridge Farm blog. Last year I began considering publishing a cookbook, but does anyone even use cookbooks anymore? With all the online sources for recipes, is it even necessary? It certainly seemed like a foolish idea.

I love to look at recipes online- you should see my Pinterest! And I actually try to make everything I save! When I find something I like I will print it- that’s actually why I added printable recipe pages on my blog. If I end up reworking the recipe, I write it out in a little notebook. You should see all my scraps of paper with recipes scribbled down! Sometimes I share a picture of something I made for dinner and when a friend asks for the recipe I have to actually type it out because it’s just embarrassing to send a picture of my scribbled recipe!

The more I thought about it, the more I thought I would really like to publish a recipe book. So, I began researching how to publish one and while I was sick a few weeks ago, I actually completed it months ahead of my personal goal!

Heartwarming Recipes- Sanctuary Ridge Farm

I am so excited to present a collection of 115 of my favorite family recipes, including Breakfast, Soups, Salads, Vegetables, Main Dishes, Desserts and more! The books are being processed at my publisher. Expected arrival date by March 31, 2022! If you would like to purchase one, I am taking pre-orders. There is a shipping option ($23) or if you are local you may choose the local pickup ($18) and I will email you a time/place to pick up locally.

To order with shipping click here

To order for local pickup/ no shipping click here

Any recipes previously published on this blog will still be available. I will continue cooking and sharing recipes online, but this collection of recipes are my tried and true, go-to recipes that I wanted to preserve in a traditional cookbook format. I appreciate all the encouragement as I finalized the cookbook proof and submitted it for publication! Ya’ll are truly the best!

© Copyright 2020– or current year, The Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with  active link and direction to this original post.

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

Hemlock Falls

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Whether you choose a day trip or an overnight stay here, you are guaranteed a refreshing getaway! Since we live within an hour of this park, we sometimes visit for the day just to hike the trails. The close proximity to Chattanooga is another great reason to visit this park! Chattanooga, Tennessee is a great small city to explore all that Tennessee has to offer- from mountain views, the local art district, diverse dining experiences, and the amazing Riverwalk. Visit for more information! Be sure to visit when you explore Cloudland Canyon State Park!

The gorgeous mountain views will wow you as you meander along the Overlook Trail.

With over 64 miles of trails, you are sure to find a hike that fits your expertise level! There are 7 main trails and you can find more information about them here : My favorite is the Hemlock Falls trail where you walk down man made steps and along mountainous boulders, finally following a flowing creek to the Hemlock Falls. It’s immensely peaceful just to sit here and listen to the sounds of the water in the forest. It’s such an amazing display of the diversity of this area!

If you choose to continue further on the trail, you can climb to the bottom of the canyon via multiple man made staircases. The beauty of this area is something to behold!

Camping at Cloudland Canyon

There are 72 tent/rv campsites available to camp overnight at Cloudland Canyon State Park. The sites are shady with playgrounds and bath houses furnished with shower facilities and bathrooms. The state park also offers yurts and cottages for those who don’t camp! Check out their website here:

Views from the Overlook Trail

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Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN

Kayaking the lake at Cumberland Mountain State Park

Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN

One of Tennessee’s best kept secrets is Cumberland Mountain State Park! Beauty abounds at this park! Take a stroll through the woods on a trail that winds beside a beautiful creek. Kayak or paddle boat on the lovely Lake Byrd and get a close up view of the stone arches located along the dam. Fishing, golfing, hiking and more await you at this secret getaway!

