It’s strange how trips go. Sometimes every detail is planned out and other times, you have time to simply explore. My last trip to Pennsylvania fit firmly into the ‘planned’ category. Well, for most of the days. I had library appearances, auctions, radio and newspaper interviews, and book signings. But in between the many events, I never imagined I would stumble upon my favorite Amish community to date.
Kishacoquillas Valley, also known as Kish Valley or Big Valley sits nestled between Stone Mountain and Jacks Mountain off Hwy 22. That’s approximately two hours northwest of Lancaster and well worth the drive.
Big Valley, Pennsylvania has the claim of being the second largest Amish settlement in the Keystone State. There are around thirty districts in the area, but those members are spread across three main affiliations: the Nebraska, the Byler, and the Renno Amish. These sects are identifiable by their buggy colors. White for Nebraska, black for Renno, and yellow for Byler. Yes, yellow!
Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to just drive around. The roads are easy to navigate, but it does help to have a GPS to bail you out… just in case.
But here are a few things you definitely should do when you go to Kish Valley. Be sure to stop by Peight’s Country Store.
And the Amish Mennonite graveyard.
And definitely drive up Jacks Mountain. The view is amazing!
Not to mention the altar at the top.
But nothing beats hitting the backroads and sight-seeing.
I loved my trip to Big Valley so much, I’m setting my new Amish mystery series there. Be watching for the Kappy King Mystery Series (title and release date TBA).
All in all, Kish Valley is a peaceful, beautiful Amish community, as down home as Lancaster is integrated. So if you’re looking for something a bit different, the valley offers all that and more.
Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of The Amish Christmas Sleigh!
Amy Lillard loves nothing more than a good book. Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and nail polish. But reading and writing are definitely high on the list. Born and bred in Mississippi, Amy is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, two spoiled cats, and one very lazy beagle. Oh, and don’t forget the stray kitty that has taken up residence on her front porch. When she’s not creating happy endings, she’s chauffeuring her teen prodigy to guitar lessons and orchestra concerts. She has a variety of hobbies, but her favorite is whatever gets her out of housework.
Amy is an award winning author with more than twenty novels and novellas in print. She is a member of RWA and ACFW and loves to hear from readers. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. For links to the various sites, check her website: www.amywritesromance.com.
Her latest book, Just Plain Sadie, is now available.
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