Bus Tour: Berks County “Over the Ridge”

Enjoy a one day tour exploring Berks County on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. We will focus on the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and the natural beauty of the area.

boyertown historical vehicleThe coach bus will depart from Hagey Bus Terminal at 8:45 am with our first stop the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles.  The museum, founded in 1965, houses dozens of automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles that were manufactured in Pennsylvania while the industry was still in its infancy. Prior to that time, the region produced multitudes of horse-drawn vehicles, of which many examples can be found at the Museum. The main gallery of the Boyertown Museum is in the former main factory building of the Boyertown Auto Body Works. From 1926 until 1990, the Boyertown Auto Body Works manufactured truck bodies for commercial and government use.  Other popular museum artifacts are two examples of roadside architecture: the original 1938 Fegely’s Reading Diner and a 1921 Sunoco gas station.

Their  current exhibit is Lightweights: Cycle and Light Automobiles. Popular for a short period of time in the 1910s, cycle cars were something of a midway point between cars and motorcycles. With small engines, no-frills bodywork, and lightweight construction, cycle cars were unique and varied. Four cars are on display from this era, including a three-wheeled 1910 Kelsey Motorette.

Hex Barn on tourLeaving Boyertown, we will travel to the Kutztown/Lenhartsville area for a driving tour of Pennsylvania Dutch bank barns painted with hex signs.  These nineteenth  to twentieth century post and beam structures are beautiful  and imposing  symbols of Berks County farmsteads.

Following our drive-by barn tour, we will go to Janelle Hall, Mertztown, for another favorite part of the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage – great cooking! Our lunch buffet menu will include chicken pot pie, boova shenkel (filled noodles), schnitz n’ knepp (ham with dried apple and dumplings), potato filling with gravy, baked corn, green beans, rolls and homemade pie.

hawk mountain overlookAfter our hearty lunch, we will travel to Hawk Mountain, Kempton. Hawk Mountain is a raptor sanctuary whose mission is to conserve birds of prey worldwide by providing leadership in raptor conservation science and education.  Our group will have a half hour “Raptors Over the Ridge” introduction with a live bird presentation by one of their educators and then we will have free time to take the short walk to the South Lookout and see the Visitor’s Center.

Our final stop for the day will be Dietrich’s Meats and Country Store where you can stock up on smoked sausage, fresh rendered lard, pies and other Pa Dutch specialties.

Wear comfortable shoes, but the walking that we will be doing is not difficult. Tour cost of $87 ($82 member) includes all admission fees, gratuities, and lunch.  The tour will be led by Sarah Heffner. Registration deadline is April 15.