The campsites at Cumberland Mountain State Park are shady and most of them are pretty level. Only one loop in the campground has full hookups. The bath house facilities are clean and of course they offer a dump station. Playgrounds and picnic areas are located throughout the park. This park also offers Tennis, Basketball, and a pool for swimming in Summer. If you don’t want to camp, the park has cabins for rent too! You can even stay in one of the historic buildings on site! For more information check out their website at

Selah Farms B&B

I highly recommend a stay at this local Bed and Breakfast! My dear friends, John and Reina, will make your stay as comfortable as possible while you explore the parks that are so close to their doorstep! Their B&B offers privacy in the separate space. Reina is an amazing cook too! Their farm is absolutely breathtaking! If you aren’t camping, I would definitely stay at Selah Farms B&B! Check out their listing here

Crossville, Tennessee

Located in Crossville, Tennessee, this park has so much to offer for a weekend getaway. The small town of Crossville has a weekly flea market, local livestock sales, convenient grocery and fast food. If you are looking for local cuisine, the park offers a lodge style restaurant on the beautiful Lake Byrd. Trip Advisor has some great local suggestions too! Check those out here: Also located nearby is Fall Creek Falls State Park!

Cumberland County Playhouse

An ever popular pastime is attending one of the wonderful productions at Cumberland County Playhouse! When my grandparents used to camp at Cumberland Mountain State Park, they always made time for a show. Every season a new production is offered! Check out their website for more information:

Paved Trails

A wonderful, paved trail can be found across from the camping area that winds its way around Byrd Lake where you cross the wooden walking bridge that leads to the Paddle Boat and Kayak rental docks. You can explore the lake via kayak or paddle boat too!

The Walking Bridge at Cumberland Mountain State Park


What are you waiting for? It’s a wonderful time of year to get out and explore the beautiful state of Tennessee!

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Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Brasstown Bald, GA

Brasstown Bald Overlook

Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

“The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, and extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.”

They are called the Blue Ridge Mountains because from a distance, the mountains look blue in color. This is actually because of the isoprene released into the atmosphere from the trees!

Bald Mountain RV Resort

Bald Mountain RV Resort is a nice little resort, with both campsites and cabins for rent! Located near Lake Chatuge, it is a great jumping off point for sight seeing all around the area. The resort offers paddle boats, fishing, swimming pool, playgrounds, put-put, a camp store and a game room for the kids!

Most of the campsites are shady in this park! Our favorite campsite is by the creek where we can listen to the water rushing over the mountain stones. You really can’t go wrong in this resort! Make sure you plan ahead, as the park is closed for winter every year!

There are lots of hiking trails nearby to explore nature too!

Call the RV resort at 706-896-8896. Their website is currently down!

So Much To See!

There are many things to do within one hour of the campground! The Bell Mountain Historic Site is just a short drive with stunning views of Lake Chatuge. The graffiti covered rocks and walkways make for an interesting climb to see the view. You may want to shield little eyes from some of the artwork! It’s a steep climb- both in your vehicle and once you arrive, but the views are amazing!

Helen, Georgia is also a short drive! This quaint little town is loaded with German charm, a step back in time that you don’t want to miss! Authentic German cuisine is offered at several restaurants. Check out the beautiful river that runs through the town, the local glass blowing craftsman, or one of the many local artisans. This little town in the Blue Ridge Mountains is Georgia’s third most visited town in the state! For more information, visit

Brasstown Bald- Georgia’s Highest Peak

Towering near the RV resort is Georgia’s Brasstown Bald! A steep trail & shuttle access this peak, Georgia’s highest, offering panoramic views from 4,784-ft. A visit here on a clear day will grant you views of four states! A small museum tells of the local history. There is a small fee to visit the site because you must take a shuttle to the viewpoint. Here is the website for more information:

Brasstown Bald Overlook

Mercier Orchard

One of our favorite orchards is located nearby! Visiting Mercier Orchard is a real treat! The expansive orchard grows most everything onsite and offers U-Pick events throughout the year! We love to pick strawberries here! The store has a great variety of items from fresh baked goods, homemade fudge, jellies and produce to unique gift items. My favorite is the fresh baked pies! The onsite restaurant is really great too! Here is the website for more information:

This is the most beautiful time of year to visit this area with the colors of fall! Go on a great adventure this weekend!

