By RYAN P. AUMENT
We have a lot to be proud of here in Lancaster County – from the lush, sprawling farmlands and rich Amish heritage, to the quaint towns with bustling tourism industries, Lancaster County’s appeal is truly one-of-a-kind.
Indeed, Lancaster County attractions entice visitors every year to experience traditional food, wholesome family activities, and a unique culture that isn’t replicated nearly anywhere else.
With autumn upon us, all that Lancaster County has to offer is on full display, with seasonal activities and events for people of all ages and interests.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Lancaster County is home to some of the best leaf viewing experiences, with scenic drives and innumerable hiking and rail trails to explore and take in the beauty of nature. In fact, the Marietta portion of the Northwest River Trail officially opened to the public earlier this month, just in time for the peak of fall foliage.
For those who enjoy getting in the Halloween spirit, there are plenty of spooky
activities to partake in throughout the county, from eerie ghost tours, to the incredibly popular haunted attraction, Field of Screams.
Fall also ushers in peak season for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, a uniqueand immersive experience that brings medieval history to life right here in the heart of Central Pennsylvania.
However, the most iconic fall activities that come to mind when the air finally gets cooler and the leaves begin to change are agriculture experiences, such as trips to pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and corn mazes, to name a few. Visitors also flock to farmers’ markets where they’re welcomed with fullystocked shelves filled with fresh, fall products like apple butter and pumpkin pies, made from locally-sourced produce.
These agriculturally-based activities are by far some of the most popular autumn attractions for folks of all ages looking for some wholesome fall fun.
However, while we all enjoy celebrating the changing of the seasons by participating in harvest activities, it’s important that we not forget the pivotal role that farmers play in making these experiences possible.
By opening up their land, welcoming visitors to learn about their livelihood, and inviting them to share in the harvest festivities, farmers are meeting an ever-increasing demand for these popular activities.
Pennsylvania farmers toil year-round to not only put food on the table for millions around the world, but to also give back to the community by offering these educational and recreational opportunities during the harvest season.
Agricultural attractions like corn mazes and apple orchards boost the local economy, educate the community, and offer safe, seasonal fun for tourists and locals alike. As such, we ought to do what we can to support the farmers who host these activities.
Examining what we can do to make it easier for our farmers to offer these popular experiences to the public is one such way that we can provide that support. In a time where farmers are already struggling to make ends meet, any help – however little – is welcome.
Lancaster County has a lot to offer, and fallis one of the best times to take advantage of all of the opportunities we have right here in
our backyard. From fairs, markets, and festivals, to ghost tours, to pumpkin patches and corn fields, fall is the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy the cooler weather with friends and family – and don’t forget to thank a farmer for all they do to make these fun fall experiences possible.
Ryan P. Aument, a Republican, is the state senator for the 36th District, which includes Elizabethtown.