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Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

The Virginia Creeper Trail

Old Barns along the Virginia Creeper Trail

What is the Virginia Creeper Trail?

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a National Recreation Trail located between Abingdon, Virginia and Whitetop Station. The 34 mile rail-trail begins at Whitetop Station, part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The best way to ride the trail is from the top of the mountain down to Damascus, Virginia. This section of the trail is around 17 miles long. You must schedule a shuttle to carry your bikes to the top where you will unload and coast at 5% grade back to the city of Damascus. Most of the trail is downhill! With no stopping along the way, it only takes 3-4 hours to ride this section. There are so many beautiful places to stop along the way, including an old train station! Picnic areas, rolling farmland, trestle bridges and gorgeous streams grace the views along the trail. It is quite the adventure!

Tips to take Along the Trail

I highly recommend taking a good camera, lots of water, as well as snacks! If you are renting bikes from a local shop, they provide assistance if you have a flat along the way. If you are taking your own bike, take a tire pump and repair kit. Seventeen miles is a long way if you have any issues with your bike. You will want a comfy bike seat! I also recommend taking a first aid kit! On our first ride down the trail, my then 5 year old crashed only 3 miles into the ride. Thankfully he only scraped his knee! The trail is not dangerous unless you aren’t watching the people riding in front of you and they stop to take in the beautiful sight!

One additional recommendation is check the temperatures! In Fall and Spring- sometimes even in early Summer, it is quite cold at the top of the trail. You will need winter gloves for your hands, a wind breaker, and something to cover your ears if it is cold. We carried backpacks to put our gloves and things away when it warmed up outside. Backpacks are also great for carrying drinks, snack, and the first aid kit!

Take breaks and stop to enjoy the moment! There are wonderful places to stop along the way to skip rocks, listen to the babbling brook, and get some great family photos! I hope you will go visit this truly amazing place! It is such a great adventure!

The Historic Green Cove Train Station

Don’t miss stopping at the historic train station! Inside you will find an old store and even an old U.S. Post Office.

It’s easy to imagine what it was like back in the days when the train chugged it’s way through the mountains of Virginia as you ride along the trail!

Places to Stay

We stayed at the last time we traveled to Damascus, Virginia. It was a lovely spot, right on the creek. We did not spend much time at the campsite because we were only there for one full day, which is when we rode the trail. It was very convenient- within walking or bike riding distance to restaurants and the bike shuttle services.

There are other places to stay if camping is not your thing! Check out this website for more information on the area:

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Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is located in South Carolina, just north of Savannah, Georgia. The quaint Island is lush with huge oaks laden in moss, marshes teeming with wildlife and it’s all surrounded by beautiful harbors and beaches. There are multiple resorts throughout the island, but only one RV resort!

The RV Resort at Hilton Head Harbor

This RV Resort is quite a gem! We loved our harbor front campsite where we watched beautiful sunsets! The harbor front sites are very limited and you are not allowed to walk on the marina boardwalks that connect to the campsites. The harbor front sites do have a deck area that overlooks the marina. We enjoyed watching the tide come and go as well as all the little crabs that were exposed when the water receded.

Jamey relaxing at our campsite!

The Resort Pool is surrounded by the harbor where you can watch boats, birds and other wildlife. There is another pool centrally located in the park, as well as a playground. It was a beautifully landscaped and maintained RV resort!

For more information on the RV resort visit

The Beach

There were several access points to the beach, but Coligny Park was our favorite! We found parking nearby. The beach access was wide, with easy access to snacks and restrooms. All the tidal pools on the beach made for fun exploring as we searched for sand dollars, horse shoe crabs, seashells and more!

Parks and Trails

The Island Discovery Museum is full of the Island’s rich history. With beautiful nature walks, a butterfly house, and marsh areas to explore, it was a wonderful way to see the beauty of preservation around the island.

Throughout Hilton Head Island, there are 108 miles of paved, shared use bike paths! Thankfully, we planned to bring our bikes. If you can’t take yours, there are many places to rent bikes on the island. With sweeping shade trees lining the paths, we enjoyed exploring the south end of the island on our bikes. We were amazed at how much there was to see!

Located on the south end of Hilton Head Island, Harbor Town hosts the best playground area! With trees to climb and surrounded with sand, your little ones are sure to have a grand time!

Other fun things to do on the island include golf, fishing, lighthouse tours, old plantations, shopping, and of course restaurants galore!

Fun Family Memories

This spontaneous trip was such a fun way to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in 2013! Since this trip, two of our children have flown our nest. We are so grateful for the memories we made when we were all together! I’m so glad we cherished those moments! There is really nothing better than family time!

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Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

Electrifying Times

Solar Panels

I’ll be honest, two days ago I broke down and cried like a baby. This is hard. I feel so helpless because there is so much to do and I can’t do any of it. Jamey is so overloaded and I want so much to check some things off the list for him but all I can do is hand him a tool occasionally. I’m by his side and ready to help when needed but so much of this rests on his shoulders. We are both exhausted. Despite our setbacks and frustration, this week has been full of huge milestones so I had to post an update!

Working late at night by battery powered lights.

We have lived 43 days in our RV.

Every day Jamey fills the generator with fuel, fills the water tanks, goes to get more fuel, works a full time job and then he works to finish installing the Solar Power System until late at night. For an extra fun filled weekend we installed a septic system!

Septic tanks- this was tricky to unload. The machine was rated to pick it up but it was grossly underpowered.
Jamey digging the septic system
Successfully installed!

Over the weekend we- and I do mean Jamey and I- installed our septic system. Jamey rented a mini excavator to dig for the tank and effluent lines. We have been delayed on installing this because of rain. Any rain on Friday or Saturday made it impossible to do the installation. It really looked like we wouldn’t get it finished this weekend but we did! Yay for progress!

Finally digging the basement!

Today has been the best day! The basement excavation began this morning! It’s so exciting to see the dig finally begin.

But the best part of today was changing from generator power to Solar Power! Everything is running smoothly so far. It’s a tremendous relief to have electricity! I’m amazed at Jamey’s ability to design, plan and implement such a complex system.

Testing, testing!

Stay tuned for more updates on our building project!

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Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Grayton Beach State Park, FL

Grayton Beach State Park Boardwalk

Grayton Beach State Park

A hidden gem among Florida State Parks, this is a great little family park! It’s close proximity to Seaside Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, and Watercolor make it an ideal place to get out and explore these darling towns along historic 30A Highway that meanders along the gorgeous Gulf Coast. Known for white sandy beaches and emerald green waters, the Florida Gulf Coast does not disappoint. Find more information about Grayton Beach State Park here

The Campsites

This is our 3rd stay at Grayton Beach State Park. We like site 43 because it is close to the bathhouse, it is a large site with a campfire ring and picnic table. All the sites are roomy- we just like the paved road to keep our dogs clean on their daily walks. There isn’t much shade in this park. That does not deter us because we love to come in October when it is a little cooler and less crowded.

There are no bike trails here, although you can ride all along the paved path along 30A to Watercolor, Seaside, Blue Mountain Beach and beyond! There are some hiking trails in the park but we haven’t explored those. I’m leery of trying the scrubby trails with rattlesnakes and copperheads in the area. Just not for me!

There are only 2 loops in this campground! The first loop is the “new loop” and the road is paved. The second loop is crushed shell and gravel. All of the sites were recently upgraded with new gravel and sewer. This is a great value at only $30 per night with electricity, water and sewer!

The Beach

Powdery white sands and crystal clear water greet you as you cross the boardwalk to the Grayton Beach. This beach is accessed through the State Park entrance. Visitors pay $5 per vehicle unless you are camping or staying in one of the charming cabins onsite. You can ride bikes, walk or drive to the beach access area where there is a large parking lot and bike parking available. A covered pavilion, outdoor shower, and clean bathrooms are available at the beginning of the boardwalk and only a few steps from the beach. It’s a short walkover to the beach area where you will find plenty of private beach in either direction.

The Weather

I am a fan of the beach in every season, but Fall is probably my favorite. The water is still warm and the air is cooler. There are some drawbacks to visiting in Fall though. Hurricane season is very active. We have been evicted/evacuated from our vacation the past 4 years! Cutting your vacation short is no fun!

Another drawback to Fall is the biting flies. We experience these every year for at least a couple of days. They are incredibly irritating. Sometimes we make the most of it, and sometimes we just give up and go play games back at the camper. The flies are only a problem AT the beach, not in the campground. Sometimes bug spray works, sometimes it doesn’t. I haven’t figured it out yet!

Fun game of Dominoes, even if I lost!

Although there are drawbacks, we think it’s totally worth the risk! This year has been amazing weather, even if we did fight the flies for a couple of days. We had a great visit to Grayton Beach and we will be back!

Seaside Beach

This is by far the most charming planned development I have ever visited. I love everything about it from the architecture to the string lights that are hanging in the trees at night. It’s as if I have stepped back in time! Children and parents throwing a frisbee or kicking a ball in the common area that is the center of the small beachside village.

Food Trucks to fill your belly!

Along the street, amid the perfectly planned trees that line the sidewalks, you will find some of the best food in the area! Who knew food truck cuisine could be so delightful! I am drawn back here every year to enjoy Barefoot Barbecue, and my new favorite Cubana Cucina. We’ve never been disappointed in a meal here!

Somehow I think I am late to the game in the discovery of Cucina Cubana. How have I never seen this place? We come every year! I love Cuban food. A good Cuban sandwich or bowl full of roasted chicken, rice, black beans, avocado, pineapple salsa and mojito sauce? Can you say delicioso! And their plantains were absolutely the best I have ever had! Perfectly cooked and seasoned with a sweet cinnamon sauce. Just writing this makes me want to go back again tomorrow! It was so, so good!

But wait! That’s not all!

Barefoot Barbecue serves some of the best BBQ in the south with a deliciously unique purple slaw topped with fresh pineapple AND some of the best southern baked beans! Your mouth will thank you! Follow it up with some fresh fudge at the candy store or Gelato in the square!

Don’t Forget Grayton Beach!

Is this a review of Grayton Beach? Yes! Just outside the campground you will find several fine dining establishments. Two of our favorites are Crackings and Aj’s Grayton Beach. Crackings serves breakfast and brunch. This is a must when we are in the area. I’m thankful they take reservations because the wait here is always so long. Noah always gets chocolate chip pancakes and I like to get their seasonal special, although this year they did not have a special due to Covid-19. Jamey and I ended up ordering Banana Fosters Waffles. Just look at it! YUM!

Last, but certainly not least, is Aj’s Grayton Beach. Here is a link to the other locations and menu items: Jamey ordered Shrimp and Grits, Noah had popcorn shrimp and I had the prime rib special with She Crab soup. Everyone raved about their meal and we were so hungry I forgot to take any pictures! Here’s Aj’s at Grayton Beach:

The Sunsets

What’s a beach trip without a beautiful sunset? We enjoyed one every evening this week! It’s been such a refreshing week. Truly a time to recharge and relax after an incredibly hectic year!

Join me next week as I explore another Florida State Park just fifteen minutes down the road at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park!

© Copyright 2020– or current year, Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with active link and direction to this original post.

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Grove City Tour Part 4

Simple Life Amish Tours

When I realized we were in Amish country, I was secretly giddy with excitement! I love reading about the Amish and their simple ways of life. Their devotion to faith and family are truly admirable. They work so hard. If you’ve ever worked a long hard day in the summer heat, you know how it feels to do a good days work. I admire that and so many other things about the Amish community. So I spent a little time investigating the options in the Grove City area and came across the Simple Life Tours and promptly booked a tour for Friday morning.

Although my sister in law grew up here, among the 10th largest Amish community in the United States, she had never taken a tour or visited the shops we discovered on our tour. We weren’t really sure that the kids would like it, but the tour guide Susie was so incredibly engaging that even the kids had a great time! It was such a pleasure to have Susie share her wealth of knowledge about the local community.

Volant, PA

We began our tour in Volant, PA where we headed to New Wilmington. These towns are so small that they really run together. One farm after another line these small streets with covered bridges. Colorful laundry hangs out to dry on the clothes line until a young girl brings it in to fold, once the breeze has completed the task of drying the clothes. No one has electricity. And no one is allowed to have a bathroom (outhouse) inside the house. Just recently they have allowed the outhouse to be attached with a covered walkway. The Amish are superstitious about many things: drains inside your home, having a photo taken, no faces on their dolls (no graven images), and the list goes on.

Banks Covered Bridge

This beautiful bridge was one of our first stops. This bridge was built in 1889 and restored in 1999. The craftsmanship of the bridge was absolutely stunning!

Local Amish Farms

The next part of the tour was a lovely drive through the countryside to see the oats in the fields, community telephone booths on the roadside, which led to our first stop where we purchased corn from a new farmer. The family had picked 500 dozen ears of corn! We grilled some with our lunch when we got back and it was so delicious!

You would never know that these are Amish stores! Just a little sign by the driveway indicates that there is something for sale. All of the “stores” we visited were in the basement of their home except the wood workshop. It was a stand alone shop. We visited it on our return trip on Saturday.

Amish School

The teacher at this little community school is 16 year old Emma.  She has 37 students! She was at the school, probably cleaning in preparation for class to begin again. It’s a one room schoolhouse where the children learn reading, writing, math, and English as a second language. At the age of 15, the boys begin training in the trade they choose, usually whatever their father does. They aren’t strict about it though. With such big families, it is likely that at least one will follow in their father’s footsteps. The girls begin training in housekeeping, gardening, cooking, canning and quilting. They must learn all the skills they will need to have a family of their own. In this area, they usually aren’t wed until age 20-21.


Amish Donuts

In winter they cook over a fire and in summer they use propane to cook with. Here are some outside fryers used to cook the amazing Amish Donuts:

These donuts were enormous! So fresh and perfectly delicious! As you can see, we all enjoyed one immediately. We did take some back to the guys, since they were still home working on the kitchen remodel. The sweet ladies here had pies, cookies, jams, jellies, and even some fresh fruit for sale. Want to guess how much one of those huge donuts cost? $1.50- can you believe it!!!

Our last stop with Susie was the quaint little quilt shop. It is located along one of the main roads, and is well marked for an Amish store. They had quilts, birdhouses, and a variety of other handmade wares inside!

Simple Life Tour Review

Susie was an absolute joy! She shared such valuable information about the history of the Amish, about their lifestyle, and faith. You can tell she has a close relationship with the people of the community. An awesome thing about this tour is that it provides an open door for Susie to share her faith in Jesus with everyone who takes her tour. She exudes the love of Jesus in her words and actions and interactions with those in the Amish community in such a beautiful way. I highly recommend this tour. Susie was professional and we truly enjoyed every minute!

Amish Tour Take 2

Well, after we told the guys all about the wonderful time we had on the Amish Tour, they insisted that we take them on Saturday! We traveled back through Volant and into New Wilmington to Banks Covered Bridge, the grocery store, bakery and this time we visited the Furniture shop. The furniture shop was so impressive! Rudy makes beautiful tables, benches, futons, chairs, and pretty much anything you ask him to make. He supplies some of the local stores in Grove City where his pieces are a prized purchase for many buyers. Here are some pictures from our 2nd day in Amish Country New Wilmington.

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